Ijoined Twitter in the early days, and I still love it. But Twitter and Ihave had to part. What finally did for our relationship was a row over a washing machine. It began when Jim Waterson, a journalist at Buzzfeed, made a comment during a debate about strange things Americans don’t have, such as plug-in kettles, eggcups and blackcurrants. Neither, noted Jim, do they keep their washing machines in their kitchens: they find the habit disgusting. I retweeted Jim, saying I too found it disgusting, adding: “My life’s work is in part dedicated to getting washing machines out of the kitchen.”You can argue that the use of the word “disgusting” was unwise, but I have always thought that the combination of food preparation and clothes washing in a kitchen was strange, to say the least. But I took it for granted that using a phrase like “my life’s work” indicated that this was a humorous remark in a not very serious debate about national peculiarities. Clearly, no one’s life’s work is dedicated to such a thing. But what started as a fun debate provoked blind furyBut what started as a fun debate provoked blind fury. I was immediately attacked and mocked for talking about “first-world problems”, and fa排列三近120期走势图 iling to understand that most people lack the space to house a washing machine anywhere other than in their kitchen. By yesterday, the “debate” had been in every national newspaper in Britain, and on the radio and TV talkshows. Apparently, I have become a “controversialist”.Well, despite a privileged upbringing, I am not unaware of the lack of space in many homes. Indeed, I have spent the last 18 years crisscrossing the UK trying to find homes that properly accommodate people. It is absurd for anyone to suggest that my objection to washing machines in kitchens reveals a lack of knowledge of “real homes” or “the real world”. Short of a surveyor, district nurse or gas meter reader, there are few jobs that give one more access than mine does to such a diverse range of British dwellings.True, I was brought up in a house with a utility room; it was also where the dogfood was kept, and loads of other spare bits and bobs that many people keep in their garages, sheds, lean-tos, downstairs toilets, etc. Utility rooms are a luxury, but they are by no means the preserve of the rich.When this debate first kicked off on Twitter I was on the train back from Preston, where I’d spent the day with a young couple who have re-modelled the kitchen in their 1960s three-bed semi, currently worth around ￡185,000. They were justifiably proud of the work they’d done, and guess what, they had moved the washing machine to a space at the back of the house next to the downstairs loo and away from the kitchen.As for combining the location of food preparation and laundry, even in places where washing machines are an unheard-of luxury, this is generally not done. In much of Europe and the rest of the world, the washing machine is kept under the stairs, in a hall cupboard, the basement, the garage or – the option I like most – in the bathroom. It is very rarely if ever placed in the kitchen.I’ve left Twitter. It is unusable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators | Lindy West Read moreBritain is one of the few countries where people have the habit of keeping washing machines in the kitchen. But if it wasn’t clear to me from the Brexit referendum, it is very clear to me now that the British think the way we do things is the right way – better than anyone else’s. And if you point out thatsomething we do is peculiar, you had better brace yourself. Because it doesn’t go down well.As for Twitter, I am an old hand at this type of debate. I can hold my own and come back strongly. I once complained about the endless pub lunches which are part and parcel of my TV job. Twitter swiftly reminded me that most people have to be satisfied with a Boots meal deal and complaining about a pub lunch that someone else pays for is spoilt. I enjoy the back and forth and the funny comments, many a long train journey has been much improved by Twitter. But my love affair with Twitter has come at a price. The tabloids trawl it looking for stories, and their version of events fails to reflect the fun that is part of engaging with other users. “Kirstie attacks her fans on Twitter” and “Allsopp in Twitter storm” are typical headlines; then the columnists wade in, commenting on comment in an endless cycle of humourless cannibalism.So it’s goodbye to the little white bird. I still have strong views about everything from fertility education to the evils of boarding school, good step-parenting and litter, but I have never sought arguments for their own sake. I will still retweet the work of the charities I support. I will also link my Instagram to my Twitter feed. But fun debate about random topics, serious and silly, is over. I will know less, and laugh less, and be less connected. And the tabloids will eventually kill the golden goose that has laid so many eggs for them.