I was out for coffee the other day with a non-tweeting friend. “So what is Twitter actually like?” she asked.
I ummed and ahhed, and explained it all very badly, mumbling some fairly dry stuff about retweets and hashtags and follows. She didn’t look convinced. So I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and here’s what I’ve come up with.
Joining Twitter is like suddenly discovering an extra room in your house. You’re just walking from your kitchen to your living room one evening and you notice a door that you’ve never opened before. You decide to turn the handle and have a look.
You open the door, step into the room, and it’s as though you’ve just arrived at a really busy party. In one corner of the room are a group of people you’ve known for years. “Hurray!” they say. “Here’s DorkyMum! We’ve been wondering where you were.” You start to walk over to them, and notice they’ve already bought you a pint of your favourite beer. Brilliant. You love this room already.
But then something catches your eye. Look! It’s the woman who wrote that book you loved when you were a kid! Wow. You wonder what she’s doing here. You raise your hand, a bit shy and nervous, and to your relief she smiles and gives you a big cheery wave in response.
You’re about to wander over and speak to her, but as you turn, you get stopped in your tracks by another group of people. You don’t know any of their names, although a couple of them look vaguely familiar. “Hey!” one of them says. “We read on your blog that you’re a big fan of obscure Scottish folk music. Come over here and listen to this.”
So over you go, and you stand in the corner for a few minutes, swaying away and tapping your foot to a brilliant track that you’ve not heard before. The group of people are all really friendly; you discover that you have some other interests in common too. One of them likes photography, and another has a son the same age as you. You feel pretty comfortable, and think you could probably just hang out in this corner of the room for a while.
But wait! There’s your MP! He’s a crabby old Tory bastard, and you’re not too sure what he’s doing at this party, but you really want to speak to him about a campaign you’re involved with so you tear yourself away from the music and chase him across the room for a chat.
Eventually the room starts to grow a little quieter, and you decide that you’ve had enough for one night; that you should probably get some sleep. So you wave goodbye to everyone and head off to bed, closing the door to the room carefully behind you.
The next morning when you wake up, you fully expect the room to be gone. But guess what? It’s still there. In fact, it’s there every morning from now on.
Some days, you get up and you’ve not had enough sleep, so you’re grumpy and bleary eyed. You poke your head into the room, scowling, and you snarl at the assembled company. A few of them snarl back, because they’ve had a bad night too. But then one person offers to make you a coffee, and someone else holds up a picture of a baby otter, which forces you to crack your face into a smile.
Some days you wake up, and you’ve already got too much noise in your head, and you’ve got lots of jobs to do, so you don’t go near the room at all. The door stays firmly shut.
Other days you get up, head for breakfast in your kitchen, turn on the radio, and catch the last bar of an old song you really like. Damn, what was that song called? You can’t even remember who sang it. So you poke your head into the extra room, and shout out “Hey! Does anyone know what that song was that was just playing on the radio?”
“Sure!” calls someone standing over on the left. “It was The Dorky Song, by the Dorkys.”
Someone standing over on the right shouts out “I’ve always liked the Dorkys!”
Then at the back of the room an old crackled voice pipes up, “Ahh, thank you for all the love guys. I was the drummer with the Dorkys!”
Everyone in the room cheers.
Occasionally, you’ll be standing in the room chatting, and you’ll hear raised voices and then a scuffle will break out in a far corner. Someone has had one-too-many glasses of wine and said something offensive. “Idiot,” you can hear people muttering under their breaths, as the offender is hustled out of a side door until he calms down.
Sometimes you’re in there, and it’s as though everyone is high. There’s big news on the way, and the vibe is crazy. There’s a real buzz in the air. You’re really supposed to be somewhere else, but you can’t tear yourself away.
If you never find this room in your house – the extra room – it’s okay. You really like your house anyway. It’s comfy, and cosy, and full of lovely things. You don’t ever feel like you’re missing out on something, because you don’t know otherwise.
But if – when – you do find it, a whole new world of opportunities and possibilities and connections opens up. It’s crazy. But it’s kinda fun.
That’s what Twitter is like.
Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
Like I always say, the best posts are written whilst drunk (or on Twitter)! Utterly brilliant! You forgot to mention though, that you might end up hiding in this room and avoiding your children for, erm, most of your life! 😉
Oh yeah, forgot about that bit! True! Xx
Thanks Nickie, and thanks for sharing too x
Might have to visit this room x
Give it a shot! Xx
I love this!! So so true. And I’d add- some days you wake up and want to die. You slouch in to the room full of regrets, dark thoughts and with tears streaming down your face. The depression truly grabbing you, but one by one the people in the room prise away it’s fingers by making you laugh, reminding you of what’s good and supporting and carrying you through the bad times. I love my twitter family.
