The Twitter Social Pyramid: Why all celebs are not created equal

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It’s safe to say that Twitter owes its fame to celebrities. I, along with many of my fellow tweeters, initially signed up hoping to get a glimpse into the real lives of my favorite superstars. Log in and suddenly you’re Zooey Deschanel’s best friend – in the know about her most recent manicure, the pies she just baked and what her reflection looks like in the mirror of an ambiguous dressing room. The close relationship Twitter builds between these otherwise untouchables and their following (no pun intended) is remarkably 21st century. Snagging an autograph at a Blink 182 show? The chances are slim. But being retweeted by them?  Now you’re talking. 

The fun thing about Twitter is that it’s exactly what you make it; and thus, celebrities tailor the site to meet their needs. Some use it as a stage for their stand-up comedy one-liners, while others use it as a billboard. Each celeb clicks that sign up button with a particular purpose in mind, and we’ve outlined some categories celebrities often Tweet themselves right into.

The Certified Comedian  vs. The Candid Comedian 

Ah, the real comedians. I’m talking the Conan O’Briens and the Steve Martins of the bunch.  

They’re comedians for a living, so naturally their Twitter feeds reflect that – and only that. Sometimes, I’m curious if all they actually do is sit in an empty room and brainstorm which clever, 140-character phrase to blast out to their 2 million followers next. For example, a May 2 tweet from Steve Carell (who is not primarily known for his humor, though his Twitter definitely speaks otherwise), “For breakfast, my son ate: a chocolate chip waffle, a scoop of peanut butter, and a meatball. #Fatheroftheyear.” Not falling for it, Steve; we all know your son had Frosted Flakes for breakfast. Regardless, these guys produce literal laughs via Twitter, and for that reason, I don’t care if what they’re tweeting is sometimes a little far-fetched.

But in my opinion, the candid comedians are the ones really deserving of applause. These are your run-of-the-mill actors, fashion models and various famous-for-whatever-reason-people that occasionally Tweet some really clever stuff – and they’re not even trying that hard! For example, Olivia Wilde certainly hasn’t been on a stand-up tour recently, but maybe she should (refer to a May 14 tweet: “in a thousand years archaeologists will dig up tanning beds and think we fried people as punishment!”). 

Shameless Self-Promoters

For those of you oblivious to Twitter as anything other than a 21st century diary, it is often used also as a marketing tool. Some celebrities take this to an extreme, and those celebrities are the ones who quickly get the boot from my timeline. For instance, I once made the unfortunate decision to follow Kris Jenner (as if I wasn’t already getting my daily dose of Kardashian), only for my newsfeed to become brutally ambushed by #KUWTK ruckus within hours. Also, I couldn’t help but laugh at this retweet from July 18: “Update – Make sure to head over or call @KardashianKhaos to order a exclusive, signed by Bruce Jenner, Wheaties, hurry before they run out!” Ah yes! Just what I’ve been needing: a Wheaties box signed by Bruce Jenner!

Many other celebrities are guilty of this, though I felt Mrs. Jenner was the most obvious prey. Plus, I don’t wish to bash those simply using the site to their advantage; therefore, my list ends here, but with one piece of advice: Celebs, we want to see you on Jimmy Fallon. We really do! But SERIOUSLY, one or two tweet reminders is enough – they don’t self-destroy after an hour. I promise!

Famous, But Not in Your Face About It

These are the celebrities I happily invite into my timeline: the ones that blend right in with the rest of my nobody-friends, the ones tweeting about their cheeseburger from Applebee’s and the cute clerk at Walgreen’s. These are the things we find most intriguing about stars’ lives—that they live just like us. Taylor Swift, you do an amazing job at making me feel like I know you; referring to your May 11 tweet, “This thing where I go and get donuts every night at midnight is just a phase right? PS, I'm FINE.”  How whimsical. PS, you’re totes fine girl.  Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie, you also deserve a shout-out for your feed full of quizzical Gibbard fun facts (“My dislike of the word 'moist' is equalled only by my dislike of the word 'delicious' to describe anything that's not food.”) I totally feel you, Ben.  

The Tweeting Dead

Sylvia Plath. Kurt Vonnegut. Michael Jackson. Bob Marley. Tupac. Amy Winehouse. Apparently afterlife comes with a Twitter account. No seriously, who is tweeting for these people?!  

Senior > Public Relations > Marshall

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