How Hard Could It Be to Have a Billion Twitter Followers?


OKAY, first of all. So I joined the Twitter around February, nine months ago. That means I’ve been on it long enough to make a baby. Which I guess means that I have made a tweets baby, or maybe it’s a Twitter baby, because premise-conclusion is how logic works and you can’t argue with it. Because it’s logic. Anyways, I’m thinking that when my baby grows up, all the other kids are going to call her “twit,” which is so wrong. But that’s for another post.


Up in the screen shot above, see my Twitter profile? The banner is a picture of me in the TV studio where I do my weekly TV stuff. Then, in the smaller, inset photo, I am speaking at an Assembly of First Nations Annual General Assembly. In that picture, I’m reading an excerpt from one of my books. Then you see my name and handle, and some numbers. I also have a Twitter bio, which says that I write for a couple of newspapers and appear on TV. Ok, that’s the boring part done with. Phew.

Now. As you can see, I have 152 lovely, brilliant, super-duper followers. Just like everyone else on Twitter, I like to think that one of my followers is equal to at least a million of everyone else’s followers on Twitter, sort of the way a pound of something on Earth is a ton on Jupiter. Or how in the 1980s you could trade four US cents and a half-smoked Marlboro for a Canadian fifty. Those were the days! What I’m saying is that I have prolly a million and-a-half Twitter followers, provided that when I’m saying this fact I’m saying it in another dimension of time and space where a Canadian dollar is worth three American cents and a loaf of Wonder weighs 2,784 pounds. See how it works? That’s the miracle of Logic.

The problem I’m having these days is that I spend most of my time in this dimension, which probably has a science name but I don’t know what it is, so I’ll call it the Meh Quadrant. In the Meh Quadrant, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, and that whole thing repeats, and in this repeating world when I write a newspaper article or whatever it’s for free, and that’s okay. Some days it’s sunny, some days not. There are many good things here (burritos) and some days are actually pretty cool. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining, I’m just making some scientifically logical observations—or maybe I am complaining, but in a sciency way, alright? And we all know the value of a SMET education, or STEM, or whatever the acronym is. It could be METS, in which case our children are learning to throw a lot of money at their roster and still lose most of their games.

That brings me back to this whole 152 follower thing. Having 150ish followers on Twitter is basically like finishing in last place on the Internet, behind egg-gravatar people who tweet nothing but emoticons and “Lolz.” If Twitter were a marathon, I’d be finishing after the people who walked the whole race and popped into the theatre along the way to watch Zhang Yimou’s To Live, which by the way is a great film that you should watch too—but HEY, I didn’t mean right now! And then once they were done watching, they walked the rest of the way. Then some time later, like the next day, during Monday morning’s rush hour, there’s me. Crossing the finish line.

Here’s where I’m going with this. I haven’t done very much for the past few months on the Internet, and I’m wondering if I’m going to be doing very much in the future, and the reason is quite simple: I’m wondering what’s the point? In the real world, I make money and I meet people and I have a good time. On the Internet I make no money and I don’t seem to connect to many folks and not much seems to happen. So the real world is where I’m putting my time.

Still, how hard could it be to get a billion followers on Twitter? I mean, really? Think of this as a little game. My plan is that, by the time I’m done this essay, we’ll have figured out together how to get a billion followers. And then, you know, money and fame and everything else. Doesn’t that sound peachy to you?

I realize now my first mistake: that I should’ve joined Twitter right at the beginning, back in the 1970s or whenever it was. Ouch. It probably doesn’t help that by the time I got there most of the pizza had been eaten (obviously not the Hawaiian) and the kids had moved on to whatever the not-old people are now doing on the Internet—Instagum, or Fumblr, or sexting. Could it be Captcha? Whatever it is, they’re not telling me.

