I hope this doesn’t cost me a few, but what do many followers do on Twitter, once they follow you? Do they actually read your tweets, or dump all of their cut-and-pasted garbage onto one’s timeline: re-tweeted trash from their own followers, articles found at various blogs, network and news Web sites, spewing their own outlook on politics, lifestyles and religion; or drivel from some wannabe who thinks they are Mr. Know-it-all? Then there are those pompous, self-righteous individuals (myself included) who think they can make your life seem worthwhile by constantly regurgitating quotations from some famous old sage, words also cut and pasted into a tweet that further clutters up your timeline. How about them who strictly are fans of someone extraordinary, and all they do is re-tweet the latter’s tweets? I find that most peculiar, making me wonder why I am reading these things secondhand, and not just following the original authors of the jargon to begin with. What about the egotistical ballyhoos that constantly tweet the same things about themselves and their contributions to the literary world or society? It makes me want to say, “STFU already,” to put it nicely; and yet, I continue to read and cherish their “followship” regardless. After all, Twitter is based on self-promotion, and some of my followers are experts at it while knowing nothing else.
Followers are a funny breed. For celebrities, their cyberspace entourage are essentially crazed groupies gathered from the information superhighway, programmed to re-tweet, like, or immediately favor the former’s superfluous, self-indulgent utterances or pictures, no matter how lame they may be. These indigenous species are noted for brown rings around their noses. When was the last time you saw the term, “Information Superhighway”? That dates back to when Al Gore invented the Internet. Celebrities can post anything, and straightaway over 50-plus re-tweets, and the same amount of favorites are indicated with a plethora of plastered icons spread all across the bottom of the said tweet.
A shout-out to so-called Klout Influencers is quite appropriate. You know the ones: the self-proclaimed experts in selected fields, who give advice on their particular niche, or re-tweet their follower’s mentioning their greatness, tweet after tweet, hour after hour, day after day, non-stop, never changing their rap, repeating it often to my tuned-out ears, while I wonder how great they must be, tweeting their lives away.
Then’s there me. Being a follower, I try to submit something original for all: a photograph, video, some presumed witticism that turns out all wrong, a compliment, or comment; and often wish that I would immediately get one re-tweet, a favorite, or “Kudos, mate, you done well.” Thankfully, I occasionally do and have a core of folks following me, putting up with my nonsense, who are sincere and most gracious, true artists, musicians, writers, photographers, social-media experts, and genuinely down-to-earth people. Perhaps my work is not worthy of praise, so be it; but I see such crap on here that gets acknowledgement, it makes me plain mad at times!
So goes my tirade, something about which I suppose many artists have complained during their careers. Van Gogh sold only one of his magnificent, priceless paintings during his lifetime. Surely, that must have played on his mind, or was a major cause of him losing it. I dedicated nearly a chapter to van Gogh in my upcoming novel, Mike Slickster’s Amsterdam High Jinks. I feel we are kindred spirits.