So, I should have done this a long time ago, on reflection.
This is the true measure of progress since Twitter reset its UI in the Summer. In four months, I have picked up one new follower. This is what happens when you systematically remove the elements that exist within Social media whose sole purpose is to self-promote a chosen few. Like everything else (SEO, marketing, brand identity) there are a very specific set of rules one needs to follow to become a success.
Those can be summed up in two statements. Either you:
Are genuinely successful and organically gain an audience with a genuine interest in your life, brand or product;
You create a completely fictional representation of the exact same thing using robot followers and reciprocal follow-backs.
From a distance, most users will be hard pressed to distinguish the two.
It is the biggest and worst kept secret on the entire platform. If you pay enough money, you can be an overnight success, but if you never listen to anybody else or indeed contribute anything of note? What is the point of existing?
Then there’s the moments when the robots try and convince you they are human, and the humans think they’ve been clever when really, they’re dumber than rocks. However, in amongst the trash are some real treasures. Anna was one of them last week: she’s been trying to follow me for a while, and with 16k followers you’d think she might be worthwhile, but her Twitter’s a stream of quotes and pictures and little if no reality injected. Looking at her biography, she appears ‘real’ enough:
Student. Writer. Gamer. Slytherin. Bookaholic. Dork. Programmer in Training. Founder of [Account 1] and [Account 2] Part of the Response Team at [Online Employer]
[US LOCATION] · [Website here]
The two Twitter accounts she’s founded have no content, plus the company she works for is involved in curating automated content for Twitter. When I followed her, the first thing that was sent from her account was as follows:
She almost had me, until I followed her from my Patreon Twitter and the exact same message was sent there, too. For a second I hoped that maybe I’d found someone who wasn’t playing the game, or simply here to show how easy it is to manipulate people into following but no, I was wrong. Anna was the straw that broke my social media ‘back.’ Fictional popularity is probably is the most insidious concept I can imagine, but has become a perfect metaphor for the current state of humanity.
The saddest thing of all is that Anna may well be real; going through her website there’s a response form, details of her education… and that she’s training in computer forensics. Ironically, right now, she’s reading 1984, which is particularly apposite with the level of doublethink operating here. If my investigations have awoken the real Anna’s interest, and she’s come here to read about what I have to say, I wish her luck in this future career, but I’ll keep you blocked. I have enough mindless crap on my feed without promoting any more.
The time has come to promote only reality in my journey.