Monday, October 04, 2010

I Follow But Never To Catch

Julia Bradbury“Following” celebs is not cool. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

But we all do it, right?

I do. I admit that I do. Facebook... Twitter... Some of the people I follow are TV people. Slebs. Stars.

But I feel kind of... bad for doing it. Diminished. Dirty. There’s something sad about it.

But I do draw the line at trying to engage them in conversation. That for me is the ultimate no-no. But plainly other people have a lower shame-threshold than I do. Every day these celebrity Twitter users are bombarded with hundreds of comments and pleas for attention. Please notice me Stephen Fry! Please reply to my comment Kirstie Allsopp about how gorgeous I think you are!

Take Julia Bradbury (and believe me, I’d like to). She regularly posts on Twitter and links out to photos she’s taken while filming. Within ten minutes I can guarantee there’ll be at least 50 comments along the lines of “you look great!”, “You look wonderful, Julia!” and “I love your TV work, Jules!”

Whilst I agree with the sentiments I can feel my scorn-face blowing a biggy. Sad sacks the lot of them! Get a life! These comments smack of the worst kind of desperation and sycophantic fan-dom. Oh please look down and notice me from your vaunted high position in Tellyland! Hey guys! Stephen Fry replied to my comment! I finally have self esteem bestowed upon me! I’m finally a somebody!

No. You’re not. You’re a sad little star pandering git.

So why do I Follow these people then if I’m so sneering about other people who do the same? Well, as I said, I don’t myself try and engage them in conversation but I do like the insider’s eye it sometimes opens on the TV industry; I like getting tip-offs about new programmes that are in the pipeline and, yes, I love it when an honest opinion is offered on another celeb or TV programme. I guess it’s like a soundbite version of Heat magazine for people who are too snobby to actually buy Heat magazine (like me).

But does that make me any better than Jonathan from Norwich who has promised to buy Julia Bradbury a pint should she ever find herself filming “down his way”? (Yeah, right, as if, Jonathan.)

I mean, in one of my comments on my previous post I was rather smug about revealing that Stephen Fry Follows me back on Twitter. Is my ego really so reliant on celeb approval? I mean let’s be honest. Stephen Fry Following me back says more about Fry’s innate niceness than it does about me being somehow noteworthy.

And just mentioning it in the first place kind of makes me a sad sack too. Doesn’t it?

And yet Twitter is capitalizing on this trend. For some time now it has offered suggestions on stars it thinks we all might like to Follow. Every day more and more celebs are signing up – solely one suspects to get Followed. It’s a free self-publicity machine after all. Ah how Twitter must love Stephen Fry for popularizing this whole star Following thing in the first place.

Should we be colluding in this? Isn’t it all a bit incestuous and self absorbed? Herd instinct given an e-makeover?

For the few of you out there whose Facebook and Twitter friends are purely people that you actually know and interact with in the real world... Respect.

For the rest of you: please stop bombarding Julia Bradbury with your inane, nobby-no-mates, pathetic “I’m a lonely cyber geek” drivel; my overtures to her are being totally ignored as a consequence.

Julia, when you’re ready, please Follow me back (Stephen Fry thinks I’m OK)!


46 comments:

Rol said...

I follow lots of celebrities on Twitter (but then, I have less of a life than you).

I do occasionally reply to things they say, but rarely send bland compliments. If I've seen someone give a good performance at a gig, for example, I've been known to send them a tweet and tell them so. Other than that I just make sarky comments, like I normally do in blog comments. In other words, I treat celebs like anyone else. If I didn't do that - if I treated them special, showered them with meaningless praise, or dared not to tweet them for fear that "they're too important", I'd feel like a hypocrite.

We're all just people at the end of the day. Some of us have had better breaks, that's all.

Being Me said...

I follow Conan O'Brien and Joel McHale because I think they're funny and I follow some tech geek celebs like Alex Albrecht (who NEVER tweets anyway!?), Dan Trachtenberg and Kevin Rose because, like you said, they provide inside scoops on upcoming stuff and provide info or links to stuff that I take an interest in.

you've hit the nail on the head about what we all think when people bombard celebs with their "reply to me" nags. I've never done it, will never do it..... But doesn't mean that there's a little part of me who thinks that simply by following, I'm part of these people's lives. I'm not. of course I'm not! But I like to *think* I am.

Steve said...

Rol: you send them sarky comments? That is just brilliant and somehow does make it all OK. In fact I may have to start Following Russell Brand as a consequence...! ;-)

Being Me: yep, that's it exactly. We want to be a little part of their lives. To have a dialogue not matter how trivial and (for them) instantly forgettable. I guess it says a lot for the human condition that so many of us do it!

