Where do I begin with Twitter? Probably from the start, yes that’s a good beginning. So here goes.
I first joined Twitter in February in 2009 as @Spooky_Jamie after someone on Facebook recommended that I try it as Derren Brown was on it. Well I registered, followed Derren and a few other celebs. and I must say that I thought it was so shit that I left after three days and went back to my Farmville antics on Facebook for another three months. When I managed to go to a self help group to stop my cropping and planting from that god damn addictive game I saw what a complete borefest Facebook actually was, (but that’s another blog) so I logged on and instead of just following celebs, I searched for ‘Derren Brown’ in the search bar to see who else was tweeting about him and followed the people who tweeted nice things about him. That then gave me an idea, I typed in all sorts of different people’s names and subjects into the search bar and followed about a hundred people. The next day I logged on and found out that most of them had followed back and some of them had actually tweeted a greeting to me.
I had been drawing my Twisted Heroes and Villains for a while so I began to post the pictures on Twitter. A few people replied but one of them said to me “You are indeed Twisted Jamie”. From that moment I knew that I had to change my username as it summed me up perfectly. http://twistedheroesandvillians.wordpress.com BY THE WAY. Now that I am concentrating on my writing, I am now known as @JamieThePenn.
After a few months of becoming increasingly addicted to Twitter, I had ‘met’ and ‘spoken’ to some lovely people but I could already see that some of them were doing my head in. The people who obsess over celebrities (particularly a goatee bearded thought fiddler), the people who constantly tweet with a link in it, the people who don’t like it when they tweet something and then don’t like either the response they get or the truth that I give them, the racists, sexists, homophobes, religious nutters and psychic believers.
So after I had unfollowed them I didn’t have that many left so I followed people on something called ‘Follow Friday’ where people recommend people for you to follow. It was at this point where I began writing my first book ‘The Altruist’s Prey’. I had written 3/4′s of a book 10 years previous but lost it moving houses so this time I decided to keep it on a website so I never lost this one. It was then that I had the idea of asking my followers to read it and give advice. This was the best thing to do as I received and still receive some of the best advice, constructive criticism and comments about my writing that only improves the ways that I tell my stories.
By this point I had gotten to know a lot of people who were Derren Brown fans and one of us had decided to organise a ‘tweet up’ at a gig in Salford. Before I knew it, we were there and I was sat with people whom I had never met before but felt like I knew them more than some of my friends and family. I had a fantastic day and I will never forget the look on some of the people’s faces as they saw me as the person who writes about a serial killer which had scared the shit out of them. They were all lovely people bar one (but we didn’t find out for another eight months & more on that to come) and I do hope that we get to meet up with the addition of others in the future.
I had also been following Jaret Reddick (lead singer of Bowling for Soup) from the start and after doing him a favour he offered me VIP tickets to see him in Sheffield. How awesome was Twitter at this point? I had made and met some new friends and now I had met one of my favourite musicians and people were not only reading but enjoying my book.
Not long after meeting in Salford, Derren tweeted for volunteers to apply to be on a new show of his. I of course applied and along with a few others were selected to go to a secret location in London for a private showing with Derren Brown. How fucking amazing was Twitter turning out to be? When someone found out that I had been chosen, they very kindly offered to put me up for the night whilst in London so I didn’t have to find a B&B that either didn’t rip me off or that wasn’t a shit hole. I will forever be in their debt for the absolutely lovely offer and they made me feel so welcome for someone that they had only met once. She would not wish me to tell you all who they are, but she is one of my best friends on Twitter and I will always have time for them.
When I arrived in London, I found out that there had been a mix up *coughs “cock up”* and that they had over subscribed people to go to London and that at least 20 or more people had received an email the night before saying that they were no longer selected. This is the point in my life where the feeling towards ineptitude made me most angry. Some of these people were already in London at the time or receiving the email and even if they weren’t, they would have more than likely booked train tickets and a room for the night in London that would not have been cheap. I found this totally unacceptable by the production company and even though my experience with the private show will either go with me to my grave or forgotten due to dementia, I would never apply to be on another show again. I saw first hand how upset someone was that I call my friend and that I will never forgive them for how they made her feel.
