that often mean the most.
On the right hand side of this blog you will find my "Twitter" updates - or you will find my social Twitter updates. (I have another Twitter account for work related activities.)
Twitter is a social network site of sorts. Once you have an account you can send short messages to other people. If they "follow" you it is also possible to send them a "direct" message - meaning other people cannot read it.
I know any number of people who think Twitter is a waste of time and that discussing such things as what you are eating, whether you are going to bed or what you have been reading that day is somehow ridiculous. I disagree. For some people Twitter is social contact. It is a chance to relax and wind down. If you can rule Twitter rather than have Twitter rule you then it can be a support and a lot of fun.
Over the past week I have had to answer more than a thousand work related e-mails. I have not had time to socialise outside my home. I did not get to a meeting of my knitting group on Saturday afternoon. I have done a crash course in things "Japanese" - something I never expected to have to do - and waited frantically to hear from Japanese who were students of mine in the past and who have kept up at least intermittent contact. By some miracle every single one of them is safe although some of have lost close family. I have eaten far too much in an effort to stay awake.
I have also been getting up very early - by which time it is late at night in what I refer to as "Upover" - the UK side of the northern hemisphere - and that is where Twitter comes in.
If I log into my social Twitter account at that time I can, in between writing a blog post and answering the most urgent e-mail requests, have a little fun. I can also get and give a little support to people I know and like. While it is now possible to send a "tweet" longer than 140 characters I also try to keep my own within those limits. How can I say something in a minimum amount of space?
I can tease a doctor about her mugs of tea, a writer about her boots, support an "Authors for Japan" fundraiser, sympathise with someone who is feeling unwell, see pictures of the full moon taken through a telescope and play the fool pretending to be a cat. I get references to blog posts I might not otherwise read but now enjoy in a spare moment.
It is just a little bit fun. We all need a little bit of fun sometimes. I have been getting some thanks to my Twitter friends. Thankyou Twitter.