There was a time when I tweeted (or as I hilariously liked to call it “twatted”) with reckless abandon like a drunk guy in a sandwich shop being all reckless abandonny with the fillings. Twitter was stupid, irreverent, throwaway and fun, the currency was lolz, jumbo lolz and mega lolz (sometimes UBER LOLZ), AND THEN… in what seemed like the long blink of an eye, or the slow-motion waggle of a gigantic dick, the whole thing turned weird (like a man in a rabbit mask). The winds changed, the seas changed, the tides, um, changed, and my great fun very funny Twitter feed transformed (like a stop motion mushroom de-mushrooming) into a prickly raw nerve full of despair, anger, bragginess, outrage. Like Edvard Munch’s Scream but in the form of horrified comments about the state of the world. Did I mention fury? There was fury. Tyson sized fury.
Suddenly my silly jokes felt entirely out of kilter, like little penguins wearing clown shoes in a field of really really serious wolves and anxious sea lions, and as such I came a cropper to what I suspect is a very 2019 condition – the loss of Twitter confidence, or Twitfidence, or Twonfidder. I started second guessing myself, overanalysing how my childish statements would be received in such a perilous modern Brexity Trump climate, or I’d filter them through the eyes of a future employer and just see them filling up with disdain for me. So I barely twat at all now, instead I hold the tweets in like sneezes.
GREAT NEWS THOUGH. I did, very cleverly, have the genius foresight to create a little folder for some of the ones that never made it (when I remembered to), the little runts of the litter destined for eternal darkness thanks to big bouts of doubt and ennui on my part. Shall we have a quick look at some of them? Go on, let’s overanalyse a selection of untweeted tweets together… holding hands.
“Hey guys it’s Killing Eve, not Killing Steve” – got worried that someone somewhere might be all HEY THIS IS SOMEHOW HOMOPHOBIC ISN’T IT (which, by the way, it very much isn’t – I dare say you could even argue it’s the opposite) and I would drown in a sea of shame.
“just got caught meditating by a window cleaner so now I absolutely have to kill myself” – the first bit really happened, but then I worried that joking about suicide, even if it’s my own, would get me in big trubs.
“Cool, so apparently my son’s favourite book is The Embarrassing Shrieking Pirate #WorldBookDay” – worried people would be all HEY THIS GUY IS MOCKING HIS OWN SON! No afterlife for me.
“Whenever anyone shows me their wedding photos I like to smile appreciatively for a moment then say ‘god I bet you fucked the hell out of each other that night’” – felt awks about using the ole fuck word for what it actually means. Which is boning one another. With your junk.
“if Solskjaer is as good a manager as Fergie he’ll be a wonderful mother to those two sexy princesses” – decided it wasn’t funny, although it’s clearly hilarious. Missed the moment.
“10 Years ago I met the greatest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever met. Then a month or so later I happened upon my wife in a brothel” – felt too old school, and everyone would be all HEY THIS FUCKER IS A TOTAL MISOGYNIST! Plus my wife might leave me. For a woman (or man, or just to be alone).
“Creepiest ever song lyric: ‘got a pitcher of you beside me’, Back for Good” – was about to post, then a voice in the back of my brain asked me what I was doing. Hence, deleted.
“How’s everyone enjoying Dry Vaginuary?” – tried to do this one a few times, then worried I might get in trouble for joking about vaginas when I don’t have one, let alone a dry one.
“I won’t rest until the LGBTQ+ community finally embraces all the keys on my computer” – worried that it might be misconstrued as homophobic, rather than a silly joke about acronyms.
“Quark – If Lloyd Grossman was a duck” – got paranoid that I’d subconsciously stolen the joke from someone else (which I may have), so thought better of it.
“Tell you who’s a real natural beauty – that Mickey Rourke” – suddenly got worried that Mickey Rourke would read it, and it would hurt his feelings. Too mean.
“You know what’s a great name for a boy – Sarah” – worried it might be confused as a tweet about people going through gender identity stuff, and then I’d be seen as a bigot/social warrior, even though it’s just a silly joke about a guy having a really normal girl’s name. God, listen to me, over-explaining.
“My ambition is to be important enough to not speak to you” – too much like a freelancer feeling sneery and unloved. Which basically it is.
“At what point does breastfeeding transition into sucking your mum’s tits?” – too gross, also creepy. No let’s not do that one.
“A decent and doable life goal is to get to the end without anyone being a victim of you” – too preachy. Ironically, might have actually gone down quite well in these here modern times.
“Fuck me I haven’t had goosebumps like this since I first heard Babycakes” – I thought this was hilarious, then the voice in the back of my head sternly disagreed with me. That voice was entirely correct.
“I was a middle class white guy before it was even cool” – got all paranoid that it sounded like a 40something being bitter about other demographics getting their moment in the sunshine.
“in the Batman script I’m writing all Robin can ever think to say is ‘holy fucking shit Batman’” – I still think this is funny. Just couldn’t bear the idea of tweeting it to a muted reaction.