Bloody great post. X
Love you Lexy, brilliant
Wow, what a powerful comment. And completely true – thanks so much for sharing xx
This is genius. Shared on twitter. Really rang true with me.
Thanks so much, appreciate it! X
This is brilliant! I am going to share this…
Share on Twitter I hope 😉 xx
Brilliant, no wonder your blog is up in the best of the best for MADS with posts like this. Well done to you x
What a lovely thing to say, thank you 🙂 xx
That’s a bloody awesome explanation and bang-on as well! You should re-write Twitter’s FAQ for them. 😀
Haha! Thank you!
…now that’s the first time twitter has sounded inviting to me…. I wonder…
Go for it, sneak a wee peek in the room!!
Aces! And actually I think I’ve learned some Twitter stuff I didn’t know before… thanking you! Oh and bottom’s up to writing under the influence! x
Absolutely 😉 xx
Yes. That’s exactly what it’s like. Bravo for putting it into words!
Thanks so much!
Brilliant post!!! So descriptive I just love it!!!
Ta muchly! Xc
Love love LOVE this post! That’s EXACTLY what Twitter’s like. Beautifully explained.
You’re very kind, thank you! Xx
Brilliant, just brilliant!
Thanks lovely xx
Yep, I once described it as like a party too, but without all your lovely pen pictures 🙂
Ooh, did you do a post? Would live to read x
Spot on! Totally spot on! That needs an animated video to accompany it for sure!
Think you just volunteered yourself 😉
I would do one too!
Don’t you have better things to be doing?!
Awesome description! Everytime I go on twitter now I will think of opening the door to the party room, for a peek, to waste some time or a full blown evening’s entertainment 🙂
Thank you so much! See you at the party! Xx
That’s exactly what Twitter is!! I love it since I moved away from using it for celebrity gossip and found real people. I think I’ve been addicted properly for about a year!
I have fairly regular clear outs of dull celebs – real people much more interesting usually! Xx
Summed up beautifully! X
Thanks so much, means a lot coming from such a blog legend 😉 x
Utterly brilliant – I love it! I was about to share it on facebook with fb friends – but you know what – I don’t really want most of them on twitter so I’ll have to share on twitter instead!
Ha! Thanks so much! Xx
Completely amazing post which is spot on the money!
Wow, thank you! Xx
Now if my husband had explained it like this, perhaps it wouldn’t have taken him over a year to convince me to join Twitter. 🙂
Ha! Thanks for reading! Sent it to any friends you want to join 😉
Just brilliant. Exactly like this 😉 x
Thanks lovely! Xx
I love this blog! The other great thing about twitter is your family is not here. So you can actually have your opinion or a bit of fun without criticism or arguement!
*cough* no comment!
Thanks for kind words x
Haha that is exactly what Twitter is like! We used to use a hashtag #yeoldetwitterpub but maybe we need to start using #dorkyroom ?!
I love #yeoldetwitterpub! Brilliant! Thanks for reading and commenting x
You are on it like a car bonnet!
Ooh, is that a good thing?!
Pingback: Links we Love and I Heart My Snap.
Pingback: Best of the UK Parent Blogs: Ten at Ten (58) | Tots 100
Brilliant post. In fact the best one I’ve read this week. Waves on twitter x
*waves back* thanks so much xx
This is one of the best blog posts I have ever read! On anyone’s blog! xxx
Yikes! Thank you so much for your VERY kind words! Xx
Love it! Brilliant explanation!
Loved this explanation – and just like a party – it’s sometimes hard to leave -even when you know you’ve had enough – there’s still one more thing you need to check or say. Glad I’ve found your blog.
Thanks so much for the kind words, lovely to have you here 🙂 x
Pingback: Friday Favourites: 18th May 2012 | Mummy Notes
You my dear are genius!
Hee! Thanks! Xx
Great post! Really good description of what twitter is actually like.
(I came here via the Tots 100 Ten at Ten)
Pingback: Digital Photos Guide » The Scienceblogging Weekly (May 18, 2012)
Pingback: The Weekly Flypaper » Biodiversity in Focus Blog
Oh I don’t know how you manage not to go near the room- is that when your battery dies on your mobile or there’s no 3g at your friend’s house?
