Ann Allan: How to Stay Faithful to Facebook while Having an Affair with Twitter.

I suppose it all started when I discovered Skype. Suddenly I could communicate with relations I hadn’t seen for years. It took a while for me to realise why I hadn’t communicated with them for years. We had little in common. As a result I sat making small talk before announcing , sorry have to go, somebody at the door. Ok, so it was midnight here and morning in Australia, but I hoped they wouldn’t notice. The novelty with Skype soon wore off. I became restless. When a friend introduced me to Facebook I was ready for something new. The attraction wasn’t instant. I dabbled a little.

Facebook wanted to know a lot of personal information and being a little coy I decided that my name and an outline photo was as far as I was prepared to go. I openly mocked those who had succumbed to Facebook’s charms and thought them very fickle. However it didn’t take long to seduce me and so my love affair with Facebook began. I changed my profile picture many times to get it right. Decided in the end on a picture painted by my six year old granddaughter. A cheery black haired girl with no nose. A bit like Snow White. Without an actual photo I could still pretend I was young and attractive. Deceitful I know but hey ho! That little red light at the top of my timeline had my heart beating faster. It surely knew how to get to me. The anticipation that I had a message or that someone wanted to be my friend was so exciting. I did try to ignore it but the flesh is weak and with the bribe that I could gossip, see silly photos and endless words of wisdom I warmed to its charms.

After a short flirtation I was in love, well at least I thought I was. Always one to take an interest in what’s trending, I became aware of Twitter. Subliminally to start with. TV programmes now gave out Twitter handles. Never take off, I said. Too complicated, I thought. Oh, ok I’ll have a look, I conceded. And that’s when my relationship with Facebook began to suffer. I was more and more attracted to Twitter. Twitter offered excitement. New people. New followers. I could follow people who weren’t friends and people I thought I would never meet followed me. When Eamonn Holmes and Marian Keyes became followers my life was complete. They would never have been my friend on Facebook. There are of course downsides. . No one says nasty things on Facebook. We are all loved up. Twitter, however, like the jealous lover can be hurtful, spiteful or just do the huffing bit. I put something out there, bare my soul and Twitter just ignores me. Then I feel spurned and return to Facebook to seek reassurance that I’m still loved. There I cringe over some of the sugary posts giving out advice like modern day Nietzsche’s but like them anyway so as not to offend my other love.

Tension is high in the evenings. Hubby is jealous of my flirtations with social media. We use the same email address. He has an iPad and iPhone. I have an iPad and iPhone and when a tweet, email or Facebook alert comes in, it’s a bit like the 1812 overture. All the alerts are different and they all come in at intervals of a nano second.

“Feck  off ” he mutters, as I relish the fact that one of my lovers is calling. So to whom shall I stay faithful? I think I’ll string them both along. They fulfil different needs and I am loathe to let either go. Just have to make sure they don’t find out about each other and I’m sure Skype would have me back.



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