Wednesday 19 January 2011

Caravan of Love

Last night, while I sort of sat back and watched, Twitter went a bit mental during My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

TV shows have a many and varied affect on your average Twitter user.  

Firstly there are those that watch TV and don't tweet while watching.  Fair enough.

Secondly there are those that watch the program and tweet all the way through.  (Me.)

Thirdly there are those that watch something else but choose to tweet about the comments everyone else is making about the other program.

Fourthly there are those that live in another country and probably have more important things to worry about, like floods and that.

My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding was great TV, very funny (and slightly disturbing in parts) and made to be that way.  You can argue all you want about the rights and wrongs of making the program but it made for an intriguing evening of tweets.  Many many tweeters were watching.  It was like an X-Factor night and for me, that's when Twitter can truly shine.  Why?  Ok let me quantify it a bit.  I hate the music of X-Factor, hate the processed, bollocking shites that are labelled  as 'artists' that it spawns.  However, the piss taking tweets make watching it an absolute must.  I watch a TV program because Twitter makes it something else entirely.  Shoot me.  On Oxford Street.

Now last night was a bit different but I think it tapped into the same thing for many people, that utter joy of feeling a bit better than the loons on your telly box.  And that came out in the tweets.  But... and here's where it gets tricky, many of the tweets were very very funny.  But suddenly the mood changed and there were accusations of racism, people jumping to others defence, others getting hugely upset at being called a racist and all of it felt like a huge misunderstanding.  Mainly because people weren't watching the show and took tweets way out of context.  I've read all day about rows, DM's of an unpleasant nature and unfollows.  Such a pity.

I won't deal with the free speech thing today, I'll save that for my two year anniversary on Twitter but honestly, I've had issues with people on Twitter in the past and what they've typed and been vocal about it.  I've made mistakes on there too.  Been too open, too honest.  Now I tend to take a break when the real world invades too much.  That's been a learning curve for me but I'm sure I'll fuck up again.  I realised a while back that we all really do see Twitter very differently.  That every single timeline is different and that more than anything else will influence how you view it, feel about it and whether you enjoy it.  It's not about being a sheep and just accepting the worst of Twitter but is about recognising that.  And when you're all sat there watching the same TV show and seeing some truly abhorrent racism (on the program) and some equally uncomfortable male/female courting dynamics it's incredibly hard to not get involved in the conversations and dark humour.  And that, frankly, isn't anywhere near the big deal that it's been painted as.  

The only time I ever get annoyed by something I see on Twitter these days is when someone I like is made to feel uncomfortable, directly or indirectly, and to be honest a lot of the attacking last night on both sides started to feel like that.

I used to see Twitter like a giant hippy commune.  It isn't that at all.  It's just a fuck off big sofa with us all arguing over the TV remote.  

Same time next week yeah? 


  1. The last paragraph sums up Twitter perfectly. I missed the controversy, though I read @MrNeurosceptic's blog post on the matter, and I'm glad I did. I would've stayed out of the tweet war in any case. Sometimes it's better to be Switzerland.

  2. Good blog, but I must say that many people were watching the show and took offence at some of the tweets - at the same time.
    I felt uncomfortable about some of the stuff that was being said - because it could be interpreted as casual racism. But I don't think it was.
    I also found many of them to be very funny - and very near the knuckle.
    But go into any busy British pub at the right time and you will hear similar jokes - if a little less well-edited.
    But this is Twitter also, a load of people reacting instantly to what they see in the world - but more usually on TV - who often crack jokes which can stand or fall.
    Last night's jokes were a heady mix of profane, obvious, and witty comments about gypsies.
    Some veered on the hateful side - but none I saw made me think "Racist".
    I grew up in an area where a large gypsy community lived nearby - and the culture of jokes and jibes about them was quite often bigoted.
    I am glad to say I didn't see this last night.
    Twitter is dead, long live Twitter.

  3. What's a gypsy? And why are they getting married?