I got the email from New York before I left the house Friday morning. "Do you know you're in Gawker?" My first reaction was terror. What did I do, did I anger someone with a pitch and now it's out there for the world to see? Please no, I don't want to be ridiculed.
Holding my breath, I went to the home page and slowly scrolled down. I enjoy reading all the snark on Gawker, but I certainly didn't want it to be about me. In tiny type, I could read my twitter handle. The headline was about the media publishing a photo allegedly taken by the police after the singer Rihanna was beaten by her boyfriend, rapper Chris Brown. Clicked on the post, and there, larger then twitter size, was a tweet I wrote the night before, expressing my disgust with both the photo itself and the release of the image. Nothing brilliant or especially pithy. My picture too.
I'm on and off twitter all day, commenting on and sharing links from news stories, blogs, sometimes just chatting publicly with friends. Time Magazine may have just rated Gawker as one of the Top 5 over-rated blogs, but it's also a must-read for many people. Of all my tweets to get national exposure. My daughters are Rihanna and Chris Brown fans (well maybe not him anymore). I haven't been closely following the saga, but that photo caused a visceral reaction and I decided to twitter about it.
It turned out not to be a big deal. Of course I twittered the link and posted it on Facebook. Haven't heard from any long lost friends. By the end of the weekend, I had gained about 20 new followers but a couple of them are Horn Group folks and friends who recently joined Twitter.
It served as a good reminder that what goes online, stays forever online and once you put it out there, you have no control of it. Quite a few celebrities; movie stars, star journalists and politicians don't seem to be worried about their tweets. I think they enjoy going around the papparazzi and the often cynical media, taking it directly to "the people". I follow a few of them on Twitter and some even follow me back. Their tweets run the gamut from mundane to very personal observations and interactions with others in and out of their worlds. At the risk of not sounding jaded enough, I think most of what I see just reminds us that they are human, and maybe not so different than the rest of us.
So no fame and fortune for me. Yet.