A Letter From Your 11,721st Twitter Follower


Hi there. You don’t know me, but I follow you on Twitter. It’s really exciting how social media allows me to subscribe to the feeds of writers, lecturers and entertainment personalities in my area of interest. Not only do I keep up to date on your work, but I feel like I get a little window into your personal life, too.

Hopefully I have something to offer you as well. Like that time you broadcast a request to your colleagues for a fairly specific resource pertaining to your field, and I googled some of the words in your inquiry, and returned you the first search result I could find? Yeah, that was me! Now, I know I’m no expert, which is why I helpfully appended a question mark and the action phrase *shrug* to my reply. I sincerely hope I helped.

Or the time you were sick, and had a question about combining acetaminophen with your antibiotic. Now I don’t know you, so I couldn’t tell if you were being facetious or were using Twitter to seek genuine medical advice, but I thought it’d help if I replied authoritatively with my best hunch, even though I was completely wrong. I mean, worst-case scenario, I’m actually right, and you plan your self-care regimen around my immediate instinct. That’d be cool, right? I love the way social media connects us all.

Most of the time, though, you tweet about the work you do, which is helpful to me, because the main reason I follow you on Twitter is to receive your informed analysis, coverage and recommendations in this field in which I have a casual interest. But I do want to make sure you stay on top of things, which is why from time to time I give you recommendations about my favorite stuff, just to make sure you’d seen it and to see if you had any thoughts. Don’t freak out — I do this for a lot of people I follow.

Like, there’s this really popular New York-based TV writer whom I love, and the other day I asked her if she’d seen the show Girls on HBO. Because if she has never heard of Girls, man, she’ll really appreciate that I’ve pointed it out to her. I’m just trying to help out.

I’m excited you recently had a prominent speaking engagement at an event I’ve been watching with enthusiasm, and that you tweeted a link so that your followers could view the video if they’re interested. Really appreciate that! Okay. Now, I’m no public speaker, unless you count the time I played the Narrator in my high school production of “Little House on the Prairie,” but all the same I had some feedback for you.

You looked nervous up there! Were you nervous? Perhaps it would have helped if you’d taken a few deep breaths before you’d gone on. Here’s a link to some relaxation techniques that help me get to sleep at night. Now that the video is being circulated around the web, I thought it’d be an okay time to tell you that you were talking a little bit too fast. Your hair looked ah-mazing, though, so don’t worry. Here, let me add a “:)” emoticon just in case you were worried that I didn’t like you any more. Everyone needs a little feedback and encouragement. That’s why I’m here.

I noticed you’re having a heated debate with a colleague via Twitter. Can I step in? I mean, I’m sure you understand the issues at hand better than I, but nonetheless I thought it might be useful if I reminded everyone to keep calm and be polite, at least. Eep. I’m sorry I misunderstood the discussion. Do you have a link? Oh, it’s a couple tweets back in your feed? Right, right, sorry to butt in. I think you’re both right. You’re welcome.

I like that you occasionally share photos of you and your friends at professional events. Your earrings are so big! Has anyone ever told you your earrings are big, or that you look like Debbie Harry? Never heard the Debbie Harry thing? I guess not, you’re a mixed-race brunette. Sorry. Just trying to pay a compliment. You don’t have to be rude. Hey, you have a two-hour layover in Detroit? One of my favorite restaurants is a few miles outside the city. You have got to check it out. I know! You’re welcome!

Good morning! It’s me again. I had some solutions to the insomnia you tweeted about, and also some tips for you to get past where you said you’re stuck on your current project. Writer’s block, eh? Must be writer’s block. I’m not a writer, but I get that all the time.

Do you have an email address? Oh, it’s on the front of the website listed in your Twitter bio? Got it. I just kind of wanted a personal touch, I guess. I don’t understand why you’ve started tweeting flippant replies at me. I’m a human being. I used to really like you, but this is getting to be a little much. It’s almost like you’re complaining about your internet success, which seems very ungrateful. Just so you know, I’m unfollowing you. I’m really sorry, but please respect that unfollowing you is something I need to do.

But if you’re ever in the Detroit airport again, give me a shout! I know you’re a busy person, but I love your work, and I’d love to shake your hand. Peace.

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