Monday, 17 October 2011

Was it something I typed?

Ah twitter how do I love thee let me count the ways.

Whether you on Twitter during a national event like a Royal Wedding, an unreported protest march, The X factor,  a party conference or pretty much anywhere Gazza may go with a fishing rod, some cans and a bucket of Kentucky fried Chicken, being on Twitter with tweets and hashtags flying makes it more enjoyable.

There are downsides obviously such is the internet but in the main it’s a positively functioning relationship.

There are also the added benefits of the great, the good, the obscure, the funny and the kind.

And celebrities.

In the olden days of the wheezing and turgidly slow snail mail, metaphorically reaching out and touching the object of your affection was a slow business. Yet now anyone with a smart phone can send a tweet to a star and if they’re lucky they will get a reply. Sometimes it’s actually them.

Sometimes it isn’t.

But the whole point is that they are perceived to be accessible. This has taken fandom to a whole new level.

I’m not immune. I’ve sent fan mail, I’ve sent email and I’ve tweeted stars. But it’s the aspect of the super fan, the fan of fans, the vicious fan, that I’m thinking of as I type this.

You see that tsunami of love if handled properly can be tamed and managed and sent replete with it’s awesome power back the other way.

It’s a win, win. You the star remain mute yet unaffected or you may reply with dignified restraint and if you’re big enough, if your follower count is high enough the fans do the rest.

Hailed as one, the flying monkeys leap into the air and travel malevolently to the object of their venom. It could be a critic or a journalist or a disability rights campaigner.

They may have just be doing their job or pointing out a fact or asking for reason. It really doesn’t matter what their motivation is. Their motivation ceases to be a mitigating or relevant factor.

What is at stake is the perceived harm done to their beloved.

So they must pay.

Their beloved must know that they are paying though. They must know that this is a crusade on their behalf so their name is added to the comments :


@haplesscritic Um like you don’t know anything fuck off you cunt @mybelovedstar

The addition of the star name reclines like a kiss at the bottom of a poison pen letter.

The star thoroughly satiated that their work has been done without them having to lift an immaculately manicured finger then tweets lukewarm rebuke and gentle caution.

Like every bullying gang ringleader calling their henchmen to heel.

The great stars reply to critics either in a muted way or not at all. The greatest example of a response is Charlie Brooker who retains the comment and replies, but withholds the username.
Win Win.

People fall out and misinterpret and it will always be this way with written communication. There is little room for nuance in 140 characters, but going “cunting” with a pack, makes you look like a fool and  ultimately seems to undermine the whole point of Twitter to me.

Pampered preening stars turning Twitter into an anti social network seems a little sad.

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