I seem to spend an inordinate amount of time on Twitter. You could say that I’m addicted to it. There. I’ve said it. But I don’t feel a sense of catharsis or guilt. I want to revel in my Twittericity – to wallow in it indulgently. Twitter allows me to talk to people, and I like talking to people. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation with one person. It can be the odd quip here and there. Twitter is perfect for me because I can have lots of little chats with lots of people at the same time. I can dip in and out of conversations as and when I like. So, although I use Twitter a lot, I LIKE Twitter a lot. But I really, REALLY like everybody who talks to me on Twitter – yes, including you!
This post isn’t designed to be an advert for Twitter, it can do its own promotion far more effectively than me. It’s an appreciation and thank you to everyone who’s spoken to me there and elsewhere on the internet. Because, like 50% of all carers in the UK, I can feel isolated. Isolation has pretty much been a running theme since my wife was diagnosed – since May ‘05 we’ve pretty much spent every hour of every day together. And that’s not a healthy state of affairs. Friends and family alike have also fallen by the wayside. But these are points that I’ll expand on in other posts. I don’t want to focus entirely on the negative aspects of my life here. I want to write something positive ( if only avoid ruining every reader’s day ). Whilst the number of positives caring has afforded me is small, each one is precious. One such positive is the opportunity that the internet gives me to talk to people around the world: other people in similar circumstances as me, people affected by MS, or – in the case of Twitter – just a bunch of people with interests similar to mine.
Through Twitter, I’ve been able to talk to lots of lovely new people and I’ve even met one of them ( take a bow @lindylou120 ). I’d like to meet more followers and followed. I’ll have to find a way to make that happen. Even if I don’t get to meet them, I enjoy the way that the Internet gives me an unlimited scope for contacting people. You might say “Well, that’s pretty obvious as that’s what the internet was designed for”. I agree. But we take it for granted now, and I want to pause to reflect on its profound effect on my life. As I say, it’s precious to me.
I’ve also had the good fortune to talk to a group of Italian people who are all affected by MS. I was looking around for an international viewpoint of how MS is treated and found the website for the Italian association devoted to MS and those affected by it. Despite not speaking a word of Italian, I signed up to their forum and started talking to a few people there. And when some of them opened their own live chat room, I went with them. They’ve helped me teach myself Italian over the past two years and they’re firm friends now. We’ve been to Italy twice now and met one particular couple each time. Later this year, they’re coming to stay with us. Great, huh?
Well, now. Having read and re-read this post, I realise it’s starting to sound schmaltzy. I hate being schmaltzy ( however, I do like the word “schmaltz” but I digress ) so I’ll knock it on the head. I guess I’m saying thank you to anyone and everyone who chats to me. And I hope you don’t mind my enthusiastic tweet-feed ( I get this confused with timeline ) but it helps me feel a little more “normal” ( a hateful phrase but one that fits most precisely ).
End of schmaltz.