Heather said...

yeah, following and tweeting slebs is totally pathetic, almost as pathetic as writing posts to them begging them to come over and...oh sorry Steve mate, not *your* posts, obviously, but you know, everyone else's, erm..yeah..so err...ahem

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

As you know I got into a twitter conversation with Hardeep Singh Kohli (Glaswegian comic, chef etc) as I was struggling with his recipe for lamb curry. He was very helpful in telling me what to do and wanted to know how it turned out. I must admit I was rather chuffed. I hope that doesn't that make me a loser :-(

Suzanne said...

I am Twitter and Facebook free!
I can't quite believe that I actually write a blog for all and sundry to see, I am essentially rather anti-social I suspect.
I see the friends and family I want to see, and communicate with them by phone, text or e-mail, but as much as possible in person.
I know that I am in a minority, but I like it that way.
As for the celebs, can see why people follow, but it aint for me.

London City Mum said...

I am now going to follow c-list 'sleb Myleene (no) Klass, for the sole reason of wasting my entire day replying to her idiotic tweets and winding myself up ever further that she is everywhere with an opinion about everything and so overwhelmingly unbearable (seen this brilliant article? http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/lostinshowbiz/2010/sep/30/myleene-klass-hollywood-indecent-proposals) that I will need a valium to calm myself down by 11am each morning.

In hindsight, actually, I won't bother.

LCM x

Steve said...

Heather: consider yourself un-Followed.

Trish: yes. You're a loser. Only joking! Getting recipe help from the stars? That's well cool!

Suzanne: respect girl. You're a better person than me.

LCM: Myleene Klass uses Twitter? But how will we see her cheesy smile merely through the medium of text?

-eve- said...

*grins*
hmmmmmmmmm...... *thoughtful*
I guess one could 'follow' for entertainment's sake, just like reading blogs. Or yes, if one had a crush on whoever one is 'following'....... those are the two reasons I'd do it, I guess ;-)

Steve said...

Eve: your uncomplicated honesty is admirable! :-)

Readily A Parent said...

I don't follow a bunch of celebs, just cause, frankly, I can't be bothered wasting my time figuring out which celebs I'd like to follow and then finding out if they have a twitter account and blah blah blah. Most of mine are authors, newspeople, or politicians (sound snobby, don't I).
When they tweet out something I hardly ever respond because I know a million sniveling wannabes are tweeting at that time as well. Instead I randomly involve them in conversations that may or may not matter to them: like inundating @JessicaGottlieb with #monkeyporn tweets.

Readily A Parent said...

Steve your bleeding comment form keeps telling me I made an error and make me redo my sign-in. I may stalk off in a huff!

Readily A Parent said...

Steve your bleeding comment form keeps telling me I made an error and make me redo my sign-in. I may stalk off in a huff!

Steve said...

Readily A Parent: alright, alright, I heard you the first time! Re: blogger - I've been having trouble signing in too. Somehow Blogger seems to have two signing in pages - one works and one doesn't and it seems to be random as to which you get though following this link - http://www.blogger.com/home - seems to help. If you access Blogger via a bookmark it may be that you are using an out-of-date link. Hope that helps ('cos I value your comments). Re: Twitter - another fabulous idea: involving the slebs in spurious conversations! This could be a whole new game. I really am going to start Following Russell Brand now!

The Dotterel said...

Julia Bradbury is on Twitter? Sorry, Steve, can't hang around here... I've got a sleb to stalk.

Steve said...

The Dotterel: oi! Get in the queue! I Twittered her first!

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip said...

Truth be told, I just recently climbed out from under my rock and got on twitter. I have yet to follow anyone but people I know. But I am not above stalking and being a loser, obviously, so I probably will have no problems with following celebrities and brandishing their egos any chance I get. Just as soon as I can figure out how to use Twitter.

Steve said...

Organic Motherhood with Cool Whip: if you're into stalking without leaving the comfort of your own armchair then Twitter is for you...! Sounds like you'll be a natural!

LöstJimmy said...

I think there is nothing wrong in replying to such 'stars' on twitter if you have something of worth to say but I know what you mean about the blatant 'touch me through twitter' stuff...

Anyway as I was saying... I shall go in a huff and unfollow you if you don't, in future, respond to my witty repostes to your comment thread....

Hrumpphhh!

...see I am already sulking...

Steve said...

LöstJimmy: I always reply to your witty ripostes, sir, and tis always an honour to host them here. I think you've hit the nail on the head re: the subject too - if you have something worthwhile to say then it's fine to say it; but not when it's mindless "oh look at me, look at me" drivel.

Suburbia said...

Still haven't succumbed to Twitter (smug eh?!)

Steve said...

Suburbia: it'll get you in the end, I'm telling you! And then you'll be following Rob Brydon and Frankie Boyle like the rest of us!

