Artists Pay Back (The Blog)

July 31, 2009

Twitter: The Reckoning

So I joined Twitter. I’d seen the news reports, the tales of fierce rivalries for the most “followers” that raged between people like Ashton and Kanye and, uh, okay just those two mostly. I’d heard how Shaquille O’Neal himself was known to interact with fans at an almost unprecedented rate. I figured it would bring me closer to Hollywood types. I needed to get some kind of closeness, I needed to follow them without actually becoming a stalker (which I’m told is generally frowned upon.) So this my recourse, not stalking – eStalking. Big difference.

So I signed up. Logged in. And promptly began doing the “@FamousNameHere” thing. And since that first day, something magical has happened.

I’ve been routinely ignored.

Yup. Not a tweep, er peep, ah whatever…from a celeb in response to my responses. They make a joke, I make a witty rejoinder and my words just die in in the ether. Apparently in celebrity cyberspace, no one can hear you tweet.

Now, it’s not to say that I’m foolish enough to believe that I’d have Matthew Perry or Jason Segel or even Michael Ian Black LOL’ing at their keyboards and rushing to retweet me. (And bless Mr. Ian Black, so desperately is he pimping out his wonderful new show on Comedy Central he has taken to Twitter like some dude with nothing better to do with his life than constantly interact with the twittering masses. Uh, no offense, Ashton.) Honestly, did I actually believe that within a week or so with one or two responses that I’d be touched by one of the golden Gods from Mount Hollywood?

Uh, yeah. Actually I did. 

Yeah, I’m kind of an idiot, er optimist. No wait, I had it right the first time.

I’m not the first person to make the “high school is just a microcosm of life in general” analogy, but it’s never been more crystal clear than when I joined Twitter. Here I am, the quiet kid in class jockeying for a chance to get the popular kids to notice me. I laugh at their jokes which are not always funny, I try to get them to acknowledge mine which often are. But much like Larry Ford taught me in eighth grade as he would do his hack routines in Algebra class, something is always funnier coming from someone popular. And vice versa.

Now granted, some of these celebs must be getting hundreds or even thousands of responses to their every post and they may or may not be looking beyond the first one or two responses when they deign to check their “@” in-box. They probably scan whichever ones are on screen and pick one or two to respond to. This gives them an air of accessibility without really having to expend much effort. And quick scan of their Twitterings shows that they are busy indeed as their days are fairly consumed with (a) watching TiVo, (b) getting off/on planes, (c) eating, or (d) tweeting about watching TiVo, getting on/off planes and eating. 

So my being ignored is surely nothing personal, but it’s still frustrating. Though it also has its amusing aspects particularly when you look closely at who does get a celeb response. Perhaps there is more to it than just picking a couple responses off the top of the list as most respondees largely fall into two camps. Other celebrities (even those that can be considered marginal, we’re talking the back-half-of-the-alphabet-lister here) and hot chicks.

Tell me this isn’t high school.

Especially the male celebs. It’s fun to watch the sometimes not even remotely amusing or witty or insightful musing garner tons of fawning responses. Some of which are neither amusing, witty or insightful themselves. But they get responses because it’s from another celeb or hot chick. Though I have fallen prey to the fawning over less-than-stellar celeb musings in hopes of getting “noticed” and perhaps my retorts weren’t what one would call ‘inspired,’ I have thrown out some rather clever rejoinders aaaaand…nothing. (For instance, I’ve tweeted a couple of pithy bon mots at the lovely and talented Elizabeth Banks with, sigh, nary an “@” back.) Some of these celebrity brain droppings are of the “Man, ice is really cold. Amiright people…” variety and suddenly #ice is trending.

Ah well, still I try. I’ve done the witty approach, the direct approach, the casual approach, the help-a-brother-out approach and have yet to stick the landing on any. Here I wait to see if Seth Rogen will offer advice to an up-and-coming writer (yes, me) or how Kristen Bell’s reshoots are going on COUPLES RETREAT (opening this October at a theater near you) or perhaps if John Mayer has clicked my link to the script I wrote about having problems peeing in public. (Seriously, John, it’s EXACTLY related to your tweet and it’s only like 20 pages long. Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back.)

Yes, class is in session at Twitter High and, as always, the cool rule the school. Maybe I’ll get that first response soon. After all, I need to get noticed eventually if I’m ever going to get a date to the prom.


Want more Twitter insight, check out the 5 Reasons To Avoid* Twitter.

Or perhaps you need some fashion advice, check out these great selections for special occasions.


