Twitter Fame Can Have Its Downside

Bet you would be super-psyched if Lady Gaga retweeted your witty comment to her 22 million Twitter fans, right? Well, that little moment in the spotlight could mean a slew of new followers, but it could also mean a bunch of @replies from creepy (or angry) strangers.

Laura Hazard Owen’s experience when she was retweeted by President Barack Obama “kind of sucked.” She replied to one of his tweets about Obamacare, he retweeted it and all hell broke loose on her stream. Granted, politics and religion will get you in trouble every time, but maybe attention directed your way from a celebrity would be better? Depends on who you ask.

A 19-year-old Englishman, Steve Holmes, was picked at random and followed by Kayne West and the young man promptly quit Twitter. Holmes’ follower count went from 60 to more than 6,000 and the “odd requests” that starting pouring in were just too much to contend with.

Sarah Killen (now Sarah Slowik) has a very different story. As the one random person Conan O’Brien starting following, she received lots of attention, but the good kind. She was able to have her dream wedding, got lots of free swag and has been able to fundraise for some good causes. She now has 90k followers and is expecting a baby.

There are critics of fame, of course, but if you believe that Twitter is about numbers, then fame in any variety, even fleeting, could be worthwhile. This piece, brought to you by John Aguiar, a blogger with 100k followers, presents an unpopular though sound sentiment around follower count. You’ll need to scroll a bit to get to it, but it’s the first section under the “5 BS Things You Need To Ignore” header (never said it was elegant!).

What do you think about Twitter Fame? Is it something you aspire to? Why or why not?

(Theater faces image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.
Publish date: March 30, 2012 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT