I want you to know how much I like you. I might even love you. I know you have no idea who I am, considering you're so popular and everything and have like hundreds of millions of people into you. And I know it's embarrassing to put this out there, but life is all about taking #chances.
Here's what I think about you: I think you're going to be a big success in life because you have so much going for you. The basic premise of your application is absolutely fricking brilliant.
I hope someday you'll notice me and then we can go out and maybe you can get me a necklace with a blue enamel bird pendant and I'll wear it around my neck every day and sing (!) your praises. But until that happens, I thought it would be helpful to put a few things on the table so we can start our relationship from a place of honesty.
There are things I don't like about you, and I'm going to tell you what they are. My gripes aren't entirely your fault, but they're on your watch, so you have to take responsibility. Like a hedge fund manager.
I may be under your spell, but I see what's going on here. I myself am followed by insurance companies, fundraisers, advertising solicitors, and people with egg faces and no descriptions at all. These people and services are so not into me. They just want me to follow them back so they can then claim, in their marketing collateral and PowerPoint presentations, that they have thousands of followers.
I know a lot of your sycophants have loads of phony and paid-for followers, too. How do we take anybody's hallowed "platform" seriously when their coffers are so padded? It makes me question your morals and values. And that's a slippery slope.
Five hundred million tweets per day in your Twitterverse? That's a lot of tweets. Noisy, noisy tweets. How the hell does anyone get heard? Sure, I can put a lot of hashtags in my tweets to stand out. And I can direct a tweet @SomeoneInParticular so they notice it (I hope) and send it to everyone who follows them, fake followers and all. Just now I turned away from you for a second, just one second!, and when I looked back there were 77 new tweets in my feed. I can't keep up.
On top of that, there's Facebook and Instagram. I'm not the only one cheating on you with them. And they require a lot of attention. So you tell me, Tweety, if I'm not reading all the tweets sent my way, who is reading the tweets I send out? If a tweet gets tweeted and no one is around to read it in the feed, is it still considered a tweet?
The reason I think you're brilliant is because a lot of tweets are important and helpful. It's highly acceptable when @MariaShriver tweets about women's struggles, when @NickKristof tweets about chemical safety, when @GDeLaurentiis tweets a new frittata recipe, and when @jojomoyes tweets about her new novel. I even enjoy when non-bold names tweet about the things I'm interested in, i.e. the latest in book publishing, book reading, book writing, work-life balance, and Scandal. But, I do not care for tweets that tell me their writers are hungry, tired, or have needy children. We're all hungry, tired, and have needy children. I think there should be a Commissioner of Dumb Tweets fining people for dumb tweets. Nominations are open.
My dear, adorable, blue Twitter, I hope I didn't hurt your feelings. I'm just confused by you. You come off all confident and democratic and good-looking and user-friendly. But then you go and pull some of these sorry moves. If you write me back, I'll know you're interested and want to pursue a lasting relationship with me. If not, I'll move on. I hear Facebook is looking for new "friends."
Follow me at @susieschnall.
Susie Orman Schnall is a writer and author who lives in New York with her husband and three young boys. Her award-winning debut novel On Grace (SparkPress 2014) is about fidelity, friendship, and finding yourself at 40. Her second novel, The Balance Project: A Novel (SparkPress 2015), is about work-life balance and is inspired by her popular interview series The Balance Project. Visit Susie's website for more information.
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