In Frayed Connections on February 15, 2012 at 2:15 pm

I first joined Twitter about a year ago. It was one of those reluctant ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join em’ type things. I didn’t need it- I feel over-connected already. But it was impossible to ignore it’s popularity. So I made up a username, secured a password, and went in, to see what the big deal was.

These can’t be real, right?

I hit the ground running, signing up for all of the comedians I liked, from Chris Rock to Louis C.K., the few celebs I could stand which include the staff at Chelsea Lately, Joel McHale, and stars of shows I like, including The League, 30 Rock, and Always Sunny In Philadelphia, plus lots of NFL players, and literally no one I actually know in real life. (I couldn’t find anyone!) Time to sit back and see what happens…I set my e-mail notifications  and let ‘er roll.

Leah Remini: Jets Fan!

The first thing I noticed was what the celebs were saying involved promoting their latest projects. There wasn’t a lot of talking back and forth- lots of celebs were talking ‘at’ the regular people. There’s no way that a system like that would have all of this success, I thought- there’s got to be more to it.

Eventually, I found myself volunteering answers to some of the open ended questions that the celebs might ask in a rare moment of selflessness: what did you think of the show last night? What’s your favorite song? (Especially if it’s one of mine!)  

Once I got the hang of it, I slowly began to interact with the comedians, tweeting out wise-ass answers and comments. Of course, I was virtually ignored. Then, one day, I got a personal message from Leah Remini talking about the New York Jets. I was thrilled – wow!- a tv star is talking to me! (Yeah- this  coming from someone who ‘can’t stand’ celebs- until they talk to me!) This flattering interaction inspired me to polish up my ‘act’ and go full throttle into responding to celebrities. Loni Love, from Chelsea Lately messaged me (twice!) including an ‘Oh Snap!’ in response to one of my observations. Heather McDonald wrote back to tell me my comment was ‘Funny!’ while I was reading her book! Kat Von D and I talked about the  music playing at the airport. Even the Honey Badger wrote me back to tell me he didn’t care! (Hi, Jen Kirkman) The Bronx Zoo Cobra, who was on the loose, sent me a ‘Sssssss’. Wow! I was getting swept up in a wave of intimacy with  famous people (and celebrity wildlife!) who would probably never speak to me in person! It was heady!

Kat hates airport music, too! Amazing!

Now I wanted to be re-tweeted, which was the next level in Twitter feedback. This is when a celeb actually holds up what you said in front of everyone as if to say: ‘Look at the genius comment I just found’ and it’s the gold star of Tweets. So I started tossing out my best material. I spent hours experimenting  with what I thought were excellent comebacks. It felt a lot like trying to get behind some imaginary red-velvet ropes at a premiere. Or the real ones at Studio 54.

I finally figured out (months later!) that in 99% of all cases, the sacred ‘Re-Tweets’ are compliments and kissing up to said star. For instance, if you say: ‘So-and-so is the best comedian in the world! Needed Oxygen, I laughed so hard!!!’ you would get re-tweeted. If you complimented (really, really sucked up) their latest movie or book-particularly if it was in stores or theaters, you’d get re-tweeted. In fact, it could be called ‘Ass-Kiss-Palooza!’  ‘Enough about me! What do you think about me?!’ And though I’ve done a lot of things for love- I won’t do that! I had to stop with this.

But just to be sure I wasn’t being too cynical, I purposely tweeted a very cute athlete, who made the play-offs this year, telling him how good-looking he was, and what a stellar athlete he was, complimenting a certain play. Purposely kissing up, as hard as I could. (I don’t want to say who it was, because he’s no more self-absorbed than any other athlete) Sure enough, I got my first re-tweet. And with that, I stopped responding to celebs on Twitter. I just can’t waste hours possibly giving comedians free material (it could happen!)- or kissing up to athletes in the hopes that they’ll acknowledge my existence by commenting on theirs! Not when I have a life to show up for.

“I can give you some tips”

If there’s one good thing about Twitter, it’s the pictures. Celebs and athletes post photos they take during their hectic lives, so you can see their pets, kids, travels and backstage antics. These aren’t the professional shots you see everywhere, so it’s cool. For that reason- and that reason alone, I keep my Twitter account open! But it sure is easy to see how people get sucked in. Being ‘knighted’ with a response or re-tweet sure feels special. And also a lot like being an unpaid Public Relations person!! Or an movie extra. No, wait- they usually get a sandwich.

What do you think?

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