“Now where’d I put that grilled cheese?”
For fellow professional “Tweeters” who languish in realms reserved for those not nearly as famous and gifted as the demure Kardashians, participation in the chaos of Twitter can sometimes seem like an exercise in abject futility. Sure, it’s easy to trade a “Follow” for a “Follow” and confect the illusion of skyrocketing Worldwide Cyber-Popularity, but when someone boasts 100,000 followers simply because they engaged in the tedious trial-and-error strategy of following hordes of strangers and then waiting for them to “follow back,” no one is really fooling anyone these days. And “good luck” when it comes to discovering comprehensive and meaningful Twitter content to share (or RT) when your homepage is filled with a previous day’s worth of 100,000 streaming, screaming tweets tweeted by tweeters as preoccupied with quantity-over-quality as you are. A humongous cache of Twitter followers gained in this manner has its place as some sort of vaguely impressive statistical calling-card, certainly, but as everyone else catches-on to the trick, the chances of disseminating valuable information that has a chance to be noticed and appreciated grows ever more unlikely and the reason to even bother doing it grows ever more pointless. Little wonder that industry observers are highlighting this practice as one of the chief liabilities in Twitter’s recent, highly publicized mudslide toward the Cesspit of Irrelevance.
Regarding the social network’s ultimate fate, the jury is still out and huddled in feverish deliberations, in my opinion. There are still great things to discover and great connections to be made on Twitter. I do, however, agree that the only thing we’re proving via the exponentially relentless “Follow for a Follow” approach is that our thumbs are exceedingly industrious, or that we’re staying up way past bedtime in some claustrophobic home-office nook, a half-eaten grilled cheese draped, soggy and forlorn, across a plate beside us, with a wine glass as empty as the bottle that filled it four times in the past hour alone. We are wrapped in our blankets, shivering slightly, with the light of a computer screen casting its ghoulish green glow around our mesmerized faces until we look like something a wayward passel of Shakespearean rogues might discover in a misty midnight bog, perched over a cauldron and eager to cackle an arcane, eldritch prophecy that’ll make no sense to anyone (at least not until the end of the play). We, however, are not waiting in the dark for wanderers eager to hear us say our sooth. Oh no. We’re slogging through the list of 3,759 people we followed on Twitter earlier that day and are now doing the abominable drudge-work of “unfollowing” those who had the temerity not to return the favor.
Tomorrow, the ophthalmologist will have more than a few choice words about those knock-off Luis Vuitton handbags (each with its own matching fanny-pack!) dangling underneath our eyes like the swollen overflow from a storage bin that even the most wiry and resourceful of veteran airline stewardesses could not manage to secure on her very best day. Yep. And the doc will really rip us a new one when it comes to the state of our failing vision. We’ll deserve every last bit of that tongue-lashing, but with a proud jut of the chin and a haughty shake of the vibrating, coffee-addled skull, we’ll each look at the ophthalmologist with those red, swollen eyeballs and say:
“But I’ve got 65,000 Twitter followers, Doctor, and you only have twenty-two. Ha! I know that because I followed you yesterday and waited for you to follow me back, but you didn’t, even though I could plainly see that you tweeted something between the time I followed you and the time I checked for your follow-back, so of course I had to unfollow you, and you were one of the last people I followed that day, anyway, so if you want to blame someone for my deplorable eyesight, blame yourself for not following me when you first had the opportunity, because every time someone doesn’t follow me back I have to stay up late to make a couple of extra maneuvers to ascertain why they didn’t follow me initially and then make a decision between continuing to follow them in hopes that they will return the follow or else unfollow them completely, and I have to do it in the dark or else I’ll wake-up the kids and I don’t want them to come out of their bedrooms and catch me drinking that much wine. So it’s your fault I can’t see anything anymore. Follow what I’m saying?”
Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and pay your doctor’s bill with an air of smug triumph (you earned it!) and be sure to make a quick stop at BevMo on the way home, but get the big box of wine instead of a puny little bottle this time. Boxes never tell embarrassing tales of overindulgent emptiness. A box of wine will always look “FULL” … at least until somebody has to kick one out the door in their bedroom slippers toward the overstuffed recycle bin. Then the jig will be up, sure, but you have plenty of time until then. Maybe even a couple of hours. Remember: you’ve got a long night ahead of you — a night of building Worldwide Cyber-Popularity. And building illusions makes a body thirsty.
See you round the #hashtag cooler!
Jonathan Kieran’s new novel is slated for release in Autumn 2014. Look for news about the book here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.
Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …
Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …
Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.
Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)
Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.
Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.
Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
Barnes and Noble
Rowan Blaize Official Website