Making the call to follow someone on Twitter has no social precedent. I’m not really talking about Shaq or other celebrities or people that you may know personally. I’m more referring to following someone for some other reason.
Usually, we’ll follow someone because they said or shared something interesting – once. This is the equivalent of walking by a newsstand, catching a quick glance at a blurb on a magazine cover and then – right then and there – subscribing to this magazine for a year.
The act of following is trivial in Twitter. It takes just a second. The consequence of following, on the other hand, is a whole other story. Before I knew it, I was in someone else’s world and 99% of the time I didn’t care to be there.
In the world of Twitter, following equals flattery. In the real world, following leads to a restraining order. Still, users of Twitter love to be followed. It implies leadership. Charisma. “I have followers.” Well, you may have followers, but take my word, if you’ve got more than fifty and you’re not a celebrity, you’re not being followed. People just forgot to turn your volume down. The issue of information overload in the age of the Internet has been discussed ad nauseam. Twitter runs the risk of people overload. Too many people saying too many things to too many other people. The outcome is incessant noise that drowns out the worthwhile sounds.
Still, we’re playing with the knobs right now. Speaking for myself, I’m still trying to sort out how to make this thing click. Yes, I’m fumbling around, confused and disoriented…and you’re following me around.