Coping with fame on the web

Story by Eric Christenson


I’ve had Twitter for a little less than a year. I’m pretty new, but I can already tell that for many, Twitter is all about breaking news and celebrity feeds.


It’s just like the old adage says: The stars … they’re just like us, only more beautiful, more wealthy and they have SO MANY more followers than you and I combined times 100, then times another 100.


Now, I don’t generally go for the @KimKardashian’s and the @Sn00ki’s (I’m more of an @robdelaney or an @johnroderick or an @meganamram guy myself) and although I realize that Kardashian and Snooki are probably fully hilarious, I don’t have the patience for mega-tweeters, so the irony wears off pretty quickly.


Generally, I really enjoy Twitter. I think it can be used in interesting and excellent ways, but the truth is that’s not always the case. Actually, it’s rarely the case.


The problem is that, frankly, people abuse their Twitter feeds (not just with drunken ramblings, second-to-second tweets between their friends, and noncontributory LOLs and WTFs); that’s a fact that we all can sort of agree on, though our criteria for abuse is probably pretty subjective.


For me specifically, one of the biggest ways that Twitterbuse (chin up, Merriam-Webster) happens is in the way people interact with celebrities and big figures through tweets.


Because now, the divide between regular folks and celebrities (not to mention, organizations, businesses, etc.) is closing faster than it takes @RepWeiner to delete an offensive TwitPic.


Twitter puts all of its users on the same level with little protection, so when anyone can access and follow celebrities, interesting things can happen.


For instance, this has happened where a football player (and massive fantasy asset) like @ArianFoster or someone similar can get praise from fans over Twitter … and also insensitive whining. Foster could have a crazy good game, play his heart out and get maybe 16 hard-earned fantasy points and some “huge fan” on Twitter could tweet at him that night and say, “Hey jackass, why didn’t you get me 25 points?!?!?!?!”


Just what you need after the ice bath, right Mr. Foster?


And for guys like the Chiefs’ second running back, Thomas Jones (who, thankfully, doesn’t have an account), Twitter is ruthless. Jones is a talented guy, but it seems like the entire community of lead-RB Jamaal Charles owners viciously despise him for getting the ball sometimes (i.e. DOING HIS JOB) just because Jamaal Charles doesn’t get it then.


But it’s just an interesting complex that Twitter has caused, isn’t it? Now, if you have a problem with something a celebrity is doing, you can let them know directly. That’s so weird! I think the most that accomplishes is that it makes it easier for everyone to get riled up about nothing they can control, which is the epitome of silly.


What if Arian Foster came to your job and said, “You’re only working 10 hours? Why aren’t you working 25? You’re the worst.”


Have a little perspective, try to be a little sensible on Twitter and don’t be a bully; is that a lot to ask?


Eric Christenson is a senior print journalism major and Currents Editor at The Spectator. 


Illustration by Katherine