…and even if she did I doubt whether I'd follow her.
I admit I was tempted when I read this tweet a few minutes ago, linking to this article on, er, The Money Times. I was impressed – not only because she is (it has to be said) of advanced years, not just because she's Twittering from her hospital bed, but because she's bloody Dame Elizabeth Taylor, for heaven's sake! I've never exactly been a fan, and there is the small matter of the friendship with Michael Jackson. But she's an institution! She was in all those amazing movies in the fifties, before I was even born! She was in Antony and Cleopatra! She was married to Richard Burton! Twice! And here she is, in 2009, still with us, and tweeting. Incredible.
Except I can't convince myself it's actually her doing it. Not because it's difficult, not because she doesn't have the ability, but because there's just something too weird and unlikely about Liz Taylor typing a message on a keyboard or an iPhone. I mean, if you were Dame Elizabeth wouldn't you get someone to do it for you? I can believe the sentiments (about animals, charities, diamonds, fans and so on) are hers, but I still can't picture her actually bothering to put manicured finger to touch-screen. There must be a PR guy who comes in to see her a couple of times a day and asks her what she wants to tweet, or who's at the end of the phone any time she feels like 'communicating' with her fans. Or quite possibly both.
Okay, maybe I'm out of line. People are strange. You're just as likely to find a 30-year-old who doesn't even know what Twitter is (as I did recently) as you are to find an 80-year-old using it as naturally as people once wrote postcards. But I just can't get used to the idea.
Call me a purist, but I don't see the point of following a Twitterstream not written directly by the person themselves. I don't even mind when they're honestly updated by someone else, with tweets saying things like '[celebrity's name] is working on his new album and planning a tour', because they're just using the Twitter platform, as they already do all media channels, as a way to get information out there about what they're doing to people who want to listen. But even the slightest thought of getting someone to tweet on your behalf that you're 'eating brie on a toasted baguette right now' just makes me shudder.
Sting once said that cocaine was God's way of telling you you've got too much money. I reckon that having someone ghost tweets about what you're eating has overtaken that in the 21st century.
Anyway, the following update from Liz's Twitter was what decided it for me, regardless of who typed it: 'Presents make everybody happy. My friend Arnie Klein gave me a Matisse today! Happy.'