What’s the etiquette when you see your Twitter friends?
The problem with Twitter is you make a lot of friends. You wake up early and exchange greetings with total strangers who just happen to be up at stupid o’clock as well as you; you find out what their plans are for the day; you make friends with their friends; and you exchange a bit of playful banter with everyone. Come the evening, unless you have the resolve of superglue, they see you at your worst as you “drink and Tweet” – which is always as much of a mistake as drinking and dialling.
You feel that you really know your Twitter friends. And, perhaps in some way, you do know them better than your real friends because people are, I think, more revealing, flirtatious and friendly in 140 online characters than they are in the cruel light of day with a headache and a screaming toddler attached to their leg.
So, many of my Twitter friends, I know, live in the same area as me. I think I’ve spotted two of them in the local supermarket. There’s also a lady I keep seeing around town who I’m convinced is one of my Twitter friends, and I’m even sure I saw @Geordiebird_DXB of Dubai 92 (another Twitter friend) at Dubai Airport last August, but what’s the Twitiquette in situations like those?
Can you bound up to a total stranger in real life and say: “Hello! Are you @Dollywoodhills? Does the name “@isparklefairy” mean anything to you? Oh my god, you must be @mita56! Hello @DubaiNameShame – lovely to meet you at last!”?
What if you speak to them and realise, instantly, that you’d never, not in a million years, despite adoring their Tweets, get on in real life? That you’ve been being slightly too flirty with someone you really shouldn’t have been?
And what if you’ve got the wrong person?
Is it better simply to nod to yourself, walk quietly by and then ask them later on Twitter, “Was that you I saw valeting the bright red drop-top Bentley at the Burj Al Arab today?”
Myself, I think that’s the best policy. And, if you ever see a skinny girl in high heels with her legs hanging out of a champagne glass, you’d best walk straight past and send me a DM later.