The Daily Telegraph now has a policy that all its journalists should be on Twitter. This is a good idea, since it is the most immediate form of public communication, and a way of advertising oneself. So last week, I went on.
The problem is that I have not got the faintest idea what to say. After agonising for about half an hour, I decided this might be my May 1979 moment, so I wrote: ‘I’ve joined Twitter. Where there is discord, may I bring more of it.’ Immediately, I received emails and texts warning me that someone was pretending to be me (this has happened before).
Since then, I have had nothing to say, and I feel like a Twitt. If I do have a thought, I want to keep it for my columns. If I don’t, I am reluctant to share that nullity with others (though I notice that not everyone is restrained by such a feeling).
What is expected? I feel like my poor maternal grandfather, who had no capacity for small talk. His last gambit, which he usually played before the first course had finished, was ‘Read any good books lately?’ Then he relapsed into silence.
This is an extract from Charles Moore’s Spectator’s Notes in this week’s magazine. Click here to read for free with a trial of The Spectator app for iPad and iPhone. You can also subscribe with a free trial on the Kindle Fire.