Thanks so much! Xx
I have that dream! So often – it’s soooo disappointing when i wake up and there isn’t a ballroom through the cupboard under the stairs.
Thank you! Xx
That’s absolutely brilliant, and so true. I had a little shiver down my spine when I read it!
Ahh, thank you do much, how lovely!
Pingback: Annie chooses: ‘Twitter is like…’ by DorkyMum : Love All Blogs
Pingback: You know you spend too much time on Twitter when… | dorkymum
How brilliant! I tried to explain it to someone last night and it wasn’t nearly as clever or succinct as that 🙂 Someone once joked that its easier to tell people you’ve joined a cult than to explain twitter, but i like this idea 🙂
Thank you! Someone needs to do an equivalent for Facebook…
Yeah – although I always think of that ‘Twitter made me love people i’d never met, and facebook makes me dislike the friends i’ve already got’ joke 🙂
Haha, yeah, I can definitely relate to that!
You are utterly brilliant – what a great explanation…might have to send this post to my husband who hasn’t a clue what blogging or Twitter are – and usually has to pour himself a drink at the mere mention of either, or turn on the TV, or look busy doing something else….
I tried to explain both blogging and Twitter to him once; I gave up after about the second sentence when I saw THAT look in his eyes. This however, might just work! Thanks, Dorky.
P.S. Found the post through Love All Blogs – another great site.
Are you really sure you want him on Twitter though?! Make sure you only have people at the party if you really want them there!
Thanks for the lovely kind words, really appreciate it xx
Brilliant! I was trying to explain Twitter last night to someone, wish I’d seen this. Perfect explanation 🙂
Thanks so much, really appreciate it! Xx
Pingback: Sunshine, snaps and songs – Scotland in the week the Yes campaign launched – Scottish Roundup
I’ve just found this room and can’t seem to shut the door again…love this!
Pingback: Brit Mums Live 2012 - In Pictures | A Journey Through Motherhood
What a wonderful analogy. 🙂
Pingback: BritMums Live: Mixed Feelings | dorkymum
Reblogged this on Beauty From Pain Blog and commented:
Excellent blog post from Dorkymum on what twitter is like 🙂
excellent and the comment about drunk twitters also seems very true and sometimes you do get a judgemental comment and try and incite abuse and hatred but i guess thats like life-brilliant post
Pingback: Search terms: a response | dorkymum
Pingback: Twitter, How I Love Thee | A Journey Through Motherhood
I absolutely loved this post. Very well written, engaging and so flipping true.
Thank you so much!
Pingback: Top UK Parent Blogger Posts 2012 | Tots 100
Pingback: Just For Mum | Mayfair Mum
Pingback: Every time I think of a topic to write about, someone else has done it at exactly the same time... - Child-Led Chaos
Explains it so well. 🙂 xxx
On it like sonic! Amazing way to explain twitter
Pingback: Twitter | Child-Led ChaosChild-Led Chaos
OMG this is just genius. The best way to describe Twitter I have EVER read. xx
Pingback: Twitter twitter twitter: What is all the fuss about? | Occupational Therapy & Professional Development
Pingback: Twitter | Blog A Word
I had a good analogy but just binned it after reading yours. Much better !
Pingback: What is all the #fuss about? | Nicholas and White
Pingback: Twitter | HERMELNESS SPEAKS
It could just as easily be Facebook, Myspace or any of the other social network sites
Very interesting way of describing it but so true!!
Couldn’t have said it better. I often think of it as a virtual cosy pub which in my phone. Haha
This is probably the best, most “visual” description of Twitter that I have ever seen. Well done!
Ha, very cool! I had to join Twitter as a part of a high school class. I hated it and never used it at first and now I’m on it more than Facebook. I don’t like Facebook very much….
this is artistic in the visuals from the description! love it when people can write like that! check out my blog at http://thepeopleyouwillknow.wordpress.com
Love your analogy here. Congrats on being Freshly pressed!
Love this blog… Yes twitter is just like that!
Good job !! check my blog 🙂
Brilliant and witty!
good analogy. love it ❤
Reblogged this on jpratt27.
#LovedThis Great analogies… All.Of.Them #Awesomeness
Reblogged this on HoHo's Hopservatory.
Love you explanation, it’s really great good job
Reblogged this on My blog.
Wow. Feel like I’m missing something in the use of my twitter account 😳
Now I get it!
This is brilliant!
Reblogged this on mateideyr.
Reblogged this on Serenity Heartsease Ataraxis.
This is the best description of Twitter. EVER. So glad you were Freshly Pressed and that I found you!
