How to be a Twit­ter mil­lion­aire

Friday - - Leisure -

Since en­ter­ing the world of tweets and in­ti­mate break­fast de­tails, I have sent out just five and a half tweets. The half is be­cause I retweeted a pic­ture first tweeted (or is the past tense of tweet twot?) by some­one else.

Such ret­i­cence is not due to shy­ness and re­luc­tance to tell the world what is hap­pen­ing in my life or how to change things for the bet­ter. Af­ter all, let’s face it, that’s the way I make a liv­ing. Nor is it, as has been sug­gested by peo­ple who are doubt­less pay­ing for their comment by be­ing eaten by bears now, be­cause I’m re­luc­tant to write any­thing for which I am not paid. Why waste a good line on a tweet when I can use it in an ar­ti­cle or col­umn that will fetch re­wards in some of the more sta­ble cur­ren­cies of the world, goes that ar­gu­ment.

You could put it down to lazi­ness, of course, and that would be closer to the mark. Or to what I shall call anti-Bieber-itis. This is the com­pul­sion that peo­ple have to tell us about ev­ery facet of their daily life, leav­ing aside no de­tail, how­ever slight.

A typ­i­cal mes­sage might be: “Got up, brushed my teeth, combed my hair, ad­justed my belt and read the news­pa­per.” The re­al­i­sa­tion that celebri­ties are peo­ple who have to put on their trousers one leg at a time in the man­ner of mere mor­tals like us must strike some five or six mil­lion fol­low­ers as an epiphany.

It is in­ter­est­ing to spec­u­late how many fol­low­ers Shake­speare might have had, or Aris­to­tle. Justin Bieber has 41 mil­lion, so there. You have dol­lar mil­lion­aires, ru­pee mil­lion­aires, dirham mil­lion­aires and the most pow­er­ful of them all – twit­ter mil­lion­aires.

But do you know that you can now pay for fake fol­low­ers that make your pro­file look good? The New York Times as­sures us this is so, and I am sur­prised it has taken so long for the cyber busi­ness­men to fill this ob­vi­ous gap. Pay a cer­tain amount (some­thing like $15 for 100 fol­low­ers) and you can get mul­ti­ples of 1,000 fol­low­ers at the click of a but­ton. Fol­low­ers come nat­u­rally to stars like Bieber, but for John Smith or the man-in-the-street, they have to be paid for.

I don’t want a mil­lion fol­low­ers – imag­ine the pres­sure of keep­ing them in­ter­ested day in, day out (or hour in, hour out). But if some 5,000 of you get to­gether to fol­low my pearls of wis­dom, I could give you a bet­ter rate. Say $10 each, payable ev­ery Wed­nes­day.

Tweets once de­liv­ered can­not be re­turned or ex­changed.

Suresh Menon is a writer based in In­dia. In his youth he set out to change the world, but later de­cided to leave it as it is.

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