So, having been awesome at Twitter for a week now I think I’m in a position to make some observations on social media. (That was sarcasm… or irony… I clearly have trouble telling the two apart)
But, I have noticed some interesting things about the people that follow @sarcasticrover, and I think it says a lot about the internet and the greater world in general.
First off, people are generally nice. This is surprising – but in a general population of 75000 people, most of them are really very nice and encouraging. I know that most of the followers of the feed tend to be science-types who might be more kind due to years upon years of getting the crap kicked out of them by jocks – but it’s a broad enough sampling that I feel justified in saying that people are decent. They like when you try to do something fun, they like to engage you, and they’re generally not assholes about it. I think that’s true everywhere else as well… except for Toronto. Kidding.
Secondly, everyone likes to tell a joke. I can’t even tell you how often I get messaged the same jokes over and over again, in endless variations and with differing amounts of enthusiasm – and that’s not even being a jerk, because I like it. But man oh man, people are awesome! They want to share and be a part of what you’re doing – I do jokes, so they send them to me – and they’re funny and fun, pictures, lines, dramatic readings of my words… it’s crazy! I’m floored by the level of interaction and community offered by Twitter and how people will speak to you (or the robot you’re pretending to be) with the openness and familiarity of a friend. It’s like belonging to a great club, and we’re all there to have some fun with science. But mostly, it’s jokes about Curiosity killing cats.
Thirdly, and we’ll make this finally for now, I am just a guy in a suit. What I mean is, people like to talk to the character – but they never talk to the guy. Friends have decided I’m successful on Twitter and I try to explain that the rover is successful, in the same way Barney the Dinosaur was successful, but the guy inside the costume is just a guy. So no one writes to me as if there was a person behind that feed… they just want to talk to the rover, which I kind of love. It’s amazing. In writing we always try to get people to suspend disbelief, but it’s curious to see that it’s actually not hard – the only hard part is having the discipline to not ruin the illusion. Now, I may be ruining that illusion by talking about it – but I think this blog can exist along side and separate from the feed – so hopefully I haven’t f–ked it up too much.
Point is – the people on Twitter are amazing. Supportive, and fun, and clever, and engaging, and just the best. They are a part of a new kind of media – a theatre where everyone is on their own stage, sharing and watching and participating in millions of little dramas and comedies. And that is fascinating to me.
So, thanks to you all for that.