Things can be misconstrued on social media. I mean, we know that right? But it is weird and more than a little anxiety-provoking when someone misunderstands you. A Twitter friend spoke about being nervous about getting vaccinated, I made a joke about 5G and hearing Bill Gates’s voice, he was horrified and immediately assured me that he wasn’t an anti-vaxxer, I was horrified that he thought I was suggesting he was an anti-v because that wasn’t what I was getting at AT ALL.
I was just telling a dumb joke that we repeat whenever anyone in our family gets vaccinated. Of course, by the time we had finished explaining ourselves to each other, the joke was flatter than a stale piece of roti.
Another example: I made a joke about getting pronouns wrong and my woke AF kids burning a Harry Potter book in protest. Some stranger on Twitter who clearly hadn’t taken the time to think about what I was saying then accused me of being transphobic. Would a transphobic person be trying to get the pronouns right? Nope. Which is not to say I always succeed, sometimes I slip up – especially when referring to a child whom I have known since they were three when they used to be she.
But now they are they and they have a new name but sometimes I get it wrong and refer to them by their dead name. Not because I am a TERF – and I have issues with the misogyny of that term – but because I am old and have menopausal/covid porridge brain.
Try explaining all that on Twitter. No thanks. Block and move on.
I do understand a little bit about the name thing. I come from a very strict Catholic family and I first lived in sin with my then boyfriend for five years which was not greeted with cries of delight. For example, we were not received for lunch at my v religious aunt’s house because of our sinfulness. Then when we got married I decided to keep my own name. Come on, I have a very cool name, why wouldn’t I keep it, right?
The family did not love my decision, and as this was close to thirty years ago, I had to apply and motivate to the department of home affairs to keep my own name. But obviously there were those who would call me Mrs. Vos which got RIGHT up my nose. Until I got a bit older and mellowed and realized that they were not trying to get at me, they just assumed I had taken my husband’s name. It’s all about INTENTION. Was someone intending to get at me? Probably not, so let that shit go.
The name thing causes other issues:
- The daughter: everyone at school thinks you and dad are divorced, Mom
- Me: So?
- The daughter: so, you’re not.
- Me: then educate them.
I gave the kids my name too which made the priest that baptized them snigger because of the length of their names. My daughter uses a double barrel surname, the son only uses his dad’s surname. And it’s cool. Everyone must do what suits them.
Another time I restrained myself concerns a post on FB: a friend mentioned something about a white guy looting who had even bought his Woolies’ bags and everything.
- My first thought: I love a looter who cares about recycling
- Second thought: Ah…Rainbow Nation Looting. Madiba would be so proud.
Did I write any of that in the comments? Of course not! I knew my friend would be amused, but I couldn’t be sure about any of her friends, and I didn’t want to bring that kind of shit to her timeline.
I did fantasize rather wistfully about being rich enough to have someone to handle all my social media accounts so I never have to dip into that particular cesspool again. But the clock cannot be unticked. (Sorry, Edward.) Social media is here to stay, we are just going to have to learn to navigate it – and also focus on the good parts.
I have met some amazing writers I would never have had a chance to engage with if I hadn’t been on Twitter. (I would’ve also written four more books if I hadn’t wasted time on Twitter but that’s a story for another day.)
Plus, I am having new and exciting experiences on the socials. Yes, I have started posting on tiktok, tik tok, TikTok, whatever the hell it’s called. No, I do not know WTF it’s all about, but I’m there, trying to learn. I went on it just after the attempted coup and I really enjoyed all the uplifting posts of people cleaning up, until I had heard the National Anthem for about the 50th time, then I started getting a bit tired of the upliftingness of it all and just wanted to see some kingpins getting arrested.
Optional soundtrack: Jailhouse Rock.
7500 on Amazon Prime. No, I have not subscribed, I refuse. Because we are already paying a small fortune to DSTV and a smallanyana amount for Netflix. But we did take it for a month. This movie stars Joseph Gordon Levitt whom I lurrrrrve and is about the hijacking of a plane in Germany.
It’s very simple, the action is centered in the cockpit of the plane and is really a two-hander between Joseph and Austrian actor, Omid Memar. I loved the gritty, doccie feel of the film and I thought the tension was excellent. Very un-American-blockbuster feel.
Read a so-so thriller called The Hive by Gregg Olsen. I usually love his thrillers but I found my suspension of disbelief doing a bit of a backbend if not quite breaking over the origins of the cult leader’s backstory. The whole swarm of bees-thing? Nah, fam, didn’t buy it.
BUT I did read a fantastic memoir called I am a Girl from Africa by Elizabeth Nyamayaro. Gave me We Need New Names vibes. I found it charming and heart-wrenching and a real page-turner. I read it over two evenings and I immediately wanted to make a movie out of it – always a good sign. Thank you to Helen Holyoake and Exclusive Books for my copy. Elizabeth’s story is so inspiring, I feel like this book is a must-read for Women’s Month and the cover is so gorgeous, it makes a fantastic Women’s Day Gift. Go forth and buy!
That’s it for this week. I have nothing uplifting to say to you, except go and eat cake. Happy reading! xxx