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Problem Is It Feels So Tweet

The marital ice grows thin. "Is this how it's going to be from now on?" my wife asked me emotionally. Or at least I think that's what she said.

I was being distracted. "What's that love?" I asked, but she'd gone when I turned around. I returned to the source of the distraction. "Now, you little minx," I Twittered and it all took off again.

The source of this, hopefully brief, marital disharmony is the aforementioned Twitter. I'm only at it a wet weekend but it's already fair to say it has divided the household. My wife thinks it's stupid. "I know your life," she tells me, and "it is not worth Twittering about." I can't argue with this but I haven't been this excited since the Gaelteacht.

I had been resolutely anti social-networking sites. I had subscribed to all the usual anti-Facebook arguments: I am too busy living a real life, I already have enough friends, and, more controversially, I was poked once and I didn't like it. But Twitter always seemed a little different.

Firstly, Stephen Fry is its number one exponent and he is the nicest, wittiest man alive. Let's face it: who wouldn't want to be in his gang? Then I read of a tweet that went: "I discovered my ex-girlfriend has multiple personalities. She was selfish too, always looking out for number eight" -- I was intrigued.

When I heard that Graham Linehan had 40,000 followers I decided to invite him on to the show. He's become quite successful since we last met about 15 years ago in the Baggot Inn -- Father Ted, The IT Crowd, winning Emmies etc -- but I decided to keep it current. Let sleeping dogs and, indeed, glittering careers lie, say I.

He could be a Twitter salesman. "It's like working in an office with 2,000 witty people," he told me, before gently taking my hand and leading me to my first tweet. I had thought about these 140 characters for days. Quotes from Shakespeare, Morrissey and Star Trek had vied for poll position. Thankfully, he favoured simplicity: "Just say hello," he told me, "and ask people to tell you who they are and where they are."

Tweets from all around the world followed. Two immediately caught my eye: A man running a bar in the USA whose first seven-inch single had been a Happens song and a couple who'd met at a gig we played in Malahide in 1993 and who now have two kids. Soon I couldn't keep up.

The headiest thing about it all was the number of followers. At the beginning of my chat with Graham I had about 250 followers. As a test he tweeted for his followers to follow me. Ten minutes later I had 1,000 followers. And I'll be honest, it doesn't matter who they are, there's something about having followers that's intoxicating. I could suddenly see where Jesus was coming from.

When I got home we'd had over 1,500 emails. Even my wife was excited about this. It had been so lonely in the inbox of late, even spam had been welcome.

We felt wanted, even if we were unsure who wanted us and for what purpose. All I need now is a life worth tweeting about!

All suggestions to Tom Happens at Twitter.com.

Tune into Tom Dunne on Newstalk 106-108FM on weekdays from 9am to noon