What a brilliant way of describing it!
I really enjoyed your post and I like those short lived moments in the room, the good ones only 🙂
I could not have said it better myself!
Reblogged this on chronicwright's Blog and commented:
Well said. I’ve poked my head in but haven’t really felt intrigued enough to stay for a chat. Interesting perspective though!
Ohuho! I don’t think I know twitter as this!
Cool cuz I have one!
Absolutely brilliant way to describe twitter! Enjoyed every word;)
That’s great, you sum Twitter up perfectly.
That is actually a good explanation. I could not have done that! Haha
Reblogged this on teaafortwo.
This is perfect! Great post 🙂
Reblogged this on O'lee Branch and commented:
Yep! That’s Twitter alright 🙂
Reblogged this on lynnettebriones.
Perfect! This is by far the best way I have ever heard twitter discribed – & I’ve inquired with numerous people. I think… I finally get it.
This is a fabulous description!
Haha what a lovely post! I sometimes look for the right words to describe twitter as well 🙂 Nicely said!
I’ve been asked this question several times. I usually don’t get passed the stuttering and uhmms and whatever other sounds come out of my mouth lol. Eventually I get out a “you just have to do it” which usually doesn’t move the person to drop everything that second to make a twitter account. Great account of what twitter is! I’ll just have to refer the next person who asks me this near impossible question (for myself) to your post!
Lovely! And Amazed! Thanks for sharing! 🙂
It’s also a fun place to go when there is a big event like the Oscars and you want to see everyone’s reactions to everything. Oh and also if you are a comedian you can practice your one liners.
You summed it up beautifully! Congrats on being “Freshly Pressed”. 🙂
Reblogged this on Women of wisdom A personal journey.
Couldn’t have said it better
Reblogged this on Benjamz's Blog.
Well written. I find twitter a bit boring at times coz most of my friends are on facebook. They dont seem to care about twitter.
That… describes it really well. I’m trying to think of a better analogy…
Nope… Nope… Nope…
Yea—Noooope. False alarm.
It’s confirmed: This is the best way to describe Twitter.
Reblogged this on Sachaa's Daily Soaps.
Reblogged this on uncomplicated and commented:
Very beautifully explained indeed! Well written!!
I’ll like to add something else too though.
The best thing about Twitter is that it isn’t about photos and places like Facebook. It is more about sharing anything and everything.
For me I found Twitter liberating. I could write anything.
So using your analogy if I go to that unopened room in my home I could shout out anything to anyone.
And guess what I don’t know anyone in my Twitter account.
Wouldn’t mind following you for that matter
Reblogged this on Life Smiles Tears And We !.
Haha, this is a brilliant way to describe the chaos and interesting-ness of the Twitbird.
That is extremely well put. I quite liked the way you casually, yet meticulously explained the different possibilities Twitter has on offer. Quite brilliant!
I’ve tried (and failed) to explain Twitter so many times. This will become my go-to page! Beautifully put.
And that’s why I dropped my Twitter account, trying to clear the clutter in my house. I can’t even say it was fun while it lasted… WordPress on the other hand, is much more meaningful and worthy of my time.
Haha I really enjoyed reading this ^^
Such a fun way to describe Twitterland! And very well written! Cheers!
totally agree! twitter is definitely like a party in your house… exactly how I would describe it!
Pingback: Worst. Pet Shop. Ever. | The Bloggess
Reblogged this on Soham's Blog.
Yes….YES…that is twitter. I love this post.
Great post! I love it. I sometimes can never leave that extra room!
Awesome writing, brilliant analogy!
Reblogged this on Just a thought. and commented:
Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Alright. That tips it. Joining.
Reblogged this on Bridgemaker Ltd. and commented:
What an apt description! Nicely done.
Lovely Explanation! You relate a lot with people, you should consider using you’re knowledge of twitter to start a Social Media Business! Great post 🙂
I love it when words can transport me to a place. I was right in that room with you, I was even with you on that day you were simply too busy to step inside, just knowing if you did you wouldn’t be able to get everything accomplished that needed to be done. What a great read! I’ve had my Twitter account for years but I’ve only peaked my head in on a couple occasions, I think i just may have to drop in and mingle awhile. Thank you. =)
What a great analogy! Excellent writing 👍
Reblogged this on angelikacallado.
wwow…. would never have thought of it this way! very creative
This is great. Part of me ishes I had never opened the door. The other half can’t stop re-opening it.
That is extremely well put. I quite liked the way you casually yet meticulously explained the different possibilities Twitter has on offer. Quite brilliant!
