I wanted to talk about something a while back, but recent events have brought a lot of memories back.
Its about the way I've come to use Twitter.
In 2007, when Thierry left, I wanted to talk to a lot of Arsenal fans about it, be it about my feelings, my thoughts, or just anything related to his departure.
I wanted to write a haiku about it and everything, but I couldn't, I didn't really know that many Arsenal fans where I lived at the time (Solihull).
When it was confirmed that he was sold to Barcelona, I was just incredibly sad, there was an emptiness to it I couldn't explain, he was the first and biggest proper idol I had in football growing up. Just thinking about his finishing makes me feel things a grown man shouldn't feel when not aroused.
But at least I had a moment, where I could think about it on my own, have a little sad Beck time and move on.
Twitter doesn't really give that type of breathing space for such scenarios to happen. You're instantly exposed (sometimes indirectly) to many who want and wish for heavy attention and you may often find them saying outrageous things that they themselves do not believe just because they like measuring reaction and receiving interaction, or worse, to get enough of a reaction so that they can sell awful merchandise.
And this does not stop at a click of a button, (you can easily log off or block every Arsenal fan as an alternative), or you can let go of a subject right there and then, and even leave Twitter. But if you come back the next day, someone who has just woken up on the other side of the world will give you his/her side on the exact same overtalked, overdiscussed issue and it is replicated, often following the similar pattern of others.
During the transfer window, they should really do a test on what travels faster, bacteria or a Tancredi Palmeri tweet.
So thinking back, would I rather have spoken to 100's of fans, angry about Henry leaving, worried about us being a selling club, losing its stars, and all sorts, weeks upon weeks upon weeks?
I'm not sure that's what I would have wanted, especially not so young, it would have been very depressing.
I would have never lost my virginity if I knew of Arsenal's troubling finances just after we moved to the Emirates.
Think about how you affect the new and young Arsenal fans, it feels like they'll all have virtual accounting degrees by the age of 12 from the way we talk about the club and how we constantly bring up the finances all the time.
The recent Cesc saga, if you can call it that, it just made me want to pretend that it didn't bother me, mainly because it does. We all remember Cesc differently and there are pro's and con's to everything, much of which we might not even understand yet.
I've always been frustrated that Arsene never got to finish his project, one that included a lot of shamefully good players, that had to be sold, or wanted to be sold, Cesc represented that project in its entirety, we gave a lot up as a team/club for him and made everything go through him and even though we didn't win anything, it was absolutely beautiful to watch.
A part of me wants to have an outburst, it really does, but really, the other part of me knows better, always sort of has (not really).
And knowing me, the outburst will be internal, in my head, because there's no need for me to share everything, (although those that follow me are aware that I do in fact share everything.)
But outbursts, directed at our club or a player, online, in front of people I respect, in front of women I may have to impress, I just can't do that. Especially if I know its not based on strong rationale.
That's the way my mind works, I would feel pathetic and embarrassed if I did do that, (as I often do for other reasons).
How we all use Twitter is perhaps different, but Twitter has caused people to eliminate a lot of the most private thoughts they have, especially in sports. (perhaps it was always this way).
There is a necessity to react, to form a strong opinion of something that is very temporary and is prone to big change in a very short space of time. It almost feels like if you don't react, you don't exist.
It generally leaves little time to pause for reflection, everyone wants instantaneous answers and will make threats/demands/rhetorical questions to anger/upset/annoy others, sometimes for no reason (boredom), or actually for a reason, the reason being that those people are paranoid, angry, sexually frustrated, insecure or bored (again).
So, looking back, if I had the choice, knowing what I know, I would have probably rather shared the Thierry Henry departure alone or with a few friends, than with Twitter.
This is simply because, sharing sad/depressing/distressing events with 10 people is usually more than enough, but with a 100 or with a 1000, there will always be the overdramatic, the over sensible righteous, the insensitive bastard, the ice cold personalities and those who just enjoy annoying people.
Its rare to see us (Arsenal fans) deal with a subject and find an appropriate rational conclusion together in a swift fashion.
I suspect that this is not the purpose of Arsenal Twitter in itself (the purpose of Arsenal Twitter is to end the world), but we all get the chance to design our timelines in ways that make us feel comfortable and loved/stalked.
Even saying the words "Arsenal Twitter" makes me feel like I'm totally living in another world, where cat pictures and shouting at strangers online are the only thing that matter.
Of course, this extends to clubs and fanbases beyond us, but I can only discuss what I'm directly affected with.
When we had bad results this season and last, I decided to take some time away from social media, pause and to think about it. Not everything I felt had to be shared or discussed to death, or be used to bash the club (even if they deserved it).
I know this is hard for some people to understand, but Arsene Wenger/ Arsenal / Giroud is not at fault for everything in your life, although I can easily understand (in some parallel universe), why you might feel that way.
I wanted those moments to myself, I wasn't going to learn much from sharing angry moments with my timeline, especially when I was angry. Especially if it’s the same anger, which ultimately leads to nowhere.
Many have come to enjoy, if not look forward to creating and taking part in the annual Gooner meltdown summer. But its overrated, there is no buffet and its filled with Peroni.
I dislike sharing angry/depressing/sad events with depressing/angry/sad people, its worse than getting asked out by a person with a monobrow (it never ends well).
But sharing happy events?
You saw us all after the F.A. Cup final, it was amazing. 100,000's of people were on the streets, all over the world. Singing, dancing, stripping, cheering and jumping like the Harlem Globetrotters, cause that's how good it felt.
Let me tell you something bland:
Good moments, they're meant to be shared by as many as possible.
Bad moments, they're not, not for me anyway, aim to find those who truly care about your feelings during these times, not those who are in it for the retweets/reactions.
I'm still loving that we won the F.A. Cup. I'm still wearing my virtual yellow ribbon and I'm still somewhat a happy person.