Saturday, 2 October 2010

Misadventures in Cyberspace

About a year ago, I started tweeting as my favourite character from my favourite TV show. If you've ever met me or read any of my blog, you'll need no further explanation; if you haven't, well, then, good, we can retain some mystery.

Many of the other characters had been around in the past, but they were all dormant, so much to my chagrin I wasn't able to interact with them. Consequently, aside from the odd political comment or random observation there wasn't much I could do with the account. Then, oh happy day! I did a search one day and found that my man was on twitter too. There'd previously been several incarnations of him, but they'd all stopped tweeting a year or so back.

And this guy was, is, good. He's totally in character, very witty, well-informed about all the things that his character knows about.

We started bantering.

We were good together.

At least, I thought so. Judging by both our follower counts and various re-tweets, other people thought so too. It lasted about five months. I was perhaps ever so slighlty addicted, but it was a lot of fun; it was summer and work was scarce.

Then one day, from out of nowhere, he blocked me.

After much protest from me, and some intervention from other characters - who by now had jumped on board after seeing how much fun we were having - he unblocked me but said he wanted to uncouple the accounts.

Now, if you've ever watched the TV programme I'm talking about, you'll know that breaking these two up would possibly cause the universe to implode. So while that might have been the obvious solution, it wasn't an option here - particularly as we had been the cyber-picture of romantic almost-bliss.

All the characters that we were interacting with follow the two of us together, tweet about the two of us, stick up for this version of me when another one asserts herself. Our cyber-lives are intertwined ,but he wants me to pretend he doesn't exist. It's like dating a co-worker then breeaking up with them and seeing them every day and having to remove their email address before clicking reply-all.

It is, in fact, a lot like breaking up with someone. It's been a month and I'm still sad and cross, in particular because he never explained to me what the problem was. In particular, too, because this show, and especially these characters, always made me smile, and now that has soured. They inspired me to write, too, and it's probably not a coincidence that my novel has been taking up less and less of my thinking time lately.

I could slink away quietly. Probably, I should do that. But I have 630ish followers, and my pride, not to mention the impulse of the only child: "But I was here first!" And, also, we had built a universe I kind of fell in love with, and I'd be sad to leave that behind.

That said, that universe has kind of died already, and my account has become increasigly insipid, because I can't initiate any talk about domestic life, or about him and his work, which he might then contradict, intentionally or not. Everything has become complicated. It's almost no fun at all. Everytime I open twitter I feel sad.

He, of course, continues to soar in popularity. I can only watch miserably from the sidelines and wonder what I did wrong. And then kick myself for caring.

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