Monday, 12 September 2011

Why having a locked account doesn’t make you dick

I hate having a locked Twitter account. It is intensely irritating that I can’t reply to people in my timeline who don’t follow me back, if I reply to a mention which includes non-followers they don’t see it and probably think I’m ignoring them, people often assume having a locked account means I’m up my own arse and full of my own self-importance. I am passionate about sharing information and I’m a right bloody chatterbox so being behind a locked door doesn’t sit well with me at all.

I have to protect my tweets because I am being harassed by someone who appears to only understand Twitter as a means with which to make me life hell. This began back in January, I wrote my first blog post about it. All went quiet for some time and I began to put my life back together. At the beginning of the summer I hit a major depressive episode and had time off work with it. I began to recover and went back to work to be told that The Person had written again, this time using any tweets that referred to me leaving the house, drinking and socialising as evidence that I was in fact faking depression and asking my employers to investigate the claim. I still don’t know how The Person knew I was signed off with depression as I never explicitly said it on Twitter. Creepy, eh? I know depression is an often misunderstood condition, so I blogged about it in a bid to explain that being sociable and being depressed aren’t mutually exclusive.

Knowing your every move is being tracked by someone with a grudge against you is unnerving in the extreme. I share a lot, that’s the way I am so what could I do? Delete another account, not tweet anything relating to my personal life or say fuck The Person and continue to tweet openly and publically? Much as I wanted to do the latter I just couldn’t - this is my mental health and career we’re talking about here, not a crusade for open comms - so I locked my account and went through my 570 or so followers, forensically checking them to see if I could identify The Person. I couldn’t so I blocked 226 of them and felt like the biggest bitch going.

Obviously the police are involved although given that their main response has been essentially “dur, leave Twitter stoopid” I don’t hold out much hope of them being particularly useful. My employer is indeed investigating the claim that I have been faking depression – you can imagine how helpful that is in terms of making a full recovery from a major mental health episode – and I still have a locked Twitter account and will probably have to continue to have one for the foreseeable future; until either The Person gets bored, I stop being such an open person or, as currently seems most likely, I have a complete mental breakdown and get carted away to the nearest psychiatric unit.

So if you’re one of those people who feels the need to take the piss out of people with locked accounts, or smugly refuses to follow people back because their account is protected, remember there is a real person behind the avatar, with real reasons for locking themselves behind the door of Twitter and perhaps give them a chance.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

I know it’s not me, it is you.

At the risk of going all Carrie Bradshaw on you, I’d like to ruminate on a recent love-happening that occurred via the not-actually-a-dating-site medium of Twitter. I think my basic point’s applicable to any environment you meet someone in though. So anyway Boy follows Bearface, Beaface follows back, conversations takes place and we tentatively, inch by inch, start dating. Well, I call it dating, but it was more like courting. Actually it was a series of direct messages on Twitter, texts and phone calls interspersed with a couple of daytime meetups over the course of about seven weeks. It’s not really dating I suppose but let’s call it that for ease.

Now I am quite big enough to accept that sometimes people don’t quite match up in real life to the version of them you have begun to find attractive at something of a remove. It’s a consequence of the increasingly online world we inhabit; people can be more awkward and less articulate, more reticent, less funny that their online persona would lead you to believe. However, there is a basic etiquette that dating should adhere to, no matter where and how you met.

This fellow was a nice guy, bit backwards in coming forwards, bit reluctant to talk about himself but hey, we can’t all be forthcoming and willing to share; variety is after all the spice of life. As things progressed however, it became increasingly apparent to me that this man, despite being full of the compliments, goodnight messages and daily phonecalls, wasn’t really that enamoured of me or rather, he was enamoured of me, but there was someone else who already held sway in his affections. Which leads me to my point; if you actually like someone else more than the person you’re dating, you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
It’s not cheating, but it’s being untruthful about the very basis of your burgeoning relationship which isn’t going to do either of you any favours. And actually, when the person you’re dating guesses, all you do is make yourself look like a bit of a shit and ruin what could have been a decent friendship, had you only not tried to replace the lack of affection from one person, with the potential affection of another. It’s emotional deception and it’s quite hurtful that someone I had grown to care for would basically use me as a distraction.

Now let’s not get all hatey and stabby towards this bloke, he’s not a bad person and I’m sure most of us have tried to get over one person by getting involved with another – hell, I know I have – but having been on the receiving end, I know I won’t do it again and I really hope he doesn't do it to someone else either - it's just bad manners.