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The Twitter Index


Tracking the soaring stocks and junk bonds of social media, helping you to invest carefully and speculate wisely. (By Rhodri Marsden)


Flatlining: Spitting out tea

You see some funny stuff on Twitter from time to time. I've been known to laugh at things like this:

And this:

But one thing I've never done is spat out my tea. I've never scrolled down the timeline, seen a funny tweet and unleashed a torrent of brown liquid all over myself or my family. I don't know whether that's because I'm not as predisposed to explosive laughter as other people, or because I don't keep a small quantity of tea rolling around in my mouth for hours while waiting for mirth to strike. But I don't. Not even away from Twitter, in what we laughably refer to as real life, do I spit my tea. But some people evidently keep a special cloth handy for all the spat tea. Hundreds of people every day are doing it, either projecting thin streams of tea into the screen or causing a multi-directional tea explosion to contaminate a wider area.

Some people, mindful of how prevalent this cliché is, are quick to reassure their friends of the veracity of their tea spitting, although I note that no picture is attached to offer convincing proof.

Some spit on their laptop:

Some spit on their phone:

Some just spit everywhere.

Some people NEARLY spit their tea everywhere, but that's not good enough. Try harder.

Anyway, there's a solution to this problem, which was posted yesterday morning by the reliably excellent @PFPTMillsy:



Rising: Bears and hares

If you've been vaguely active on Twitter today you won't have heard much about the Royal Marine being found guilty of murdering an injured Afghan insurgent, or that fact that Typhoon Haiyan is battering the Philippines, but you'll be very much aware that John Lewis has constructed an animated film about a bear and a hare with the immediate aim of making us feel a bit emotional and the ultimate aim of getting us to splash out on a Cartier Baiser Volé Rue de la Paix Limited Edition Eau de Parfum Gift Set or whatever. With the launch of any marketing campaign comes the unveiling of a hashtag, which is mainly about enabling the construction of a graph to be displayed at a marketing debrief to show how exciting the conversation was surrounding the campaign. In this case, the hashtag is #bearandhare, and here are two wholly unrepresentative tweets that use said hashtag. John Lewis didn't need a hashtag, as it goes. #bearandhare isn't trending, but "John Lewis Christmas" is, as people make their feelings about the advert abundantly plain one way or the other. John Lewis, meanwhile, aren't letting up on the Twitter front. No fewer than three Twitter accounts have been set up in order to disseminate the Christmassy fable of the bear and the hare until, one assumes, the shops have shut on Christmas Eve. We have John Lewis Hare: And John Lewis Bear: And John Lewis Bear And Hare, which, according to the Twitter bio, will be "highlighting the best from @JohnLewis_Bear and @JohnLewis_Hare": At the time of writing, John Lewis Bear And Hare is ahead with 579 followers, with John Lewis Hare on 496 and John Lewis Bear on 444. Thing is, if you lay aside your cynicism it's probably possible to buy into the whole tweeting Bear and Hare thing, but such is my world weariness that I just imagine an overworked intern with bags under their eyes and a can of Lilt on their desk flinging this stuff out into the ether and hoping it gets 50 retweets. At the moment, John Lewis Bear is asleep. When John Lewis Bear wakes up, you may be treated to some of the sharpest woodland repartee you ever did hear – but I wouldn't put money on it. Yes, the bear. You forgot the bear. It's in the hashtag. The bear.



Falling: Stress-inducing tweets

Modern life is tough. We're stuck in a perpetual rat race towards god-knows-what, we lust after gadgets that are supposed to make us happy but when we buy them we find that we still experience gnawing angst, and all the bananas in the supermarket are green. Social media's supposed to bring us together into a delicious hotpot of shared human experience, but just as you think you might be enjoying yourself you see a tweet that brings you up short and reminds you that you're not achieving. And then you see another one. There you were, sitting quietly, trying to think of a pun that, I dunno, connects a film title with a fruit or vegetable or something, and some bastard makes you question your purpose on the planet. And then you question your relationships, too, and start worrying whether that spot on your face is cancerous, and you make an urgent round of telephone calls to family and friends. And then you wake up in the middle of the night, haunted by the memory of a tweet that forced you to wonder whether you ought to be worrying about things in the middle of the night. And then you decide to go back to sleep, because you've been working hard recently and you deserve to get some proper rest – it's a perfectly good excuse, right? And in the morning you wake up and realise that you haven't replaced the toilet brush that you accidentally broke at the weekend, but it's OK, it can wait – you can do it next week, surely? And then, as you slump on your desk from the stress of it all, you decide to ignore the phone call from your ailing mother and resolve to call her back in a few minutes when you've pulled yourself together. After all, there's plenty of time left to do everything we want to do in this world, right? Isn't there? Surely? Oh balls, interest rates have gone up.



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