Tuesday, 12 July 2011

My Invisible Friends

After being dragged by the hair, kicking and screaming into the technical world of the 21st Century, totally against social networking sites, I now find myself an avid Twitterer.

I’ve twatted (past tense) along with the best of them for just over a month now and have managed to acquire well over a hundred followers.  These are people who, until recently, I didn’t even know existed.  Now I know one pees her pants when she laughs, one’s desperate to find his dream guy and another’s been so spaced out on morphine for pain relief that half her tweets haven’t made any sense.

What a strange world it is, this Twitterland.  You chat with people you don’t know from Adam and you strike up a bond with them.  Obviously in my case I’m reaching out to mums, writers and the ‘anti-Meemie brigade’ (if you don’t know what a Meemie is, shame on you for not buying my book or reading my earlier blogs) but I’ve also met some other interesting characters along the way.

On Monday night I spent the evening (in Twitsville) with a gentleman.  Hubbie was out earning money to feed his family and I was fraternising with an American!  OK,  he made Graham Norton look butch, so it doesn’t really count as virtual infidelity, but I had such a lovely evening listening to his favourite songs on his track list and just swapping totally daft banter.   I know I should actually have been working, but at least I was networking and I think my new friend bought a copy of the book so I was kind of grafting.

I’ve also hooked up with a lovely Hawaiian lady whose life is so similar to mine it’s uncanny.  She found me initially through my blog and we’re constantly amazed by how much we have in common. I also swap publicity tips with two other Indie writers and we regularly discuss what's working best for us.

My reluctant journey with Twitter began purely to promote my book and for no other reason.  I quickly found out (thanks to a very stroppy author) that you can’t just go on there to sell - you need to make friends and build up a rapport with people.  And, I hate to say, she was right.  If people like the way you tweet, they’ll read your blog.  If people like your blog, they’ll buy your book. 

Now I don’t tweet with the book in mind at all.  I tweet for all sorts of reasons - news items, fashion tips, advice - you name it, it’s there on Twitter.  The downside is you only have 140 characters to do it in, so you have to be succinct, but I’m gradually getting the hang of it.  There are also all sorts of strange concepts like ‘Follow Fridays’ which I haven’t quite grasped.  Lots of lovely people nominate me as a ‘Twitterer to follow’ and then I get an attack of the guilts because I don’t know how to return the compliment and tie myself up in knots sending them @’s when I should be FF’ing them.  This Friday I plan to be ahead of the game and get my nominations in early and then I’ll look like a pro, instead of the foolish virgin that I am.

And some of these people actually get to meet up.  Four hundred mummy Twitterers got together in London just recently at CyberMummy, an event for mummy bloggers. Rachel Johnson and Sarah Brown were guest speakers and, judging by some of the YouTube footage, it was a fairly raucous affair!

So, for anyone out there feeling lonely or bored with your Facebook friends, head off to Twitter and meet some new ones.  As one Twitterer told me, “Facebook is where you lie to your real friends and Twitter is where you tell the truth to your virtual ones.”

Do expect to be confused or shocked though - one liners can be odd things.  Here are my nominations so far (not verbatim):

“Harry the hamster is on the bed and hasn’t even done the washing up.”
“The man opposite me has the bushiest nasal hair I have ever seen.”
“Think my new lipstick matches my geranium.”
“My husband has threatened to unfriend me on Twitter, just to get my attention.”
“At drinks party and feel I may be about to lose my tampon.”
“Sent this text to wrong phone!:  Can you get bell on way home.  Jack has had 2 birds already!”
“Botox, Boden and kitten heels. Ready for kids’ sports day!”

And, to blow my own trumpet … post from my lovely gay gentleman about me,
“If you want a woman who tells it as it is, she’s the one for you.  Totally refreshing and honest!”  We clinked our virtual glasses of Möet together after that one.

Oh, Twitter, you’ve turned me into a prize Twat!

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available on Amazon for Kindle.  Now also in paperback at Lulu.


  1. I feel exactly the same way. I have been with FB for some time but so many of my friends are still not ready to take that plunge. SO, I headed for Twitter and decided to make some new ones, which is great! The fact that so many of us blog too and so we already have an understanding makes it even more enjoyable!! It's a big wide world out there and I might not be in a position to buy a ticket and travel the world right now so I'll do it through 'Twitter' instead!!! xx

  2. You have to love twitter, it's the best way of meeting a bunch of people you would have missed out on otherwise!

  3. It is a brave new world in Twitterland, and I am so glad to have found you there, Amanda! Hard to believe I've had been living without it for so long. It is amazing how this virtual setting creates such connectivity. Even though you're across the pond, I feel a kinship with my fellow indie author. It's so nice!