Random scribblings by a prick. Enjoy.

The Life of Brian – How one elderly man restored my faith in Twitter

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On that there Twitter thing, there’s this chap called Brian Pilton.

Brian, according to his bio, is 75-years old, married, and is a father and grandfather to a family that he evidently cares very much for. Brian’s tweets, as one might suspect from someone of such wise years, are of the pleasantly slice of life variety. From musings on his favourite football team, to his preferred ales (Doombar is a frequent choice), everyday observations of the wildlife that abound in his garden (which he enjoys tending frequently) and gentle musings on the sort of stuff that most of us take for granted, its clear that Brian isn’t your average card-carrying member of the Twitterati.

Not only that, his tweets are also brilliantly succinct, well-written and polite too. Twitter is often regarded as a lossy communication medium where the mandatory 140 character limit can prove to be a tough ask for folks to adequately express their meaning. Our mate Brian though, is both clear and well-spoken and it’s a joy to see someone’s tweets that can be taken at face value without any notion of ulterior motive or sub-tweeting to make things more complicated (and shitty), then they need to be.


In a social media landscape where folks often feel the need to exhibit audacious online personalities to stand out wherein exaggeration, aggression and arrogance are frustratingly commonplace, its refreshing to see somebody who just carries themselves with the sort of straightforward honesty that most of us could probably benefit from embracing every once in and while.

Another classy touch to Brian’s tweets is that he signs off each and every one with his name and location – “Brian, Exeter”.

Aside from lending a sense of innocence to his tweets, it’s also a gesture that stems from his honesty and guiltlessness, after all, why shouldn’t he do that? Why should he fear reprisals, doxxing and all that other cowardly nastiness when all he’s doing is using the medium for exactly what it was meant for.

Naturally, as one might well expect, there are those who have been quick to mimick his sign-off as a way to mock or to otherwise seem trendy to their Twitterati peers, not to mention those who have outrright insulted him for no other reason than to harass and bully. As one expect though, Brian reacts to such instances of aggression with the sort of defiance and bewilderment as might well be expected by someone who has lived a full life and who, as someone who has recently just started interacting with social media, is blissfully unaware of the faceless egos and bipolar personas that permeate Twitter.


In providing a window into the advanced lifetime of someone who has embraced the more relaxed aspects of life, visiting Brian’s timeline is refreshing. Straight-talking, honest and a world away from the often toxic Twitter status quo that so often causes people to step away completely, Twitter could do with more of Brian’s ilk to balance out the awfulness seen elsewhere.

As it is, Brian gives me hope.

He reminds me that there is good, innocence and pleasantness out there and that, beyond all the manufactured garbage, Twitter can (much like any other social media platform which is used correctly) provide intriguing and genuinely positive insights into the lives of others that can, in turn, enrich our own.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pour myself a cup of English Breakfast and watch my sausage dogs make prats of themselves in the garden.

You can follow Brian here.

Written by bitsnark

March 6, 2015 at 9:07 am

Posted in Random Stuff

Tagged with ,

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