With the number of my Twitter followers rising to a staggering 106 in barely five years, I feel the high burden of expectations that is not different from what India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi must feel. I half expect Twitter co-founder Biz Stone to reach out and request me if I could possibly go any slower. I run the risk of bringing Twitter down because the servers cannot handle what may be the slowest rate of growth in its history.
My Twitter handle #mcsix may only partly explain such an abysmally low number. My full name has at least a slightly better name recognition online. However, the bigger issue is my inconsequentiality as a Twitterer considering that I am no longer in the thick of things, anything really.
People build up a Twitter following by various means but mainly by being witness to things that other people are generally interested in. It is also an incestuous world where Twitter users proliferate their followers by inbreeding. Living where I live, I am not witness to much more than my own fading hubris as a journalist who for the better part of the last 33 years was in the midst of events that captured the popular imagination. Been there-done that is not the right combustible material to ignite Twitter passion.
It says something about me that most of my followers have many more followers themselves than I do. Some of my followers follow me purely out of humanitarian concern. Those who are well plugged into twitterverse tell me that I just do not tweet even nearly enough. 2685 tweets in five years (2686 if you count once this post gets on) is not even good enough for me to keep my account alive, let alone flourish. A couple of friends suggested that I try creating a new account in my own full name because it is fairly widely propagated in the Internet search.
I am not entirely sure if it serves any purpose to have a large number followers other than a minor and transient feeling of importance. Not being a celebrity it would be foolish to tweet just about anything. In a sense, my Twitter following mirrors the readership of this blog. After nearly seven years and 2177 posts (including this one) it is less than a minor presence. Its robust mix of themes and positions well ahead of the curve on most issues notwithstanding, it just does not enjoy the sort of traction it probably should.
It is a good thing that I write purely out of self-centeredness. Otherwise, it has no purpose whatsoever.