By Maria Duffy. First published on Friday 7th September 2012. 4 Comments so far.

Twitter, how I love you!

I apologise in advance if you’re:

a) not on Twitter and hate reading things about it or
b) on twitter and are sick of listening to me rattle on about it!

Basically, this is simply a post about how wonderful Twitter is. Sometimes 140 characters are just not enough to say how you feel!

A lot of you will already know about my writing journey (I know, I know, I’ll NEVER again mention the word ‘journey’!) but for those of you who don’t, you can read about it (and watch it) here. You’ll see how Twitter has played such a huge part in it.

But on a smaller scale, sometimes it seems that there’s nothing Twitter can’t sort out. In terms of my writing, it’s one of the best places to go for research. If you tweet a question, there’s always someone who’ll know the answer or someone who knows someone who does. No matter where I am in the world, if I tweet my location and ask for recommendations for restaurants, etc, there’ll always be someone to tell you where to go. If it’s a technical question (of which I have many!), the advice will flow in and the problem will be sorted out quickly. But the best bit of all is the fact that I’ve made so many friends on Twitter, many of which have become ‘real life’ friends. When I’m busy and have had my head in my latest manuscript all day, I can take a break and log into Twitter. Even though I’m alone in the house, Twitter is like walking into a room of friends and enjoying a chat over coffee.

Well have I gushed enough yet? Well let me just tell you of two incidents in the last 24 hours that have prompted me to write this post.

Last night, following our telly blowing up and dying, we bought a new one. Now I have a husband who’s brilliant at DIY, a whizz with the iron but when it comes to things of a technical nature, it’s like the blind leading the blind. Anyway, we were reading instructions and trying to set the telly up but no matter what we did, we couldn’t get it to work. My husband was muttering about calling someone out or bringing it back to the shop, when I decided just to tweet about it. Before long, I had a number of people tweeting me suggestions as to how to sort it out. I won’t name them all as there are too many but I will name one in particular, @cathalkeogh, who sent me a message saying he could probably sort it out for me. One quick phone call later and the telly was up and running. And all because of Twitter.

The second thing that Twitter helped me with was only hours later. This morning I was ready, hands hovering over the keys on my laptop and ready to punch the numbers in on my phone – at 9 o’clock, tickets for Ed Sheeran at the O2 in Dublin were being released. Now the plan was that I was buying two tickets for my daughter and her friend – they wanted to be in the standing area. I was also planning to buy tickets for myself and a friend for the seated area, just so we could be there if my daughter had any problems. I’m still not ready for her to go to concerts on her own.

I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that even though I got through at exactly 8.59, the seated tickets were already gone. How can that be? How can tickets be gone seconds before they’re supposed to be released? Anyway, I managed to get two standing tickets, which was great for my daughter, but it left me with the dilemma of letting her go in there without me. So this is where Twitter came in. I tweeted my dilemma and got a whole lot of advice from people. Someone tweeted me that they’d just added an extra date but unfortunately, that date didn’t suit me. Another lovely and generous man, @bazlyons, told me he’d managed to get through online and held three tickets for me but unfortunately time ran out and they were re-released. But how lovely of him to take the time to do that. Then I had a tweet from @B_Garts, telling me that he had two seated tickets for the first date and if I could get any tickets for the second date, standing or seated, he’d swap me. I thought that was such a lovely thing for someone to do. He saw I was in a tizzy about it and said that it didn’t matter to him which date he went. So I managed to book two standing tickets for the second date and he’s kindly agreed to swap his seated ones. So I have a very happy daughter and I’m one happy mammy!

There’s been a lot of negativity around Twitter of late and I understand it’s not for everyone. But I think if we use it properly and make it a two way street, we’ll reap the benefits. Well that’s been my experience anyway. If you don’t already follow me, pop along and say hi. You’ll find me at @mduffywriter.

Maria x

4 comments so far

  • Fine well written blog as usual but you might be amused by my twitter poem send up of Twitter at the start of my own blog posts a few years ago before like you I got hooked. My I ask you a leading question though which is hard to address within the confines of Twitter. Is your new book chiefly addressed to a female audience? I am not trying to provoke a sexist furore here. You see I had your book in my hand at the bookshop but was worried that it might be ‘more cupcake than porter cake’ in it’s appeal.Just kidding by that last remark but I prefer reading say Paul Bowles to Cecila Ahern for example, while the books of Ann Tyler I feel can appeal to either sex. At any rate please keep up the writing as well as Twitter because I also enjoy your blog musings.

  • A lovely Blog on how effective and positive twitter can be, I am relatively new to twitter so still finding my way around, and can only hope that my journey on twitter will be as pleasant and enjoyable as your experience.

  • Maria, I think the negativity around Twitter is obviously because of the trolls, but you’ll get that anywhere on the internet. I’ve found people who don’t KNOW Twitter seems to be negative about it and don’t know all the benefits of it (your examples)! It’s a case of don’t knock it till you try it :-))

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