It used to be until very recently that if you agreed with something someone said on Twitter or liked something they posted then you could click a little star ... it was a bit like awarding them a gold star.
It meant I suppose...."Well done" or "Nice one" or "Ooh....I think that too."
Twitter is very much for the sharing of ideas and dissemination of news and articles and viewpoints. The "favourite" feature in the form of a star was not too "gushing". It was not like Facebook where people post tedious selfies of themselves in a new frock and all their friends pile on in to declare "Looking good babe <3 <3 <3".
and even though it is just a thumbs up it can imply so much more. People who are skirting and flirting around each other frequently try to decipher "So... are we a thing? He/she liked my post. Does that mean I can ask them out on a date??" etc. Unfortunately this can be misleading when one person intends to simply say "Nice one!" and the receiver of the "like" ... reads it as "Babies? One day? After the holiday in the Carribbean and the buying of our first fridge together? Can't wait to see you and get this romantic show on the road!"
Facebook be Facebook. It is full of cats and weird. Twitter I expect more from.
This is what Twitter decided was a good idea....
They changed the "nice one" gold star into a lovely throbbing red heart. It's now....."I LOVE YOUR TWEET!.... (and possibly you xxx) "
Ever so simply the Twitter game has changed.
The connotations when we see a red love heart are completely different to those of a gold star. We are conditioned to soften and see passion and affection and a declaration of deep emotion.
So when once I could have "liked" a tweet for criticising the news reporting of a rape trial... I now have to put a throbbing red piece of love affirmation next to the discussion of an abhorrent topic or not bother.
Someone pointed out this morning that they used to use the favourite button as a bookmark. A sensible marker for when they had more time to read. No longer possible.
However, I have bigger concerns.
My concern is women who are negotiating men who don't understand the same codes and conventions. How many times have you considered yourself "just being friendly" whilst a man has considered it "she wants me... I can just tell.."?
This has happened on occasions since my teen years. I used to only realise when the hands were where they shouldn't be or when I was fending off a kiss I hadn't expected. At all.
It still happens. I am still convinced that there are men who I can chat with both online and in real life who will not be deciding whether or not they can access my vagina in the next three days. Sadly. It's rare. It seems to have got worse. I am now naturally suspicious of motives. There have been times that I have made it very very clear that I have no sexual interest in a man. I have used the words "I have no interest in you sexually at all." It has meant nothing to him. He has convinced himself that I didn't mean it or was playing hard to get. It has not ended well.
I used the "love" word last night. Randomly. Not in a serious sense. But there was a moment of "EEEK! She said "love"..." and my "shit... I just said 'Love"... I didn't mean "LOVE!"... but it was fine and the awkward passed.
I posted some Neruda yesterday. That man knew how to love. He didn't waste that on a Twitter button. Look. This is love expressed properly.....
It is not this....
So until Twitter stop being dicks and go back to creating a place where people can just approve of something without wanting to marry it.... I'll say this. Men...unless I know you in person and we know where we stand with each other... I will not be loving your tweets. (It doesn't happen very often anyway as there are far too many brilliant women to admire).
Women.... if I gift you a red throbbing Twitter heart.... it means "nice one".
I will save my love until I feel a Neruda moment. It does happen.