(Warning for those with tender ears: there is swearage in this post)
Fact: I’m pretty much the biggest chicken shit when it comes to twitter.
Don’t let my false bravado fool you. I’m a professional writer. My ego is a delicate flower that can be crushed like a … thing that can easily be crushed. I pine for the acceptance and approval of those I admire.
Any writer who tells you otherwise is a liar.
That makes twitter pretty much the most nerve-racking horrible thing for me.
Twitter hinges on the notion that if you follow someone—even a famous person—there is the chance that they will look to see who has followed them. You could—theoretically—be a blip on their radar. And in a moment of truth if they do look, they will judge you. They will decide whether to follow back. Or not.
And no matter how much you try to sugarcoat or rationalize it, not following back is a form of rejection.
Your friends and mother have to follow you. Friends of friends even, because we latch onto each other to have more than 15 followers in a pathetic self-esteem boost.
The bigger celebrities are less freak-out inducing, what with their assistant doing the tweeting. Or if the celeb actually is tweeting, you know they aren’t checking in on followers. They’re too busy with their fast cars, hot supermodels and swimming a la Scrooge McDuck in a pool of sweet, succulent money. They do not need to bother with mere mortals.
I can accept that.
No, the worst would be those who have some notoriety, some fame, or are in a bit of a niche. For me this includes well known Canadian journalists. Or actors/musicians/authors etc.—especially Canadian ones. Throw some well known bloggers into this mix as well.
For the longest of times, I couldn’t follow Neil Gaiman on Twitter. Bad example, as he’s rather famous. But the man runs his own account and interacts with readers.
But he’s Neil. Fucking. Gaiman. I balked. Instead, I typed in his twitter address every day to see what was up in Neil. Fucking. Gaiman. World.
Ditto for Nathan Fillion, Paul Brandt, Jeremy Fisher, K’Naan, Warren Ellis and many others.
This is my brain on twitter:
HOLY FSM! Person XYZ is on twitter! I am going to absorb all their posts like a super-absorbent sponge and bask in their tweeting glow. Because I’m creepy like that.
Okay. Play it cool, play it cool. They have tons of people following them already. Get ready to hit “follow” and let the basking commence.
Ready? Ready? Okaaaaaaaaaay yeah …no. You know what? I’m gonna hold off. I’m not in a good place right now. I mean, I really shouldn’t be on twitter. I probably should get a life. Have I changed the cat litter recently?
Eventually, the fact that this person is on twitter resurfaces in my brain. This time, I swear I will be brave. Cue the internal monologue.
Okay. Play it cool, play it cool. Get ready to hit follow! You can do it this time, really honestly truly with all my heart, I will hit that ….
…..ooooooh but what if they’re all “Oh, who is this new follower?”
Shit. What have my last tweets been about? Shit. They’re about my cat. Shit. I am going to look like a crazy cat-lady. I don’t want to look like a crazy cat-lady!
Shit. The tweet prior to the cat ones is boring. And the one before that. And that. And that. Shit. Shit. Shit.
Okay. Let’s regroup on this. The next 20 tweets will be the BEST FUCKING TWEETS OF MY LIFE. People will be astounded by them. These upcoming tweets will bring about world peace. I will get an effin Nobel Peace Prize for them. And most importantly, they will be absolutely brilliant enough to make XYZ person want to follow me.
Think brain! Think, Think, think… Oh shiny! Oh hey! Hahah… look at what my cat just did. I should tweet about that!
This repeats for quite a few cycles. I get closer and closer each time. Eventually the cursor hovers over the “follow” button. I turn my face away and blindly click, cringing, feeling ready to vomit knowing that I will most definitely face twitter-non-follow-back-rejection from an idol.
Part of me dies on the inside. Obviously not the neurotic part.
Also, Allan Hawco?
That’s why I haven’t followed you yet. I can’t deal with being rejected by you. You’re too darn pretty.