If Twitter were an ex, I'd file a restraining order....
Ah, social networking. Although I've never been a huge fan of Twitter, since I've been writing, it's been a great device for drawing in some readers. I've met lovely people who are more than happy to share my news with their own followers. It's great for spontaneous conversations about something or nothing. When I'm having a particularly sleepless night, I can usually find a connection with someone who is also awake and willing to entertain me for a couple of tweets.
But Twitter has a creepy, Big Brother vibe happening. I've laughed at the random responses I've gotten to tweets, but there are times it almost makes me want to shudder and look over my shoulder more often.
There's always that aspect of someone being free to jump into a conversation that bugs me. You're talking to one person, throw out a snarky comment that means nothing, and suddenly someone is there to froth and foam about how you can't possibly dislike the show/band/book/shoes they've devoted their lives to. Or if you have a sarcastic comment in general to a fight you're seeing on your feed, there's Paranoia Jane and Joe there to decide it's about her or him, and lecture you on what you've said.
But the part that totally freaks me out is the corporate creepers.
See, on Twitter, you can search ANYTHING. And you can save that search. Me, I utilize it for Drew In Blue. Occasionally I can locate someone tweeting something they've said about the story. I've caught someone adding my book trailer as a favorite on their YouTube, and there have been kind comments I missed because I was away from the computer. I'll run a search if I think about it, and if I see that someone was nice enough to mention my writing, I send a little thank you. I've yet to see an unkind comment, but if I did, I'd just not respond. People are entitled to their opinions, after all.
But back to the creepers. First of all, you have spam accounts that auto-reply the moment you post something displaying a keyword they are programmed to respond to. If I mention writing in any form, or the job search, I am attacked by multiple bots urging me to click on their unintelligible link to find a super cool job. Riiight. Let me click like mad, oh you who cannot even upload a photo. Never trust a pic of an egg. The eggs are seldom real.
Now, there are awesome bots out there. My favorite is @some_grenades, an account that responds to a group of words that clearly show you've just tweeted about the awesomeness of Joss Whedon's killed-too-soon show, Firefly. Some combination of 'Firefly' and 'Serenity' cues @some_grenades to fire off a quote from a character(one of my faves), Jayne Cobb.
I'm all for instigating the reception of a random, "If wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak."
But the creeper factor comes in the form of corporate trollers. A lighter version, I've discovered because I have enough of a hippo obsession, I guess, that I keep getting auto-tweet from @House_Hippo, or something to that effect. Apparently it is/was (because the hippo, he no longer talks to me, so I wonder if it's extinct now) a reference to a Canadian educational show. No biggie. The hippo tweeted, I laughed.
A few weeks ago, after popping some cold meds and experiencing a lengthy and pointless dream featuring an Arby's clerk who is effing up my order AND being mean about it, I tweeted a comment about it. Arby's quickly responds saying they hope it NEVER happens in real life. Once upon a time, I mentioned a roast beef sammich, and was quickly friended by the Arby's account as well.
Now that I think about that, it's kind of bizarre. Are people being paid to sit in front of a computer and look up the phrase, 'roast beef sammich' and respond to it?
If so, maybe I want that job.
Today, I noticed a really odd commercial from the local cable company. I suppose it was meant to be funny, but it was poorly executed, so it came across as well, lame.
I tweeted about it. Hey, I'm single. What am I gonna do, run down and share my momentary commercial annoyance with the mailman?
Instant response from a Twitter account for the company saying the commercial is NOT MEANT TO BE A SNEER TO NON-TELEVISION WATCHERS and that my 'feedback has been reported'.
Very 1984. I find this tweet-stalking to be double-plus ungood. And sadly enough, when I decided to test the corporate monitoring, Kay Jewelers didn't offer me a Leo Diamond, and McDonald's didn't offer me free nuggets.
Come on, guys, if you're going to stalk, do something useful with it. Mama needs a Happy Meal. Not an analysis of my opinions on a commercial.