I don’t know if I woke up in a bad mood or the post I saw on twitter put me that way. Since reading it early this morning it has stuck with me like gum on the bottom of my shoe. I haven’t posted in Random Ruminations Remotely Related to wRiting in a long time, probably because I haven’t been ruminating much. I really need to start running, ruminate more, eat less.
I saw this tweet this morning. I saw that the person had changed their name from a previous presumption of grandiose importance to one even more self absorbed. I thought to myself, “I should skip it. Reading his/her tweets usually makes me mad.” I read it anyway. As I remember it, this is what it said;
“Don’t you love it when you’re bummed out and people tell you clever things. I know I sure do. #sarcasm.”
This was by a writer whom I respected a long time ago, but over time have felt less of a kinship. This tweet topped it. I hit “Unfollow”.
This is how I interpret the tweet.
“Dear people who have follow me on twitter, I don’t expect you to respond to my comments. I don’t want you to try and cheer me up when I’m ‘bummed out’. I don’t want you to act like me, and try to say clever things, you’re not as clever as I am, anyway. Not only do I find your input unimportant, I believe you are too stupid to know when I am using sarcasm, which, if you’ll listen to my podcast, is at least half of the time.”
I know that most people are unconcerned about the people who follow them. You can tell, easily, when they have 7000 followers and only follow a couple hundred. Twitter is a marketing tool. We want people to follow us and retweet our important announcements of what we have to sell them. A real relationship with interaction is undesirable. Really. How many books can you sell to a friend. They probably want you to give it to them for free; that’s what a friend would do.
So, my concern is that I may someday become so popular that I lose interest in what my followers think. Of course, I have to get some followers first. No one really listens to me anyway, so right now, I can say anything I want.
I think no matter who we are, when we’ve done enough good stuff to get people to like us, we need to be loyal to them as well. I remember when I started reading the Piers Anthony books, (Yes. It was in the dark ages. ‘Ogre, ogre’ was hot off the printing presses), waiting eagerly for the next Xanth book to come out. At the end of most of those books was an afterward where he started including who had suggested some of the puns he had used in the book. He was keeping in contact and being loyal to his fan base. Not just the really cool people who would make him look good, but the little people who bought his paper back books in the used book store.
In closing, Mom, and any other fans that may actually exist, I hope that if you ever try to cheer me up, no matter how lamely, ineffectively, or self promotingly, that I will be grateful and gracious for your friendship. #sincere.
Philip ‘Norvaljoe’ Carroll is a staff editor at Flying Island Press and an increasingly old man, who’s mother is happy that he is trying to write entertaining things. He’s grateful to his wife, daughter, son-in-law and Jeff Hite, who have read his stories and given him feedback. And if you want to follow him on twitter he’s @PhilipCarroll and he will alway follow people who are writers, musicians, or others who are concerned about helping people in need. (If you’re a personal networking guru, coach, developer or other illuminary, he probably won’t follow you, unless you tell him something funny.)