I am not an “early adopter,” is my point. Maybe the young people aren’t even on Internet now. They always seem to be looking at their phones. Maybe the phone has its own version of Internet, a tiny Internet that you can only see if you have young people vision. Like how only dogs can hear certain frequencies and bats can do whatever it is they’re doing in the dark. A high-pitch small-print telephone ultraviolet Internet that flies around in the dark and uses words which people over 35 don’t understand. Like enh.

I mean, I used to think I write for two newspapers and I’m on TV, and 152 followers? And then I realized, Oooh: I write for two newspapers and I’m on TV. Cos who reads the newspapers? Who is watching TV? On their high-pitched small-print telephone ultraviolet Internetphone. Nobodies, is who is doing that.

Also, there are other possible explanations for the fact that twenty years into writing and five years into blogging and three years into writing for newspapers and nine months into Twitter, I have 152 followers, not the one billion you and I are going to have when we’ve finished our work here. And those possible reasons, I suppose, are:

I have something in my teeth, maybe it’s spinach? If that’s the case, please send me a text. Also, thx!

My last rap album wasn’t very good. I don’t even have a last rap album. Maybe if I did, I’d be Wab Kinew (29.1K followers) and they’d be asking me to host a CBC radio program, whose name I won’t mention but it starts with Q.

I’m boring. I think there is something to this one, because I write a lot about things that are not very ‘sexy’—like politics and war and other unpleasant things going on in far-away parts of the world. Maybe if I tweeted more puppies and boy bands and Kim Kardashian (25M followers!) I’d have a billion followers soon. Or maybe I could make a rap album about a boy with a puppy named Kim Kardashian, kind of like that Pinball Wizard song—except it’s rap music and the boy is not deaf, dumb & blind, although his wrist is supple. And in the chorus maybe his dad (Bruce Jenner) gets a Laryngeal shave, I haven’t decided. Synergism, they call this. And by they I mean, of course, Wikipedia.

I’m basically just wasting my time. I think about this sometimes: for example when I’ve spent weeks researching an article on, say, aboriginal education that I won’t get paid anything for and that ten people will eventually read, and then at the same time #alexfromtarget goes viral on the Internet, and everyone on the planet is talking about #alexfromtarget, and #alexfromtarget is on TV, and he probably has a multi-book deal with Penguin and a biopic and a record contract. When I say “I think about this” mostly what I’m doing is deciding whether to leap from a building, rip out my eyes, shoot my face, set myself on fire, or move to another planet where they don’t have Target, or people named Alex, or really just so-called homo sapiens. Then I eat a burrito and the thoughts go away.

Aside: I know some of you are saying at this point, “Wow, you are thinking too much about this.” Well, duh. Didn’t I say this was going to be a piece about the METS? You see, my brain has this unpleasant habit of always logicalling. I find I can’t make it stop. I look around and I see all sorts of crazy things that make me kind of crazy. A big part of the craziness, for me, is my growing suspicion that the world really is a kind of marathon, and the winners are people with nice hair whose father is Bruce Jenner.

Where was I? I have no idea. Let’s start over, because this one billion follower thing really is missing the point. And the point of course is that you can’t buy the World Series, but you can buy a burrito. And burritos are great.


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4 thoughts on “How Hard Could It Be to Have a Billion Twitter Followers?”

  1. Thank-you Dawne! 2060 is going to be a great year—see you there. I’m not familiar at all with NaNoWriMo, so I’ll look it up. I’ll also look up your account on Twitter and follow a billion times. How does that sound?


  2. Just to make you feel a little better, I have less than 100 followers on Twitter. I know the egg thing is not cool. I put a really cool banner up. Of course, I’ve only been doing it a few months. I figure I could have a billion followers by 2060, if I’m still around. So I’d like to be in on this billion followers thing with you. Let me know what I have to do.

    By the way, do you participate in NaNoWriMo? You’d be very good at it. I’ve heard you can get an agent and get your NaNo book published. Maybe that’s the way to get a billion followers. Thanks for giving me hope that someday I too will have over 100 followers.


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