The Bucket List: things to do before you die
Aimee Boggins | 27 February 2017

So I'm assuming we all know what Twitter actually is and, even though I wanted to avoid doing a cheesy 'in case you've been living in the stone ages, here's how it works' section, I reckon it's an unfortunate but inevitable first stop on the road to Twitter certification. Twitter itself is a kind of mini-blogging website -- to be honest, it's pretty much just Facebook but without all the faffing about.


It's simple: you just sign right in, pick one reasonably decent photograph of yourself, and start proudly announcing how you're finishing your tomato and mozzarella panini - it was delicious #yum.


So, what's so great about Twitter? Why do you need to get it before you die? Why am I encouraging you to socialise entirely on the internet rather than, say, doing it in real life instead? Easy: it's what everyone else is doing. Come on guys, you've got to jump on the bandwagon now or it will just ride off. And then what will you do?


Having Twitter is like being in a really low maintenance relationship. With Facebook, you have to upload albums; tag people in the albums; update your status; delete old, random statuses that no longer make any sense; untag yourself in embarrassing photographs. The list is endless! Not to mention changing your relationship status from 'in a relationship' to 'single', because pity-likes and awkward semi-legible condolences from people you don't even know are really what you need after a tough break-up.


Unlike Facebook, Twitter is all about trust and freedom. Twitter isn't going to breathe down your neck like a possessive boyfriend and demand to know 'what's on your mind' every waking -- and sleeping -- hour. Twitter wants to know what you're up to, but isn't going to alert you with big red boxes every time someone you don't like sends you a 'SimCity Social' request and demands that you 'chat from your desktop' and 'get timeline' -- like you don't have other things to do with your virtual life.


Twitter just wants to know how you're doing (but more in a Joey from 'Friends' way than a creepy Facebook way). In fact, Twitter knows it doesn't need to blind you with updates to earn your love and commitment. Twitter trusts you. With Twitter, you can have a balanced, happy and healthy relationship.


And, of course, for the crazed Facebook-addicts that (I assume) still live amongst us, Twitter should not seem too daunting. You can have Twitter too, creating a post on Twitter is just like updating your Facebook status; you get to use cool, meaningless jargon like 'hashtag' and 'tweet' and, best of all, if you really want to, you can still blitz your unwitting followers with copious amounts of wonky photographs of you staring into your bathroom mirror. Genius.


So, in a word, Twitter is simple. And, if I could have another word, Twitter is fabulous. But most importantly, it's nice and user-friendly -- like Internet Explorer but less laggy and pathetic.


Trust me, dear reader, you will never regret your time with Twitter. You cannot deny yourself the experience of being able to alert the world that you have just discovered a love for country music you never thought possible. And, one day, when you're old and technologically-inept, you will look back fondly on your time with that sleek, cerulean site (like you would an old and warmly remembered ex-boyfriend or girlfriend) and think 'I wonder what they're up to now?'


At the same time, somewhere on the other side of the planet, someone will Google 'Twitter' and there your post will be. You've got an English essay to do but you're going to watch Celebrity Juice and tweet about it instead? #YOLO!

James Routledge 2016