I Will Follow You, Will You Follow Me

Do you tweet?

President Obama does, as do the Governator and Britney. Or at least, people on their staffs do in their name.

But Stephen Fry, Tina Fey, John Cleese, Ashton Kutcher, Demi Moore, Yoko Ono, Lance Armstrong, and Seth MacFarlane do their own tweeting, for better or worse.

Tweeting is, of course, what you do with Twitter, which asks one simple question: “What are you doing?” The answer must contain 140 characters or less.

As you can see, I’m caught up in this foolishness as well, although I can’t for the life of me tell you why. I started by innocently answering the basic question . “Getting ready to leave for work,” I’d tweet, or “Calling it a night.”

That got boring pretty quickly, so I began throwing out some allegedly amusing one-liners, Zen observations, or obscure quotations (like “Admiration is for poets and dairy cows”; I was watching Twin Peaks one night whilst tweeting).

Now I’m a full-fledged Twitterholic, armed with TweetDeck, Hoot Suite, Tweetie and God knows what else, prepared to rt or DM or @ or just tell you what I’m having for lunch at a moment’s notice. As long as there’s an Internet connection.

One thing I don’t get caught up in (or understand) is the whole “following” frenzy. I think I may be following about 47 Twits (none of whom I actually know) and being followed by about the same. I keep getting tweets shouting, “get 50,000 followers in 30 days!” Why would I want that? They’d just want me to be one of their faux-followers in return. It’s tough enough to get through the tweets I get now.

And I’ve been followed by people I’ve never heard of. When I check their profiles, they describe themselves as “social media entrepreneurs”, which means they’re looking for a way to get my money.

Personally, I think the whole “following” thing is a cousin to the MySpace “see how many friends you can amass” deal (back when MySpace was relevent). It means nothing.

I’d love to ramble on about this (is there a literary equivilent of a jam band?), but one of my programs just beeped. I think my close personal friend Stephen Fry has sent me a message. Me and 203,000 other of his close personal friends.

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