Reblogged this on sealingwaxandstring and commented:
Love this – so very very true!
Great explanation, never think of something like this… It’s just always the hashtags.
This is just what Twitter is like! Let Meryl Streep know, so she can get in on the fun after the Oscar parties die down.
As a brand new Tweeter of just 2 days… this was great!
exactly. well said!
Well done! I’ve often felt that either my OCD was too powerful or just not strong enough to “hang” at Twitter. Now I know I’m not the only one! Cheers!
***Absolutely.*** Perfect explanation. I love it! Haha. My twitter: https://twitter.com/toopubliceesh
Tweet. Tweet. (Sound.)
Great explanation, that covers twitter quite a bit. As a new twitter user I’m still getting used to the noise in that other room.
Reblogged this on A Sweet Carol.
Twitter always better……….
Reblogged this on nikolagaurana and commented:
When you actually read between the lines, this is why I deactivated my account on twitter.
Reblogged this on mrsmosqueda's Blog.
This is brilliant! I loved that you didn’t use the word “tweeterless” and used “non-tweeting friend” 😀
I actually have never really used twitter, but your post made me think of other internet groups over the decades and made me smile. I really enjoyed reading!
Haha I like this. I’m not on Twitter so I don’t really get all the fuss, but now I guess I can see why some people would love it…
You have inspired me to try to use Twitter properly!
I haven’t caught the twitter bug yet… I’ve tried, can’t see the point…I think I might be going about it the wrong way?
Reblogged this on To be or not to be.
Oh this just made snort my tea I was laughing so much! Thank you! So many reasons why I refuse to tweet!
Reblogged this on Jeetendra Gund.
I’ve just started using twitter and now you’ve got me wanting to more. Thanks!
Reblogged this on and commented:
Much better than the other description I heard, which was having a conversation with yourself…haha
Reblogged this on Family, feminism and frustrations and commented:
This is absolutely the best description of Twitter I’ve ever heard. Awesome! ^HC
Reblogged this on The MadHatter's Corner and commented:
This says it all! Fantastic!
Oh wow. I’ve kind of found this room, but am still having trouble going into it, and find, as I’m a bit awkward at social situations. I’ll get there, or maybe not. A brilliant explanation.
Everyone on Twitter had to “entet the room ” for the first time! Stay with it and you will find lots of like-minded interesting people on there! If you do take the plunge send me your username and I will help get the ball rolling in the right direction! Stay safe… 🙂
I’m in there, just don’t visit very often, or I have bursts where I’m all over and then nothing for ages. Find me at @MrsJUniverse (picture of a sunset)
Will do! 🙂
Found you! I have 3 sons too lol;-)
Aren’t they fun?
For sure yes tho mine are all grown up now lol
mine, nearly. Youngest just turned 10 then there’s 15 and 17.
Mine are 37, 35 & 26!
Lordy, your eldest is nearly as old as me!
Haha! You’re making me feel old now lol;-)
Nicely put. My personal view of twitter (and almost all social media) can be summed up in one word: cacophony. I left the party for peace and quiet a long time ago. Oh, well, to each their own. Again, very nice analogy here. Well done!
Wow!!! What a perfect explanation of what Twitter is. Awesome
I only started using Twitter recently and its great, company on the bus, funny status updates, the truth, instant thoughts, excitement, and its great!
Reblogged this on datingdilemma1.
Agree! To the highest level….
Reblogged this on Le Fleur Belle.
Funny and true.
Reblogged this on nswnotes.
Reblogged this on Everymodelmag Blog.
You really explained it in a way no one else could have. Fabulous!
Reblogged this on em1braga.
tweet tweet 🙂
Reblogged this on ICT Portfolio.
Reblogged this on simonettik13.
Reblogged this on SFlookingforsunshine.
This is brilliant!
Reblogged this on used2bee and commented:
For anyone who gets asked..’what is twitter like?’, this is what you can say
Reblogged this on lucia.
Reblogged this on Life As Me and commented:
Need to explain what twitter is like to someone?
Reblogged this on Stardust: Shining among the stars. and commented:
I never thought one could capture in words why I’d choose Twitter over Facebook any day. But as they say, there’s something new to learn everyday.
Pingback: Twitter is like…
Brilliant! Having just joined twitter yesterday, my friend Ellen sent me a link to your post. Good to know it’s okay to close the door again 🙂 marie
Yep sounds about right – I need to learn how to not open the door lol
There’s also that boring crowd in the corner of the party that everyone wishes would leave…