  1. LOL! Well, if you go on Twitter to get noticed by celebrities, then you’re kind of treating it like high school, aren’t you? Try finding some like-minded people, or some interesting professionals, get involved with a Twitter chat, and you’ll find it a lot more rewarding. You know, go with adult expectations…

    Comment by Janet Ursel — July 31, 2009 @ 11:04 pm | Reply

  2. I’m not Twitter-royalty but I’ll LOL at your post. I feel the same way. Why do they sign up if they’re not going to reply to their @’s. It’s like going to the Dr and WAITING for an hour or more. Like their time is more valuable than mine. We all have the same bodily functions. So what if their wallets are bigger. Their keyboards may be more expensive but if they’re online we’re all equal. We’ve taken time out of our day to read their tweets they can have the courtesy to respond to ours. If they can tweet about ice being cold they can at least @reply to our direct comments.

    @iadiedee on twitter

    Comment by iadiedee — July 31, 2009 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  3. If you had several million followers, you too would be hard-pressed to sort through all the reponses to your tweets. Some “tweeps” are in dire need of some kind of bot to sort through the responses so they can find some they can respond to. Of course, some celebrities on Twitter are just plain narcissistic and don’t read anything by anybody else there at all. Go figure.

    Comment by Dennis Jernberg — July 31, 2009 @ 11:07 pm | Reply

  4. hahaaa… nice piece… celebrities suck…

    Comment by rgdaniel — July 31, 2009 @ 11:07 pm | Reply

  5. […] This post was Twitted by joshuachalhoub […]

    Pingback by Twitted by joshuachalhoub — July 31, 2009 @ 11:09 pm | Reply

  6. High school? I think it’s more like…elementary school lol…

    Comment by Angela — July 31, 2009 @ 11:30 pm | Reply

  7. Janet – Very true. Actually what started as an experiment in making a Celebrity Connection in order to garner some attention for my scripts has now turned into exactly that. I’ve been connecting with other writers and industry types and it’s been a great experience so far. I was critical of the Twitter phenomenon as an outsider, but am beginning to see its value.

    Dee – Indeed. I pee in one pant leg at a time just like them. I will make a vow right now to respond to my @’s when I become famous in name and fat of wallet.

    Dennis – True and true. I know some are inundated with replies, still those hot chicks still seem to be getting through somehow. It’s a case by case deal. Not to say that I won’t keep trying.

    rgdaniel – Muchas gracias… and I too am a big fan of the ellipsis…

    Angela – Good point. Maybe I just need a cootie shot…

    Comment by artistspayback — July 31, 2009 @ 11:47 pm | Reply

  8. i had a DM response from Stephen Fry once to a witty remark I made

    Comment by bob — August 1, 2009 @ 3:24 am | Reply

  9. i’ve gotten a reply from John Mayer and i dont think i fall under the hot-chick category. i really believe it’s a case-to-case/message-timing thing. but there are those celebs who truly want to engage in conversations, like @ThisIsRobThomas – he frequently replies and gets into discussions w/ those who message him.

    Comment by L — August 1, 2009 @ 12:09 pm | Reply

  10. What I hate is the celeb twitter accounts that ALL they do is pimp out their next show, like Ralphie May “I’ll be at the Tuscon Laugh Factory this Friday night!” and never anything personal. Even if am not dumb enough to think Ralphie is sitting there sending those.

    I like Shaq’s, because he posts some dorky pics of himself, and Ludacris, even though his is kind of ‘adult themed’, he at least is looking for feedback from his readers/fans. I heard Hammer is cool.

    Comment by S. M. — August 1, 2009 @ 12:59 pm | Reply

  11. Bob – Very cool. Stephen Fry is someone I’m only marginally familiar with, but I like what I’ve seen and heard so far.

    L – Now, don’t be so modest, I’m sure you’re a very hot chick (uh, unless you’re a dude.) I agree with the timing thing to some degree. Is that Rob Thomas the singer or Rob Thomas the creator of Veronica Mars?

    S.M. – I follow Ludacris and I agree that he is very involved. He follows the “radio DJ” form of Twittering where he asks a question (almost invariably relating to sex) and then posts the best responses. Shaq is cool and from what I’ve heard he actually tries to acknowledge/respond to as many as possible.

    Comment by artistspayback — August 1, 2009 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

    • artistpayback – Rob Thomas the singer. he’s smart and hilarious. sarcastic too. i love him. ;D
      and no, i’m not a dude. (just to make that clear. ;p)

      Comment by L — August 2, 2009 @ 7:42 am | Reply

  12. […] focus on the fun times. Hey, remember when I wrote this? Oh, that blog entry such a hit and we did it together. I’ll never forget that. Oh, and this […]

    Pingback by Tweet Reconciliation; Or How A Tweeter Got His Groove Back « Artists Pay Back (The Blog) — March 31, 2011 @ 10:41 pm | Reply

  13. […] really, I just need to relax and get my thoughts out. I have my moments of humor and profundity and insight and I need to trust it will come through in what I do without letting it paralyze me into not even […]

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