Monday, March 14, 2011

Is it possible to be as Popular as Ashton Kutcher or Justin Bieber?

An interesting website called records the total number of followers, updates, and the number of those being followed by the most popular Twitter users. Topping the list are none other than Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Britney Spears at third. Recently it has been proved by the Freakonomics Radio podcast that Twitter's users don't necessarily act by the rules of reciprocity; meaning, you don't have to follow in order to be followed. For example, country/pop singer, Taylor Swift has over 5.5 million followers, while she follows a measly 53 other users.

If you scour the site, you'll soon notice that the overwhelming majority of the microblogging site's most popular users have reputations to maintain and PR agents breathing down their necks. No ordinary person would be so obsessed to deal with their fans on such a superficial, indirect, and impersonal level as the site's users inevitably stoop down to. After a quick scan of the "loved" tweeters, the self-obsession bleeds right through the monitor. There's the obvious "I had this for breakfast" routine, but then there's also the whole show-boating aspect of it all, pimping any new products you happen to be advertising, any films you happen to be in, and music you happen to be releasing, etc. There are also feeble attempts at saving the world via Red Cross text message funds. (See Katy Perry, also!5781182/did-your-donation-really-reach-japan-probably-not)

Ashton Kutcher used World Malaria Day as a way to garner followers, whether it was disingenuous and merely a publicity stunt is debatable. So if I, virtually a nobody to anyone outside of my school, community, parish, family, and friends were to stand up to the Lady Gagas of the world, the Kim Kardashian-bigshots, the Parish Hilton-owners of the universe, I first, would likely fail to do so, but not fail to make a contribution to a "good" cause, but rather, fail to gain nearly as a substantial following those mentioned. Although, considering how patently useless someone like Paris Hilton has been to all of mankind, and how undeserved all of her fame and wealth are, I may actually stand a chance.

In short, and not to get the reputation of a mad UFO witness, the world would be a [slightly] better place without Twitter. People would think in complete thought and sentences, would abide by the rules of grammar, children wouldn't be fooled by false hopes of someday becoming famous through Twitter, and no one would ever be cut off because of a 140 character cap.

Don't expect to see a "FlammenHund" account on Twitter any time soon.

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