I only recently returned to blogging after I accidentally let what was supposed to be a short hiatus, drag on for nearly a year and a half. It’s something that happens to everyone — one minute you’re telling yourself you’ll post something tomorrow and the next thing you know, you’re wondering how the hell you missed 2014.
Being gone for so long felt almost like starting over, so I began looking for ways I could put a fresh spin on my resurrected blog. One thing I saw time and again was the suggestion to link my blog with various social media sites. I was only active on Facebook and I’d already started sharing my blog there before I fell off the edge of the Earth, so I decided it was time to Twitter.
Now after almost 10 days, I’m more than qualified to pass along my wisdom and experience to the noobs out there.
The top priority on Twitter is racking up followers. To a Facebooker, this will feel somewhat uncomfortable at first. It’s true that there are people on Facebook who accept and any all friend requests; but for the majority of people, asking to be someone’s friend and/or accepting someone’s request, are not decisions made lightly.
There are important things to consider before sending or accepting a request. Are you sending it to an old flame you’re not quite over? Will sending it seems stalker-ish or needy? Will she remember me? Do I know this person? Do we have any friends in common? Can I find his house by studying the pictures he posts? Does he keep a fairly regular schedule? How far is 500 feet anyway? In the “get followers by any means necessary” world of Twitter, you have no friends. You follow or you’re followed, and there’s no room for sentimentality in the quest for more.
There’s also no waiting to know if someone wants to be your friend; you can follow anyone you want, whether you know them or not. You can even buy followers, although it seems other users view that as needy and not deserving of respect. It’s much better to preserve your dignity by begging for followers like a homeless guy asking for nickles.
Aside from piling up followers, the other high priority goal is getting a well-known person to acknowledge you. It’s not unusual to see a plethora of tweets asking a celebrity to pleeeeaaase bestow a crumb of recognition in order to make it possible for the requester to die happy. I don’t know how effective this is, but most tweets to the famous generally contain some combination of “I love you!” “You rock!” and “Awesome!.”
Unless you’re one of the well-known whose attention everyone is clamoring for, I don’t recommend putting your good jokes or funny thoughts on Twitter. It’s just a waste of humor, because 98% of the time you’ll be ignored. On Facebook, everyone has at least one friend who will give you a pity-Like when something you posted falls flat. That doesn’t happen on Twitter. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch onto this until I’d already thrown away some good material.
For instance, I tweeted Rachel Maddow with a picture of me in which I looked very much like her, and offered to be her stunt-double. I got nothing. When the Advocate asked “Just how gay is wrestling?” I replied that it’s “Gayer than gymnastics, but not as gay as figure skating.” Crickets. I tweeted an idea for a new ad campaign to Subaru, but apparently they’re not interested. And I went to the Home Depot’s page to tell them I love their stores because they’re like Sephora for lesbians, but just got more crickets. And I think a tumbleweed rolled by.
Fortunately for me, I’ve got a giant ego and a fairly loose grip on reality. So when I tell myself that my tweets were probably intercepted by some low-level staffer who turned around and presented them as his/her own, I actually believe myself and I feel better.
I’m still getting used to the 140-character limit and proper use of hashtags, but I think I’ll stick with it for a while. When I think of my 64 followers and how their lives have already been changed and enriched because of their association with me, it’s not even a choice anymore. It’s a calling.