Earlier this year I discovered Twitter and it really worked for me. I enjoyed meeting like-minded people and sharing thoughts and jokes about what was on at the movies or on TV. It was a great social experience and I was completely addicted, amassing about a thousand followers in a few months as I followed every lead.
Every now and then I'd write a tweet that got Retweeted and I thought that was great. It was an honour that someone thought my 'joke' was good enough to share with their followers, and I started working hard to write catchy retweetable one-liners. I hadn't yet heard of favstar. I was blissfully ignorant of the pressure I was about to put myself under.
I thought Twitter's 'favorite' stars were bookmarks, and they were, but a separate website called favstar collects that data so you are able to see who has been 'bookmarking', or favoriting, your tweets. I thought this was fascinating, and I started obsessively checking the site to see how my tweets were faring. Man, I thought Twitter was for the narcissistic, but favstar is another step up. Once I discovered that you could win Trophies from other users who were using the bonus features, I was in. A few years ago I was involved with a poetry website called AllPoetry and I worked my ass off for there for pixellated trophies too. I drove all my friends nuts.
And so I started favstarring about three weeks ago. I've been frantically starring other tweets and adding followers to my list, and churning my brain to write the perfect tweets that might capture the interest of these special breed of favstar people, and special many of them are. There are some brilliantly funny Tweeters who can write creative, original, funny one-liners, one after the other... and there are also the people who think they can. This is the place to go for people who believe they are comedians, in much the same way as SingStar is for those who think they can sing. You might sound okay in the shower, but in fact, you suck. I like to think I sound good when I karaoke, and I also hope to the gods my tweets are as funny to others as they are to me.
I've been practically begging for trophies to validate the monstrous ego within me that feeds on validation and praise. The rush of star applause that comes after posting a witty tweet is far too addictive to avoid, but every day that goes by without getting a trophy is a blow I can't seem to handle. It's a problem for me. It's also been a problem for my work and family life. It's time to stop fucking caring about these trophies. I'm getting grumpy and resentful seeing these very precious trophies being given away to tweets that just aren't all that funny, in my opinion, or to people that already have dozens... and I feel like punching bunnies.
Someone gave me a trophy recently, and I quickly thanked them, but they didn't receive the thankful tweet because I forgot to put their @ username in it. Less than a day went by and I got a very abusive message and a 'block' from this unhappy little tweeter. I was called an arrogant fuck! This favstar thing was serious and a little scary now. I was hurt, and there were strict rules to follow. *Note: I did manage to explain what happened and she did apologise for her reaction. We're all human twitterers after all... well, apart from the bots.
No more am I discussing horror movies and my favourite television shows that I once enjoyed doing. The friends I had made have been much ignored as I now appeal to the Twitter Elite who have the power to star me. I'm rewriting tweets that I wrote when I only had a few hundred followers and hoping no one notices. I'm finding myself deleting tweets that don't get enough stars and deleting response tweets because someone dared star them, messing up my 'Recent Tweets' favstar page. I'm stressing out because a tweet didn't make it to the Leaderboard quickly enough. I'm doing it all wrong!
I think I've burnt myself out already. I'm not saying I'm committing favstarcide yet, but I've got to stop obsessing about what others think of me and write tweets that 'I' like. Five trophies is probably good for three weeks work and I'm damn proud of my Best Of list. I've nearly got about 1600 followers and I've met a lot of people that are funny as hell. I just need step back a bit and find that balance, because as my partner @eekjoey says, "It's just fucking Twitter".