Vicky said...

Twitter free and proud !!! (only cause I have trouble using Facebook and Twitter would put me over the edge LOL)

Steve said...

Vicky: you're a better blogger than me!

Mr Lonely said...

nice blog.. have a view of my blog when free.. http://www.lonelyreload.blogspot.com .. do leave me some comment / guide if can.. if interested can follow my blog...

Steve said...

Mr Lonely: um. OK. Though if it's guidance you want not sure I'm much of a guru.

misssy m said...

I am a complete book geek so i got very excited after tweeting to no-one about listening to Elliot Smith that Scott Pack an editor (and blogger) from Harper Collins, tweeted me and suggested some other band I would like.

I do follow some celebs but only speak/tweet to BBC6Music DJs because they read your tweets out on air. And that's dweeb-orrific! (And because I have a total girl crush on Lauren Laverne. Which is pathetic, but I reckon that she'll reciprocate directly sooner or later.)

Steve said...

Misssy M: Tweets from Editors is cool. And it sounds like he Tweeted you rather than you him so that's even cooler. You got kudos, girl. And Lauren Laverne is so cool she's ice. And hot. So I have absolutely no beef with that at all. In fact I may have to follow her myself. Bet she Tweets me first...!

Gina said...

I'm a bit late at this party. But that's cool I think.

I haven't been on Twitter in ages but I did follow Stephen Fry at one point but think I stopped when he stomped off that time.

I would follow Keeley anywhere . . .

Steve said...

Gina: ah yes, Mr Fry's hissy fit. He soon came back again though I don't think he Tweets as much as he used to. As for Keeley... well, we could follow her together. I'm sure she'd ignore us both equally...!

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

I hate almost all celebrities and don't follow any on Twitter or facebook, although saying that, I did once follow Two Jags John Prescott, I think I was drunk though, or he was, one or the other!

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: John Prescott has a Twitter account? That surprise me. I mean, how many Tweets about eating pies can you write before you get bored of it?

The Sagittarian said...

My daughter follows Lady Gaga, but as for me I can't actually understand how it works. I shall do my stalking the old fashioned way, not that we get many 'slebs down here and they're a bit scared of earthquakes...

TheUndertaker said...

Hi Steve, well talking about following, I stalked your Blogs today, haha! After hours of actually getting work done Im sitting on the couch and the only moving I'm doing is from blog to blog and I'm even trying to stalk you on FB.
That's how dangerous boredom and relaxing can be.

Anyway, isn't a twitter follower called a Twit, or was that Twat...?

Steve said...

Amanda: I totally agree; you can't beat stalking a celeb the old fashion way: following them into their hotel shower with a phone camera.

TheUndertaker: or even a twot; I think all are acceptable. As for me feel free to stalk me all you like. As long as it's not into my shower with a phone camera.

Michelloui said...

I follow a few celebs on Twitter but only because I think they may have something funny/interesting/clever to say... so I follow them for the same reason I follow anyone else I guess. And although I loathe the cheap celeb culture there are some celebs I think it would be tres cool to have at my dinner table. But I suppose the reason I think it'd be cool to have dinner with them is the reason why they're famous in the first place--they're funny/interesting/clever.

I think its totally fine to ask celebs to promote/endorse things--they get benefit out of it by looking cool that they promote good causes, and the thing being promoted gets greater exposure: win/win.

French Fancy... said...

Nah, I don't follow any slebs on these sites - in fact I deleted my Twitter account because I found the whole thing so dull. Judging from what a rubbish job I am doing at keeping up with blogger, it's just as well I reckon.

How do you manage to blog so regularly when you work - it defeats me

Steve said...

Michelloui: a nicely balanced view of things if I may say so!

FF: I have cloned myself. Mainly so I can Follow myself on Twitter.

TheUndertaker said...

Steve, can I just say (in a very stalkerish way) that if I was in your shower the last thing you should worry about it whether I have a phone camera or not : )

Steve said...

TheUndetaker: shut up and pass the soap.

Modern Military Mother said...

Maybe you should call them twattterers.

Steve said...

Modern Military Mother: between you and me, I do...!

Wanderlust said...

Obviously, she's following you by now, yes? Yes??

I follow God. Apparently, He's Australian. And funny as shit.

Steve said...

Wanderlust: is he the guy who does water bombs and buys kids ice creams? I think I saw the video...! As for Julia... I have no idea if she's now Following me or not. I am that cool about it. Er... excuse me... I just need to go check something... er... my emails, yeah, that's it...

Tenon_Saw said...

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20110227/ten-julia-bradbury-expecting-first-baby-5f8abb3.html

Steve said...

Tenon_Saw: that's going to put a serious dent into her hillwalking expeditions.