My two favorite celebrities on Twitter are @THE_REAL_SHAQ and @Alyssa_Milano. They are entertaining. They keep it real. They tweet as if they were mere mortals sharing their exceptional day-to-day existence in the same stream as our mundane mortal lives.
Many who have celebrity friends on Twitter actually know and interact with them. My good buddies @Zaibatsu, @BuzzEdition, and @Murnahan talk to celebrities regularly because of their strength on Twitter. They are some of the exceptions.
Sadly, a trend has been increasing lately that takes advantage of the kindness of those celebrities who reply back to people who tweet @ them. It’s been there since the dawn of celebritwitter in the beginning of this year, but I see it creep up more often every day.
You’ve seen them. The fans or pseudo-fans who send @replies to celebrities in hopes of getting a response. They do whatever they can to push a button, strike a cord, sound interesting, and basically figure out any way that they can get the grand prize – a personalized reply directed at them. Why? I wondered this myself until I had a real life friend tell me something interesting yesterday.
“I was talking to Alyssa Milano today, and she told me (text eliminated to protect the guilty party).”
Inside, I started laughing because I knew where it was leading. I know that Alyssa Milano is an avid Twitter user who is humble and cordial enough to reply to those who send her tweets. There was no doubt in my mind that my friend had “talked” to her via Twitter, but I held my reply. I put on my best poker face to see where he would take this and said, “That’s cool. So what are we having for lunch?”
He paused, obviously expecting a more pronounced response. “Alyssa Milano,” he said. “You know, the actress.”
I nodded. “I was thinking about getting the fried catfish. Haven’t had catfish since my trip to Oklahoma.”
He wanted to say more, but didn’t. He looked at the menu, obviously dismayed that I didn’t say, “Holy #@&$%! Alyssa Milano! You talked to her? YOU. ARE. EPIC!”
After we were done with the meal, he asked, “Do you use Twitter?”
This is where I laid into him. I won’t go over the details, but the gist of it was this: if you want to talk to people on Twitter…
- Do it for the conversation.
- Do it for the fun.
- Do it to find and share information.
- Do it for the engagement, the interlinking of lives both bland and grandiose.
DO NOT do it so you can feel special and try to namedrop at lunch with an old friend (who, by the way, he wasn’t following). Some celebs are incredible members of the Twitter community. Some are not. Don’t take advantage of those who are willing to “chat” with you just so you can claim some weird (and potentially creepy) kinship or connection with them.
They’re people, just like the rest of us.
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Read more about Twitter on this Social Media Blog.