So, after that joyous experience I decided to take a hiatus as I was becoming dejected and fed up with all of Derren’s cronies thinking that they were the special ones and it all going to their heads. That and the few Derren ‘crazies’ that I was still following were making the Twitter experience unenjoyable for me.
Before I returned I had decided to have a mass cull and be unrelenting to who I unfollowed. If they did not interact with me, answer me, ignored me or did my head in; then whats the point of the mutual follow, so I thought “fuck em” and away they went. All was going fine until the day after me and my wife had been to see Spamalot in Hull. We had met another Twitter friend before the show & met Phil Jupitus at the stage door; only to be called by the Police the next day asking us how we knew this person and whether we had children. That is all that I am allowed to say but if it hadn’t of been for a the Police warning me and my wife telling me of the consequences, I would have happily driven up to where he lived and kicked his CaptainPaed teeth down his throat, along with a variety of other things that my ‘writing mind’ was telling me to do.
BTW – Our children never actually met this person but the Police said that it could have been the ‘next stage’ that he tried to engage with us. And I also found a newspaper article which told me of to what extent the charges were this person was found guilty for.
In the weeks after this I was suspicious of everybody and I felt it my duty to inform people of what I had been told. Privately of course, not where it was public knowledge but to those who had also met him on that day in Salford before the Derren gig.
There are lots of people who piss me off on Twitter but I am certain that I too have pissed off my fair share but, in my defence, before you follow me if you do not pay attention to my bio, it’s your own fucking fault. My bio is “If you get offended easily then fuck off now. INVENTOR OF TWATBASKET, writer of killings & voice of Bishop Ethan on Harry Strange Radio Show”. Self explanatory I would have thought but the amount of people who don’t take it seriously is mind numbing.
I HATE those people who try to make themselves look more popular than they are by following you, waiting for you to follow back, only to unfollow you as soon as you do.
I HATE those people who pay for followers. It s a social networking site, not a buy your friends site. That reminds me of those rich kids who only have friends cos their Daddy buys their friends gifts or presents whenever they go round to see them or treat them whenever they pay attention to the stuck up little spoilt shithead.
I HATE those people who are part of #TeamFollowBack and do nothing but fill people’s timelines full of people’s usernames who are also part of #TeamFollowBack and act like the aforementioned spoilt shithead when you dare to unfollow them. GET A FUCKING LIFE and shag someone. It feels fantastic and a much better use of your hands and senses.
People who tweet about reality shows do my box in too, but to be fair I am fond of playing hashtag games and also tweet about other programmes so I feel that I get my own back on them, as they do to me.
I do not hate Beliebers. Although he is not my cup of tea, I tweet Jaret loads so who am I to tell you what music to like, even though he is a pubeless wank stain on the industry.
I do not hate those ‘maniacal obsessive’ fans who bombard celebrities with tweet after tweet after tweet after tweet in the vain hope that they will answer your stupid fucking question back. Yes, yes they are bound to answer it if you ask it 35 times an hour in different ways and making them see that you love them. Sad bastards, I feel sorry for them if anything. I am thankful that I have a full life with loving, understanding and patient people around me. Some people don’t have anyone but God (another future blog).
During my time trying to become a published author, lots of groups of writers have been recommended to me for advice and help with writing, publishing and social interactions. Although I have met a few other writers who I consider to be the nice and honest ones of the bunch, most of them I have found to be balshy, self righteous, selfish, ignorant plebs who; unless you are obeying their unwritten rules about chatting about writing, you may as well talk to a book/kindle as you will receive the same amount of responses. I have however found a lovely group of writers on Facebook of all places who have given me some priceless advice and have NEVER ONCE ignored me or my cries for help.
Twitter has given me so many good experiences in my time on there. If it weren’t for Twitter I would never have met Jaret or Derren in person. I would never of had the feedback about my writing and I would never have found other people like me who sympathise, empathise and give great advice on all manner of subjects that throw shit in your face. And I would never have had the opportunity to be voice of a character in an American Radio drama.
I love having the banter and a good laugh with my followers, it is one of the things that has kept me going & sane for the past two months. I love taking the piss out of people and love being taken the piss out of. My long term and closest followers know this and put up with me admirably.
I have had bad experiences too but I have learnt from them and besides, even though I could not do anything in person to those, I have an alternate way of dealing with them.