A Twitter Odyssey
Published on: 18 Gorffennaf 2012 Author: Hannah Berry
I'm approaching Twitter in the same way I approach all new things: late, and grudgingly.
Allow me to explain my hesitation in comic form:
I love meeting new people, I really do. Individually, or in very small groups. And I'm happy to give out information about myself on a case-by-case basis. It's the faceless nameless masses I'm wary of - I don't understand all those twits on X-Factor and the like who crave adoration from The Public. I don't want strangers all looking at me. What would I want that for?
But then, this is the price you pay for getting to write stories for a living: to become successful, people have to know your name. To some extent, I need to promote my name as a reliable source of sequentially illustrated entertainment. I need to create the Hannah Berry 'brand image'.
Ugh...I've just been sick in my mouth a little bit.
And the pressure to do it has increased now that my second book has just been released. (Adamtine. Did I mention Adamtine before? It's called Adamtine. A horror-slash-social commentary. Adamtine.) So mid-way between riding atop a double-decker bus with a megaphone bellowing my name and sitting quietly in my flat with the curtains drawn is TWITTER.
As far as social media goes, Twitter seems pretty harmless, really. It's just 140 characters a pop. I can use it to stay in touch with the world at large, and I don't have to sell off portions of my soul to do it. (Plus it's another platform from which I can insult my friend Gerard, which is always fun.)
So. Allow me to introduce you to @streakofpith
Approx. 3pm on Friday 13 July 2012 - Create account.
1 minute in - Fumbling at the controls. Decide to follow all the regulars: Stephen Fry, Prof Brian Cox, etc
3 minutes in - Two followers! (My brother and my agent, who I rang and emailed respectively.)
5 minutes in - Now mutually following Book Trust. Learn what '#FF' means (nothing to do with 'FFS')
6 minutes in - Book Trust announce my Twitter presence.
10 minutes in - Announce my Twitter name on Facebook. Follow more people.
30 minutes in - I have 18 followers and no idea who most of them are. I fear for my life.
40 minutes in - Follow more people.
1 hour in - Follow more people.
1 hr 10 mins in - FOLLOWING TOO MANY PEOPLE. I will never keep up with these updates unless I never leave Twitter.
1 hr 15 mins in - Debate unfollowing some people, but guilt stops me. What if they find out?
1 hr 20 mins in - Realise I have done no productive work and decide to stop fretting over Twitter.
1 hr 30 mins in - Start to worry about followers. Do I need to do more to keep them entertained? What if they stop following me? Even virtual rejection smarts.
2 hrs in - Realise I have done no productive work and decide to stop fretting over Twitter.
2 hrs 30 mins in - Realise I have done no productive work and decide to stop fretting over Twitter.
3 hrs in - Realise I have done no productive work and decide to stop fretting over Twitter.
4 hrs in - A tweet I left challenging Book Trust's own Nikesh Shukla to a fight over Janelle Monae is retweeted by her studio, Wondaland. Suddenly feel very connected to the rest of the world. (Will have to watch what I say.)
5 hrs in - Discover I can get Twitter on my phone. I CAN GET TWITTER ON MY PHONE.
14 hrs in - Woken in the middle of the night by my partner having a nightmare. Unable to get back to sleep. Tweet a haiku.
17 hrs in - Wake up. Check Twitter. Become educated in the use of hashtags. Start using hashtags.
1 day in - Decide following Graham Linehan is the best thing I've done all week. Tell him so. He replies! I run around in a small, delighted circle.
1 day 7 hrs in - Watching a film with friends. I sneakily check my Twitter feed throughout the film. Am called a Tweetwhore. And it is the truth. Spend the rest of the film wondering what is to become of me.
End of 2nd day: 36 tweets, 34 following, 50 followers, and the realisation that Twitter owns my life.
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More from Hannah's time as Writer in Residence.