Too much information

Turns out I’m an information lightweight.

I joined twitter, thinking, well, novel’s finished, time to seek out My People and commune with them in the great twitterverse.

There are a lot of My People out there, a lot. Perhaps you, gentle reader, are one of them. People who love Jane Austen, people who write JA fan fiction, people who are obsessed with Pride and Prejudice (both the 2005 and the 1995), general Regency Period nutcases, many, many enthusiastic self-publishers of all kinds.

And then there are the journalists, the historians, the random funny people (I recommend @rhymeswithjen), familiar names that I can follow and feel bizarrely connected with in that bizarre internet way that feels real and yet isn’t – that feels so strangely real that when I actually meet friends of friends who I’ve chatted with on Facebook, I hug them with tears in my eyes. No joke.

So, what you don’t know about me (or care about either, and who can blame you), is that generally I try not to follow the news too much. In my day job (i.e. not writing) I hear lots of terrible things – basically that is what my day job is, listening to terrible things – and I feel that I am pretty much maxed out in the hearing-terrible-things department. I also believe that whether I know about the news or not, isn’t going to make much difference to the poor bastards who are going through whatever terrible thing it is. I read the Saturday paper, and eavesdrop on the odd conversation, just so that I have something pertinent to say when I am called upon.

But oh dear, once you start twittering or whatever it’s called, you’re just doomed. You get sucked in. You start having opinions. Next thing you know, you’ve clicked a link to the Tory Party Conference and are reaching for the nearest mallet to beat the shit out of the computer while you wipe the froth away from your chin.

Yesterday, there was this thing – I call them threads but I don’t think that’s the right word – it was called #mydadhatedbritain – and it was a response to the froth-inducing, mallet-requiring repulsiveness that is the Daily Mail, and their pathetic attack on a politician’s dad. Anyway, it was fab – joke after joke after joke, pouring in at great speed. The power of humour to undermine the twattiest newspaper in the country, even worse than the Sun.

Thing is, it filled my head so much I was actually hallucinating the twitter feed when I went to bed. And now I know so many dreadful things about Tories and what they’re doing, and I feel really angry and powerless and upset.

Today I am fried. I have information overload. I truly believe there are too many opinions in the world. I used to think just journalists had opinions. Journalists and Kesslers (you know who you are). But it turns out everyone has an opinion, and everyone’s kind of angry. Though actually loads of people are very witty, which is nice.

But just one other thing – you know when people say, ewwwww, too much information, like when you tell them something gross about a body part or some sort of excretion. Weirdly I don’t mind that.