I joined Twitter almost 2 1/2 years ago and I'll admit: those early days were awkward. It was like schoolyard jumprope and you'd have to study the twirl of the rope and time it just right before running in to play, too. It felt silly to "tweet" anything, and giving up two spaces after a period for character economy hurt! Fail whales proliferated, Twitter parties weren't invented, and business had yet to discover they could leverage it into engaging customer to brand.
And I'd indiscriminately follow people. If "they" were good enough for you to follow, I'd probably add 'em, too…
…even if I didn't know who they were or why you were following them.
Take Betty and her husband Don; I think I followed them because Jessica tweeted something pithy and intriguing, and knowing Jessica, brilliant…about them? to them? one? both? So I followed. I loved their retro 60s Twitter backgrounds and figured their liquor-drinkin', cigarette-smokin' tweets were schtick…a novel way to distinguish themselves and build Twitter characters just for fun, mocking an era gone by.
Who knew they were fictional characters on a TV show?
So, when "Betty" DMed me one day, I thought it was her stepping out of Twitter character to reach out to me because she was needy and hurting and she could tell I was a nice and caring person. Though the tweet is long gone, it went something like this:
The kids are driving me crazy. Think Don's having another affair. I've got no one to talk to. I need a cigarette and a drink.
So I did what any decent human would do–I DMed her back, truly concerned and sensing her desperation, telling her if she needed to talk I was available (something I've never offered to a stranger before or since); if you had to go with the odds, I told her I'd pray for her, too.
She didn't reply.
A year or two later and older and Twitter-wiser, I'm eagerly awaiting the Season Four premier of Madmen tonight (hoping I won't catch third-party lung cancer). Though character entertains me and story draws me in, it's the fashion I can't wait to see!! (Oh, how j'adore vintage clothing and ANY reason to wear it!)
Lucky for Nielson ratings I don't hold grudges ;).