Twitter friends are a wonder of social media, especially if you’re an introverted writer looking for community. Here’s why they’re so great.
Twitter friends are small, two-dimensional creatures that often take the appearance of models, bearded knights, cats, household items, or occasionally book covers. They live in an application on your phone or a tab in your computer browser, and provide inspiration, encouragement, commiseration, congratulations, or random silliness as appropriate.
You can never be sure what form Twitter friends take in the physical world or what their physical-world names are, but none of this matters.
Names are only labels for people, and handles work just as well for that purpose. (Mine’s @AkkalonAS, in case you didn’t know.)
As for physical form, as long as the physical form can type, it’s wholly irrelevant.
In fact, Twitter friends are unquestionably superior to real-life friends for many reasons.
Reason 1: Twitter friends never turn up on your doorstep uninvited
Being confined to your computer or phone, Twitter friends never turn up at your door when you’d rather have a quiet evening with a cup of tea and work on that gnarly climax scene.
They never even turn up in the wrong app or browser tab.
Reason 2: Twitter friends are quiet
They’re never a noisy distraction on those evenings when the words are flowing. Once you turn off notifications, they’re as silent as fog-monsters (and leave much less dew).
On the other hand, they are often a quiet distraction, but that’s all on you. Have some self-discipline and don’t look.
Reason 3: Twitter friends don’t eat the last of the chocolate or drink the last of the wine
Although some Twitter friends spend a lot of time talking about chocolate, cookies, coffee, tea, or wine, they are far too polite to go into your fridge or pantry and eat said items.
But after conversations with them you may do this yourself.
Reason 4: Twitter friends don’t get upset when you’d rather read a book than go out to a bar, or to lunch, or to a party
Real life friends need a certain number of monthly hours of maintenance. This often requires you to go out in public such as to a bar or restaurant. It nearly always requires you to get out of your pajamas.
Twitter friends, on the other hand, are happy for you to spend all day at home in your owl pajamas and dragon-foot slippers.
This has the added bonus of making your cat happy. (Or in my case, sad, because we fight for the same chair. He usually wins.)
Reason 5: Twitter friends are always up if you want to talk in the middle of the night
The number of Twitter friends you can reasonably maintain is much higher than the maximum feasible number of real life friends.
This means that with minimal planning and only cursory attention to time zones you can have a friend awake every minute of the day.
Awake at 3am? Someone else will be too, and they’ll just be getting home from the gym. (Way to make you feel lazy.)
Reason 6: Twitter friends understand the swings between self-confidence and crippling self-doubt inherent in writing
You may not have any real life friends who write. (Though ask around. More than four out of five people are writing a book or would like to.)
If you don’t write, this is unlikely to be a problem, but if you do it can make you feel as if you’re the only person in the world on this sickening roller coaster of self-esteem.
But as soon as you make a few Twitter friends who are writers you’ll realise that the doubts you feel are part of the universal writer experience.
Guess what. Everyone goes through phases when they think everything they write is tripe. If you don’t know this, you need more Twitter friends.
Reason 7: Twitter friends produce an endless supply of cat comics and videos
And everyone needs more of these.
Reason 8: Twitter friends can be turned off at any time with no explanation required and no one gets offended
Friends are great, but sometimes you need to get away from them.
With real life friends this can be awkward. You might be stuck in a shady part of town in the middle of the night, or in a terrifyingly groomed house full of cultured people who are far too polite for their own good.
Extrication in such circumstances is a fine art, and damage control to maintain future relationships might be required.
With Twitter friends no such problems exist. If all the socialising gets too much much, you can close the browser tab with no explanation and no one will think worse of you.
Sure, if you’re in the middle of an intimate conversation you might want to say goodbye before vanishing, but everyone on Twitter understands the call of real life responsibilities and the reality of dodgey internet connections.
Reason 9: Twitter friends provide an endless supply of support
I haven’t figured out why, but Twitter friends are the best for support.
Having a hard writing day, lost your hat in a breeze, or got strangled by your antagonist–someone out there will have kind words to make you feel better.
And probably a few awesome gifs.
Reason 10: Twitter friends are funny, silly, random, uplifting, and some of them are actually dragons
There are so many wonderful people on Twitter and also a smattering of wildlife. If you’re not there already, I highly recommend you go and meet some of them.
Are you pro or anti Twitter? What do you think are the best things about Twitter friends?