I remember the day I joined twitter. Stephen Fry had been talking about it, and as someone who had always used the internet and gone from forums, to baby groups to facebook, I liked it. I wanted to stalk Stephen Fry, my first tweet was about a hot cross bun I ate, after I lit the fire in my living room. I hated that fire.
I knew it was odd when I was followed by about 300 journalists, having never met a journalist.
I began to understand that the people I was talking to about everything from fashion to politics were not like me, were not from the places I was from, and that my perspective was one they had not come across and vice versa.
Someone educated about politics by an understanding of 30 years intersecting policy failure has a different understanding to those who live in our Westminster focused bubble. I always knew I was using twitter to talk to people, and even when Gaby Hinsliff asked for my first piece of writing, and even when I was earning pin money by occasionally submitting to the Guardian I knew it was just a tool to talk to people. Eventually they, and I, realised the implications of our differing perspectives on things as people around me paid for their blindness.
A culture not used to the internet, or talking to people outside their bubble seemed to believe this was a new media, because they had never overheard the voices they broadcast to or impose values and policy on. By the time my twitter account had a couple of thousand followers, many of those types confused me with media and I became a target for that reason. I bollocked one labour guppy after he bragged about how competitive he was, when I realised he had felt he was in competition with me. We were not even swimming in the same pond, never mind competing for position. I was still using twitter to talk to people.
I eventually abandoned that first twitter account, after a twitter I had no desire to be part of had engulfed it and moved to an account where I could talk to people. Which was what I used twitter for all along. In that time I saw the dynamics within the social network that is masquerading as our political media culture, and in that time they began to panic about their first forays beyond their sealed industry walls.
Gradually they began to realise that as a class, they had moved into a chatroom and misunderstood the situation, while we realised for the first time, we had access to those whose power was being used to decimate our lives. Our political media class.
Now the talk is of social media regulation. The word media was always wishful thinking by an established media facing the truth of being unable to transmit a message to people who can answer back, twitter is a social tool. A tool to talk to people. Now the behaviour of that culture and it’s radical fringes is being used as the basis for discussions around whether our conversations with each other should be regulated by the government.
I am sat here eating porridge, procrastinating about housework, and watching television, using twitter as I always have. To talk to those people I want to talk to. To increase my understand of things and to pass the time of day.
There are two twitters. One where you talk to people and one the media watch. One has value the other does not. I get to have a conversation with people from all walks of life from finance, to the town where I live. I’ll be doing that for a lot longer than the twitter bubble the media see, stays inflated. Oh shit, did it already pop?