Especially after this post.
I’m talking about on twitter, of course, but I’m not specifically talking about William Shatner. He’s just fun to poke with a stick. This is about any celebrity or well-known person, like Jessica Alba, Taylor Swift, or His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama – who is not only on twitter, but doesn’t follow anyone back. Some Dalai Lama he is, eh?
But it’s Mr. Shatner’s frequent twitter episodes that got me to thinking about all of this, because I noticed that people were going to great lengths trying to get him to answer them, “retweet” their posts, and even follow them back.
Unless you’re some kind of celebrity or public figure like Bill or Mr. Lama, you’ve probably never had over a million twitter followers. I haven’t. But can you just imagine the avalanche of replies someone like William Shatner gets to anything he posts? I mean, seriously, he simply says “Hello Twitter!” and it’s a torrential downpour of tweets over the next few minutes.
Let’s do the math: the man has 1,310,106 twitter followers at the moment I’m writing this. This will fluctuate of course, as he’s become quite adept at the rapid-fire tapping of his “BLOCK” key, which I’m sure he keeps well-oiled and on standby at all times.
(Note to Mr. Shatner: THIS IS MY TWITTER, in case you want to go ahead and click “BLOCK” now.)
But let’s round that number down to one million (I just dissed over 300,000 Trekkies with a few keystrokes) so, even if just one percent respond to his salutation, that’s, uh.. *click click*
TEN THOUSAND REPLIES.
I think Mr. Shatner has a lot of talent but there’s just no way he’s some sort of ALPHA-celebrity who can read and respond to all ten thousand replies in a few minutes. DATA could, but Brent Spiner and Bill Shatner are merely human, like me and (presumably) you.
Each time he singles out a handful of followers for any response at all, you can bet your phasers that they’re the ones that happened to land on the screen in front of him at that moment. Out of those, the ones that are in the least bit interesting, entertaining, and/or annoying get a response.
More on those annoying ones in a minute. They sure do rattle his cage.
I actually got a response from Mr. Shatner once and, being the name-dropper from hell, I had to go and tell everyone about it. Mrs. Dave wasn’t home so “everyone” consisted of the two cats, who seemed unimpressed. To me, it was kind of like scoring a hundred-dollar hit in the state lotto, and winning the jackpot would be having him actually follow me back.
More on that later, too.
Let’s look at a couple of other celebrity tweeters for a moment, and do some more fun math. I mentioned the lovely Jessica Alba earlier; as of this writing, she has 4,877,774 followers. Let’s round UP this time, to five million, so we can put back a lot of those people we stole from Mr. Shatner.
Okay, so this means that if Jessica Alba gets on twitter and says “Hi” and one percent of her followers happen to be online at the moment and respond to her, then she will get, uh.. *click click*
FIFTY THOUSAND REPLIES.
I not only follow her beautiful antics on twitter, I subscribe to her facebook page too. Although we can’t see a count of all the replies a person gets on twitter, facebook keeps a running tab of the “likes” and comments someone gets on a status update.
I'm pointing this out because I remember seeing Ms. Alba post two words one day – “So tired!” – and, within two minutes, there were 647 “likes.”
Really folks? Ya’ll like the fact that Jessica Alba is so tired? REALLY? I have no idea how many comments there were, but I’d bet it was easily over several thousand and the majority of those were probably, “Me too!”
Yes, facebook can be quite exhausting.
Okay, one more. CHECK THIS OUT:
Taylor Swift has 23,476,200 followers (as of this writing).
(2015 NOTE: Miss Tay now has FIFTY MILLION TWITTER FOLLOWERS, which is more than the population of the state of California. Also, a third of them are ex-boyfriends.)
TAYLOR: “Hi everyone!”
TWO HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND REPLIES.
That's the population of Norfolk, Virginia and it's also 229,998 more than I get on average when I go on twitter and say the same thing.
Hopefully, all of this will assuage the concerns of my trekkie friend who private-messaged me one day because he’d just spent several hours sending questions/jokes/praises to William Shatner without a response. “Dude,” he said, “do you think he’s aggravated by me? Am I bugging him?” My answer:
“You’re not even on his radar, man. If you were bugging him, he’d have blocked you and there’d be a huge black hole on your twitter where William Shatner used to be. He hasn’t seen your queries, so no worries. Either just keep trying or give it up, but don’t take it so personally.”Speaking of “keep trying,” let’s address that.
WHY do you desperately want your celebrity pal to notice you?
Okay yeah, I did the whole Hollywood thing for a few years and I’ve told stories about meeting or working with this or that celebrity, so I’m guilty of “fame-pandering” myself. I’ve told my “ran into Anne Hathaway in Mel’s Diner just before she was famous while she was out on a date with Topher Grace and he was really nice but she was kind of uppity” story hundreds of times, usually getting a blank stare in response or at least “Oh, really? So is the food at Mel’s any good?” Then they ask me who Topher Grace is.
I’ve even posted my story about driving Gwyneth Paltrow around in a golf cart
The thing is, who actually cares, and why? Would you try so hard to get a response from William Shatner if he hadn’t saved planet Earth so many times but was instead just a kindly, eccentric old grandfather? True, he’s a kindly, eccentric old grandfather now, but.. TRIBBLES, amirite?
What if His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was merely the 3rd or 4th Dalai Lama? Six million followers? Not likely. More like six, and they’d all be thanking him for the follow and urging him to “click this link!” so he could check out the cool apartments they have for rent in Toledo.
For some weird reason, people are attracted to fame and celebrity, and want to be a part of it – even if it’s just a tiny little part. Like that day William Shatner retweeted something I said to him so I blurted out “William Shatner just retweeted something I said to him!” to my cats, then wrote an entire blog post about it.
What a moron.
Not only do we anguish over a lack of response but we also try to get him, Jessica, or Taylor (or Mr. Lama) to retweet our cleverness to their masses and maybe, hopefully.. if God in his wisdom sees fit to smile upon us with all due benevolence today.. FOLLOW US BACK.
But here are a couple of points about that:
1. If you want to be followed, be worth following. But don’t give a darn if your celebrity idol doesn’t notice you, it’s not a big deal. There are certainly more constructive things you could do with your life than hammering away at some celebrity in a fleeting attempt to get noticed.
2. If you’d like a retweet you should say something to him/her that’s so worth retweeting, he/she will want to share it with all those people. “Good morning, Mr. Shatner, I’m eating a breakfast burrito!” probably won’t cut it.
2a. You need to be clever and/or informative. Keep in mind that he/she likely won’t see it though, which is fine. Recycle it and use it later, on someone who’s not so famous – which is everyone you know in real life.Quit worrying about who follows you, m’kay? If any of them do, and it’s their own idea (without you asking), that’s awesome! But if they don’t, well, somebody must be following you, right? Are they paying attention to what you say? That too is awesome, even if they aren’t Captain Kirk.
And whatever you do – OH MY GOD, WHATEVER YOU DO – please don’t offer to donate to a charity if William Shatner (or anyone else) follows you on twitter. Because this really makes you look bad. I mean BLOCK bad. You might as well threaten to feed chocolate to William Shatner’s puppy if he doesn’t autograph your red shirt. Just donate to the darned charity anyway, then it’s up to you if you want to tell anyone about it – I wouldn't.
So again, be creative and worth following.
Say cool stuff.
Make ‘em LAUGH..
Above all else, be you. Because you’re the only you around, and you are exactly what some people need, famous or not. They just don’t know it yet.