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.

Celebrity Tweets

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.

* * *

Read more about Twitter on this Social Media Blog.

Leave a Reply

16 comments

  1. Imagine that… name dropping Twitter Conversations…

    JD, your bud must have been going insane when you were ignoring his “I was talking to Alyssa Milano today…” Gotta love your “So what are we having for lunch?” Now that is EPIC.

    The cool thing about her is that you can actually see her actively engaging with all these [potential name-dropping] peeps. She’s not one of those celebs that routinely ignores their adoring fans. (Alyssa Milano ftw?)

    We’re all too ready to put these celebs on elevated pedestals but with Twitter Alyssa’s showing us how she’s a regular person, just like the rest of us.

    God Bless,
    Yoon

    P.S. Now I would be uberly impressed if someone told me that they chatted with *Alyssa over Skype… (namedrop all you want in this case)

    *Um, would you believe that I’m on a first name basis with Alyssa Milano?

  2. JD Rucker

    @yoonhoum – Yes, that’s definitely what separates her from most of the other celebrities who are using Twitter as a grading system (more followers means more social media cred – meh).

    I would love to interview her on the Social Blade Show – Oprah might have more followers, but she doesn’t engage like Alyssa.

  3. Maybe the guy was hoping somebody would offer him a free lunch in exchange for the amazing story of a few tweets. Fair trade? Probably not.

    Did Ms. Milano rip off her shirt and thrust her breasts at him? Did she slip him a hotel room key? Did she express how delighted she was that he would take his time to tweet with her because she had waited so long to brag about tweeting with him?

    The way I see it, everybody has an equal opportunity to be a jackass. I don’t really care who they are or what they do, we all have a chance to be a good person, or a bad one. I have found plenty of celebrity bone-head moments. I have blogged about them, and I even included some serious bone-head action in my recent book. I would have written the same blog about you, if you did the same thing.

    Some people are just so proud to be known by somebody who is known. It is like being vicariously “important”. Some people are just a bit more immune than others and see people for who and what they are, and do.

    This person sounds like they may just have a weak ego that screams for a stroking.

  4. JD Rucker

    @Murnahan – “Vicariously ‘important'” – Wow, that’s exactly, precisely it.

  5. Terry Lerner

    For those who do not know, Alyssa Milano IS one of the nicest persons, celebrity or not, to grace the pages of Twitter. I am proud to have been one of those people that she tweeted back when I initiated a conversation with her.

    Of course, I didn’t go tell my friends about it. I didn’t brag about it or feel some misguided self-importance as a result. It did make me feel good, and for that, I think Alyssa is awesome.

    Shaq is pretty cool too.

  6. Donovan

    Alyssa Milano is definitely one of the more humble and engaging users in the Twitterverse. I have been personally acknowledged by her more than once, both in tweets and DMs. Just the fact that she takes time and effort to do that with her fans and followers speaks volumes about the kind of person she is. Also, she just radiates positivity in how she handles herself and is always gracious and diplomatic, never self-important or haughty. Both socially and Biblically (1Cor 13), that’s pretty much what love is all about.

    Ms. Milano has big love. Kudos to her.

  7. JD Rucker

    @Terry – Couldn’t have said it better myself.

    @Donovan – And Kudus to you for saying it.

  8. You suck dude

    a replay is like a virtual autograph you tool…whats the difference of going up and following a celebrity down the street for them to sign a piece of paper….we can actually “talk” to celebrities and maybe they’ll talk back…your a fucking douche bag dude.

  9. JD Rucker

    @You_Suck_Dude There is no difference between going up to a celebrity and getting an autograph and tweeting them for a reply. In both instances, you’re just one of many who have tweeted or gotten their autograph.

    There’s nothing wrong with being happy and mentioning to your friends that you got Shaq’s autograph or you tweeted Alyssa Milano and she replied.

    The point is, when you say, “I was talking to Alyssa Milano today and she was telling me all about this charity she’s working with…” you’re insinuating that you had a conversation directly with them, one on one, in a closed setting such as face-to-face or on the phone.

    Twitter, autographs – not the same thing.

    And yes, I am a douche bag sometimes. I admit it. It’s fun.

  10. everyone is a social celebrity these days. Want to talk to me?

  11. Why not use Twitter for whatever you want to use Twitter for. People who make rules for other people are stupid. People who obey those rules are worse. 🙂

  12. scott

    I just joined twitter, simply to cyberstalk celebrities and possibly interact with them. Why not? It’s innocent starf*cking. Your post does nothing to dissuade me. In fact, the yousuck dude hit the nail on the head. It’s like a virtual autograph. You know that somewhere, that celebrity was sitting at his/her computer or iphone, read your tweet, and took the time to think about it and offer a reply. Seems pretty damn cool to me.

  13. Some of the talk on Twitter is just cringe worthy when it comes to ‘celebs’. They dont take any notice of it. It probably means more to them when people meet them in person. Their just try to get their point across and promote themselves. Theirs nothing a random person can tell them that their manager cant.

  14. Now I am going to do my breakfast, later than having my breakfast coming
    over again to read more news.

  15. It’s essential to marketing 8th canadian edition crane recognize that 97% of people in the Room? I look forward to his contributions to our next phase of growth. Starbucks can easily utilize their SNS sites to develop new products, and we still don’t know if consumers actually want this thing.

  16. Hiya, just start seeing a person’s blog page by way of Yahoo, observed that it must be genuinely helpful. Now i am want to look out for brussels. I most certainly will value if you progress this kind of later on. Numerous persons shall be benefited from your crafting. All the best!