Inside my head, I was standing in an 80's lunch hall, tray in hand, looking over a sea of strangers who were all chatting and laughing together. Even some of the kids I'd seen before were somehow different now, surrounded by others who seemed to know them so well, hanging off their every word. There weren't any seats free...I didn't understand how to join in. Defeated, I turned and left, hanging my head and clenching my fists, vowing that this would be the last time I ate alone, hidden from the world in a toilet cubicle.
Tomorrow I'd try again. Tomorrow would be better. But I knew it was just a lie. Tomorrow it would be harder. There would be even more new faces - and worse, new faces that had somehow transformed with ease into one of the millions of chatting, smiling faces who all followed each other, but never looked at me...
I am talking, of course, about my recent attempts to enter the world of Twitter. These "attempts" have all started and ended with a quick peek through the virtual front door, followed by a swift slam shut. I feel like my apparent inability to grasp something that appears to be so natural to so many fills me with a feeling of exclusion, like a nerd in a school dining hall.
Maybe this is my punishment for cruising through high school with relative ease, never properly experiencing the agony that so many will associate with those teenage days. This, you must understand, was due to a blissful combination of social ignorance and general indifference rather than any sort of cool refined technique or particular high standing amongst peers. But either way, I pretty much got away with it. But now the world is coming back with a vengeance to bite the socially ignorant, arrogant or indifferent right on the butt. Because it's a dork's world. And we're all dorks in our own ways. But you need to be the right kind of dork.
In this lunch room of nightmares, the cool kids do hash tag and throw balled up retweets at the geeks who are still sad enough to care about their Facebook status. Some try to fit in, pretending that they know what they are doing, but in a moment of excitement, overjoyed by the prospect of new friends, they cry "Add Me!" Millions of faces turn to face this perpetrator, jeering and shouting in disgust, "It's FOLLOW you IDIOT". Idiot he is, for he doesn't stop there...
The hall goes silent. Faces turn to the sky. Clouds part and people bow in terror and awe as a great blue bird swoops upon the culprit to drop him forever into a hell from which he will never tweet again. His punishment? An agonising eternity trying to persuade friends that MySpace is still bangin'.
Anyway, I may be getting a little off point with the Twitter bird thing. I do, however, find it astounding how many people are genuinely astonished by how I can make any comparison whatsoever between our two favourite egotistical social media platforms. Recent conversations have gone along the lines of:
Me: So, it's pretty much like Facebook?
World: No, it's nothing like Facebook.
Me: But you add friends and update your status like Facebook?
World: Well yeah, but instead you follow people and tweet. So its nothing like Facebook.
Me: OK, well, is it maybe kind of like Facebook if Facebook was just status updates and status updates were called tweets?
World: Well, yeah, except it's nothing like Facebook. Oh, but you can actually send messages and share pictures and stuff as well.
Me: So...it's exactly like Facebook then?
World: No. It's nothing like Facebook.
Realistically, people can't really think Facebook and Twitter are completely different? Can they? I mean, I imagine that in a Streetfighter-style battle between the two, they would come out pretty evenly matched across the board. Unless Twitter released the blue bird in swoop attack, which would clearly be a cheat.
Wouldn't they be better off making love not war and producing an all-consuming hybrid love-child? They could call it 'Twitface' and humanity could spend the rest of time hypnotised into an unblinking state of blissful attachment to a computer, nourished only by the companionship of our online families and a singular feeding tube placed strategically into our upper spines.
And the coolest ones would be white and manufactured by Apple. Other feeding tubes are available.
But if you've not got an iTube, well... you've not got an iTube...