Friday, 26 April 2013

Twitter - not gone after all

It's still there! My Twitter account @lucymelford.

I set it up on 15 October 2012. Three days later I had a problem with my PC, and that led me to deactivate my Twitter account forthwith, on the suspicion (although apparently I was mistaken) that somehow Twitter had introduced something nasty to my PC.

At least I thought that I had deactivated it. In fact I'd merely logged out. I got an email from The Huffington Post (a retweet?) yesterday, which alerted me that my Twitter account was still alive and kicking.

I have now found out how to deactivate the account properly - but I have hesitated.

Does it have a use, a role in my life, that I haven't understood yet?

I really can't see one. But I could be wrong...suppose I get caught up in some breaking news event? Such as being trapped in a tall building as the flames creep upwards? Or hiding from masked terrorists, who have taken over the shopping centre? Or stranded up a tall tower, as the tsunami swirls below? Or dodging a troop of sex-mad bull elephants?  I could call for help, before I'm roasted/shot/drowned/gored/rescued.

Supposing I ever wrote that bestselling book? Or appeared on TV? Wouldn't I want to know what the instant public reaction was?


But I don't want to tell the world that I'm eating toast and marmalade for breakfast today. Nor do I want to be a sad person who draws attention to silly newspaper articles, as their sole reason for living. Nor am I capable of terribly witty one-liners, and other oh-so-clever comments. And I certainly don't want to be associated with vitriolic hate campaigns, and other out-of-control bandwagons.

Well, for now my Twitter account is doing no harm, and I've tweaked my settings so that it shouldn't irritate me with unwanted notifications. I will suffer the thing to exist, just in case it's ever useful.

And letting my Twitter account live has prompted me to set up a fresh Facebook account. Amazingly.

But not like the old one. I intend to keep rather quiet about it - none of my Brighton friends read this blog regularly, so they'll never know - and be very careful how I use it. It has a recent photo of me (to prove that I really exist), but the public will see no other personal information whatever.

This new account is not there to promote myself, nor to explain what I think about life, nor to make friends with. It's to let me find out what people may know about topics that specially interest me. So I may join one or two special-interest groups, as a friend did. Some of them, no doubt, of an official nature.

I certainly don't want to use it for general 'social networking'. Texts and emails are quite good enough for that, and a good deal more private. And if I want to say anything about my life and attitudes, then there's the blog as always.

As a footnote, I was surprised that I had to set up a fresh Facebook account at all. Although I went through the full deactivation process on my old account at the end of 2012, I harboured a suspicion that my old account would merely be archived. And that when setting up a new one Facebook would say, 'no need to set up a new account, Lucy, here's your old one, which we kept going just in case you ever came back'.

But no, it had really gone, although I suppose there must still be some old photos and posts embedded in other people's Facebook pages. That can't be helped, and it's a kind of awful warning of what can happen.


  1. I know someone who has to give a talk about how useful twittering is for the business they are in. well someone has explained just what it is and how it is used but they don't even have an account so it will be like telling a bedtime story...

    What exactly is the use of it anyway?

  2. It really has no essential use. It's a commercial venture to make money from people exchanging quotes and comments. And it's become trendy.

    See my next post!



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