Farewell Twitter. Hello sanity and crossbows

Share
Related Topics

I think it was Ash Atalla, producer of The Office, who said that there was no quicker way to a nervous breakdown than to have a comedy show on television in the age of Twitter. The first show of the new series of Fool Britannia went out last night and the one thing I didn't do was follow the live commentary online. That way only madness lies.

It's the same when reading comments under newspaper articles online. The bile that people disgorge is so alarming that you end up wandering the streets staring at strangers wondering whether, beneath their seemingly normal appearance, lurks the anger that is prevalent online?

The best thing to do, as Jonathan Ross once advised me, is to not read anything. To my mind however, that results in you listening only to sycophants and starting to live in some unreal bubble where everything is wonderful.

Not that the online ranting is necessarily scientific. I find that, should I start to get too annoyed, I simply think of the person that I admire the most, Google them, and read a little of the hideous abuse they get. It seems that, if nothing else, trolls are equal opportunity arseholes.

So my solution is to go into electronic purdah. It's rather blissful actually, sort of like an electronic colonic. It feels weird for a couple of days but then you start to kick the habit and begin to remember what you did before you messaged thousands of strangers about your daily ablutions.

So last night, I was at home in the Cotswolds with about 20 friends for a night of beer, my award-winning chili verde, with me sitting at the back of the room nervously as friends laughed politely while secretly wondering why I still didn't have a proper job? Meanwhile my kids were starting to look nervous. Until this year they had been at the same school since they were tiny and everyone there had got used to me doing weird things like turning up to school in a tank or diving off high boards in leotards on telly.

Now, however, they are at a new school and at the ages where they want to fit in and keep under the radar. I cannot really imagine the damage I am doing to their cred as they become "hey, isn't your dad the guy who dresses as a kebab?". Ah well, I have promised to cover all their future therapy bills.

And for now, we are going to deal with it through the use of the all-encompassing parental get-out clause – "I'm sure it's character-building." For the foreseeable future I shall not be dipping into the daily doings of the eclectic collection of people I follow on Twitter. I will not know where Al Murray is performing that evening. I shall not be up to date with David Schneider's topical bon mots.

I shall miss Caitlin Moran's wit, Sarah Palin's increasingly random musings, my friend Rob's progress on the Trans-Siberian Express and Toby Young's one-man war on socialism. I'm going to take up a new hobby to distract me. I'm torn between a crossbow and Ultimate Fighting. Stacey thinks I should get into gardening but I've just looked at the comments on Gardeners' Question Time … that is an angry bunch.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing & Sales Manager

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Recruitment Genius: Doctors - Dubai - High "Tax Free" Earnings

£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer

£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: the old Palace of Westminster; Batman vs Superman; and more Greenery

John Rentoul
British Prime Minister Tony Blair (L) pictured shaking hands with Libyan leader Colonel Moamer Kadhafi on 25 March 2004.  

There's nothing wrong with Labour’s modernisers except how outdated they look

Mark Steel
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee