This was the tweet that set off the thought that caused this post.
Twitter – like life – has never been a ‘popularity contest’… regardless of how hard some folks have recently attempted to make it one. That’s why, when I tweeted this last night, so many picked up on it and retweeted the note:
Live like you’ll die tomorrow.
Learn like you’ll live forever.
Tweet like you’ve got a MILLION followers.
I mean – RESPONSIBLY!
When the celebrity juggernaut descended in force upon Twitter, it crushed all existing limitations – and dogma. Almost overnight, the ‘old Twitterati’ who were proudly proclaiming their meteoric rise to 10,000 or 20,000 or maybe 30,000 followers were dwarfed beside the Ashton Kutchers and CNN Breaking News behemoths with their one MILLION plus follower counts!
All of a sudden, these have-been Twitter mega-stars are seeing the facade of big follower figures for the “Emperor’s New Clothers” that it has always been. And are making compelling arguments to justify its elimination from the Twitter interface itself.
Why, pray, did they not consider the ever so simple alternative? Ignore the meaningless number altogether!
When celebrities come to Twitter, they don’t start all over from scratch. No. They port their already massive following from across multiple channels to this one. And then, they add more fans from the existing Twitter user base of millions – some of whom will be fans who earlier had no way to connect with their heroes and stars.
That’s why ‘follower count’ is irrelevant. It has always been. Irrelevant to everyone ELSE. Irrelevant even to yourself!
Do you go through life obsessed by how many people are ‘following you’? Not unless you’re a celebrity. Or a paranoid delusional, but we won’t go there 🙂
So why should this be any different on Twitter? On Twitter, as in life, no one should have to care about how many others follow anyone – or you.
Then what is Twitter about?
Twitter is a movement. Twitter snuck up silently behind us. It took us by surprise. It revolutionized online networking and communication.
Who would have believed that a micro-blogging service with a 140-character limit would catch on to the point where Oprah, Sylvester ‘Rocky’ Stallone and Stephen R.Covey among others would consider voluntarily getting on the steep (if short) learning curve to Twitter mastery.
But they have. And with good reason.
What if Twitter decided to remove follower counts from its interface tomorrow? Will it change the way you use Twitter? Why?
It shouldn’t. Because the key to effectively engage on Twitter – and in life – is simple, straightforward and sweet…
Tweet for 2 followers as you would for 2 million. Responsibly. With compassion, care and concern for others. From a platform of authenticity, generosity and sharing.
Just as you would live your life – in an ideal world.
Twitter – like life – is not about numbers. Not followers. Not even money. (Heck, they don’t even have a publicly stated or understood profit model yet!)
If you live your life chasing a number – ANY number – you miss out on a lot of the variety and spice of living. Ditto for Twitter.
Immerse yourself into the experience, though, with a spirit of exploration, enjoyment and exchanging value, and you’ll understand how much more there is.
And to Life.
Because Twitter is life.
You better believe it!