A Storm in a Twitter Teacup

Today I received an @ to my Twitter account from someone who isn’t following me:

“Lady, this may be something of a shock to you, but not everyone is interested in having your perversions on their TLs.”

The mind boggles sometimes at the reactions which our communications provoke in others. This was one of the times my mind boggled. I was shocked, but not by the revelation being made to me, since that just seemed like an unnecessary statement of the obvious. That is why there is a button which allows you to choose whether to Follow or Unfollow someone. You can even Block if the situation seems to warrant it. They made it sound as though I was forcing my tweets on to their TL. Is that even possible. Even if it was, I would not want to force anyone to read my tweets.

I am very silly and irreverent on Twitter. It’s just one of many facets of my personality. Twitter is the perfect place to express that side of me. I’m not consistent there, or anywhere else. I express a bit of everything. Although I do apply a certain amount of self-censorship, and there are subjects I tend to avoid, I am fairly open and will occasionally say things which might be a bit risque. My mind is whimsical, twisted, and prone to exploring whatever catches its fancy. Even so, I do think before I tweet, most of the time.

None of my followers seem to mind. And if anything I say bothers them, they can ignore it, or unfollow if it is bad enough to upset them so much they never want to see one of my tweets on their TL ever again.

If someone sees one of my tweets and likes it, and chooses to retweet it, I have no control over their Twitter powers. Which is what happened in this instance.

What shocked me the most about the @ reply was being called a ‘Lady’. That was weird. Comical. But what truly perplexed me was the fact that this person was not following me, so why were they complaining to me about my tweets littering their TL. They should have complained to the person who retweeted me. They may well have done that too. And what on earth had I said which could be construed as a perversion.

I clicked to see what tweet they were replying to:

‘I have just been staring at a picture of a most fascinating cock adornment.’

I wrote it last night when I was on Twitter and tumblr simultaneously. It was inspired by a picture I saw on the very sensual tumblr – thisladylovesruggedmen. I do not see anything perverse in the tweet or in what I was doing. I was admiring a very ornate piece of jewellery which had been created to wear on a penis. If looking at the beauty of the naked adult human body, adorned or unadorned, is perverse, then I embrace my perversity wholeheartedly. I didn’t share the picture on Twitter, just in case it might offend someone. I do try to be considerate of the sensitivities of others. I did mention which tumblr I saw it on, and shared the link to the tumblr, not the pic. And I did explain what I was doing in the other tweets which went with that particular one.

Context is often very important, and equally often missed, especially by those hellbent on taking things out of context, misconstruing them, and then reacting without having all the facts. I decided to check out this person’s profile and tweets to try and shed some light on why they were so upset. They had written quite a lot of tweets advocating animal rights. So it occurred to me that they had perhaps thought that my use of the word ‘cock’ meant ‘rooster’, rather than ‘penis’. Which would explain the upset even less.

If you look at the tweet, it is very banal really. Not even worth noticing. It could mean anything. I could have been referring to a brooch shaped into the form of a rooster, or a penis. It is definitely hardly worth the kerfuffle it caused.

I suppose I could have responded directly to this person, asking them what the fuss was all about, but I chose not to. I could have also ignored their @ completely. After considering the options of reactions I could have, I decided to retweet the reply, and use it as inspiration for a bunch of tweets. And now a blog post.

I do realise that this person was well within their rights to @ me with their opinion. I don’t have problem with that. Freedom of speech is very important. And now I am exercising my right to the same freedom of speech they used, and seemed to want to deny me.

I suppose I could chalk all of this down to Mercury going retrograde today, but the truth is that communication is one of the hardest parts of this whole being human gig, and is the cause of much grief, many fights, and endless chaos. Not communicating at all would seem to be the solution to the mess communication makes, but it isn’t.

So, what is the solution?