Twitter and Lemmings Befuddles Private Tutor
Even the life of a Private Tutor can be stressful – I jest not.
In times of stress I find those wonderful Chinese proverbs take my mind away from day to day running about and into a more contemplative corner where worries, stress and anxieties can be boxed and dealt with. Instead of problems sitting in my mind like tangled spaghetti, they can be compartmentalised and dealt with in a logical and orderly fashion.
One thing which has caused me much naval contemplation lately is ‘Followers’. What with social media networking and celebrity culture, our lemming-like society more and more resembles bees in a hive than it has ever done.
My thought from the corner for this post was triggered by the following:
The king of Chu has a thousand chariots following him. This is not because he is wise.
Xun Zi, Waring States Period
Like Xan Li I have a thousand followers, not chariots but Twitter followers. I only know one of them personally (in real life) so what is my attraction? I do not consider myself a Queen Bee or a Lead Lemming, so what kind of magnetic charisma do I have? Those that know me in the real world, as opposed to this virtual one, would laugh and say ‘None!’
To gain those followers I simply clicked on the follow button and they clicked to follow back. No particular wisdom required. I quickly learnt that I could not possibly read all the tweets of those I was following, so I split them into categories. I have my ‘Favourites’ and sometimes look at those. The other 970 don’t get looked at. So what is their use? The sure answer is, I am not sure. I guess that all those that follow me do the same and I am put into a category that is not looked at.
The problem is, to my mind, I have been told that I need those
( lemmings) followers if I want to sell my novel. Remember that [best selling :-)] novel from my last post? So I play the Twitter Game.
I find all these huge follower numbers puzzling. Some have thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands. In our celebrity-led culture I see Lady Gaga has over 40 million. Does mean that she is ‘wise’? I doubt Xui Zi would think so. No disrespect meant to Lady Gaga.
Xui Zi had it right all those years ago when he considered that someone with many followers did not have to be someone who was wise. Playing the Twitter numbers game is easy, multitudes of followers is not an indicator of wisdom.
What do you think? Answers on a postcard to:
C/O Mr A Twerp
Social Media Inc.
1000, Tweeter Masses Avenue