Twits on Twitter

I did it. I joined Twitter.

(Bah, that's old news! I've been on it for a month or so now).

Yeah, I know. As if I needed something else on the internet to get hooked on. Facebook, parenting forums, Blogger... What's one more, right? As long as one's life does not revolve around the internet, everything in moderation is fine. (Repeat it til you believe it!)

When I first signed up for Twitter and looked around I thought, "How ooky. How stalkerish! I don't think I like this..." (Look back at my first Tweets if you can. I really said those words!)

At that time, Ashton Kutcher (aka @aplusk) was having a little friendly competition with CNN. Who could reach a million followers faster. I decided I would help his cause, but couldn't help but wonder, "Does he really want me to follow him?" It felt so voyeuristic to click on that little "follow" button and read his updates sent out to the world at large. But hey, he had the option of closing off his profile and allowing only those he wished to read his "Tweets", and he was asking us publicly to follow him, so I thought what the heck. Follow.

I found out quickly that it was kind of fun! Oh my goodness, Ashton Kutcher a bonafide human being with thoughts, a sense of humour (like we didn't already know that), a heart and a sense of community towards his followers. Wow! And it wasn't coming from the rag mags or paparazzi. It was coming from HIM. Amazing! From there it snowballed. I found any person of celebrity status that I admired and began to follow.

Demi Moore, Kevin Spacey, Kevin Smith, Ethan Suplee, Trent Reznor, Rob Luketic, Malcolm Ingram .... all of them, real human beings - and stars - using Twitter to keep in touch with their fans. Unreal. But so real! So human! So interesting. More interesting than I could have imagined.

It's funny the picture you paint in your mind of what these people are like, perhaps based on a role they played in a film, a movie they directed, an interview you saw or a story the tabloid ran. And it's funny to see that the picture was maybe nothing like what you had painted in your imagination, or maybe it was, only better! Brighter! More vivid!

I decided early on not to be one of those ass kissing, "OMG, I LOVE YOU!" kinds of fans. That's so not me. I don't "do" ego strokes because in all honesty, I don't "love" these stars like some of these fans proclaim it. I admire them, definitely. (Read on and you may too!) But "love" - how does someone know from movies, tv and rags that they "love" someone. In the general sense of 'love your fellow man' (which I do), then yes. I love these various celebs. But I can't imagine sending them a Twitter message telling them so.

And I also can't imagine sending them a Twitter message telling them "ur stupid", or "I think you're probably an a$hole", or "Hey man, can you put me in one of your films?". Really. People do say these things. And some of these stars appear to take a lot of abuse. Trent Reznor, front man for the band "Nine Inch Nails", being one of them.

This is a guy who I have always been a huge fan of. His music, anyway. Very formative in my late high school days, "Head Like a Hole", "Get Down Make Love" and "Down In It" were heard daily, blaring from the stereo in my room much to my parent's chagrin. I still pull out my NIN albums (amazing cleaning and driving tunes!) when the kids aren't around. :)

It shocked me one day when Mr. Reznor decided to start giving away concert tickets for his current tour to his fans on Twitter. Posts would pop up saying, "Be the first 5 people to enter at this link, and you will get tickets to any show in the US". And he held true to his word! I lost count how many tickets he gave away, asking nothing in return.

But it seems after a little shit and abuse from some *cough cough* fans, I think he had enough of being so generous and not knowing or feeling it was appreciated. Instead of quashing the idea all together, he took up a cause and asked his followers for their help. Donate to help save "#Eric", a CNN personality's brother who is gravely ill. For a monetary donation of $1000 or more he would give a pair of tickets to any show in the US. His fans heeded the call, and to date - in just over a week - Trent has raised shy of $1,000,000 for the cause. Can you imagine?! Yeah, such an a$hole as some on Twitter would like to tell him. And he calls his fans the heroes. Trent, you are the leader of the pack.

Ashton and Demi started a campaign to purchase bug nets to combat Malaria and urged fellow celebs and fans alike to take up the cause. Rob Luketic does streams from his iPhone to his fans, allowing them to see a major motion picture in the making. How many times in your life will you see that? Kevin Smith is a huge supporter of the Walter Gretzky Road Hockey tournament and has entered 4 teams to play in Brantford, Ontario next month. And Ethan Suplee gave away a pair of pink crocs his wife was disposing of to a fan! (lol) Yet these folks are abused, cursed at, accused of being egotistical, ignorant and "stupid". How is that for a fine howdy-do? Sickening.

Maybe they do have some a$holish tendencies. Don't we all? Maybe sometimes they can have a bit of an ego. Can't we all? Wouldn't you if thousands of people were telling you "I LOVE YOU!!!" on a daily basis, without having ever met you? Maybe they can be ignorant at times. I know sometimes I forget to excuse myself after a bodily function slips. So sue me! So sue them! They're human. *gasp*

And that is the point of this blog post today. Folks, these people - despite their star status - are h-u-m-a-n b-e-i-n-g-s. First and foremost. It's like Shylock says in the Merchant of Venice (oh no, you weren't getting away without a quote from me!):

...If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us

do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you

wrong us shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest,

we will resemble you in that.

Remember as you go through your day to day, that regardless of a person's job or social status, the people you encounter are human beings. They have hearts, minds and souls. They have feelings that can be hurt. They have esteem that can be damaged. They have heads that just might explode from hearing too much praise or too much negativity day after day after day. They are humans, folks. I know. It's shocking. I'll give you a moment to digest.

...fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer...

I hope you took it all in, and I hope some of you from the Twitterverse have read this blog and will take it to heart. Every religion or ideology in this world (other than neo-Nazis or supremacists, I'm sure) share the same "golden rule". Do unto others as you would have done to you. If we all took this to heart and practiced it every single moment of every single day, we could wipe out hatred. Calm the anger inside so many souls. We would all get along!!! Do you think you can do it? Will you follow the calling? Stop being so unkind to strangers, stars, Joe-Blows and everyone in between. It's just so unnecessary, and so uncool. Be cool.

Quit adoring these stars on an unhealthy level. It will make you bitter and angry when you realize that they just can't be your friend. Your lives are too vastly different, and you likely live too far away. Don't get mad if they don't respond to your messages or give you a shout out. Imagine how many messages they have to tread through daily when they have hundreds, thousands or millions of followers! Give them some space, and give them the respect they deserve as human beings. Can you do it, Twitterverse? Yeah, I know you can.... I have faith in you.

To the stars I follow, I'll finally say it - I love you! Just not in "that" way. I love you for being generous of spirit, mind, body and soul. I love you for sharing your thoughts and Tweets with us and for using your status for good and not evil. And I love you for holding your cool when you probably would love nothing more than to throw some good choice words back at the dumbasses pestering and harassing you. Major kudos to you, and thanks for showing us your human, "touchable" side.

Touch with gentle hands, folks. Stars have feelings too.

That's all I have to say about that. ~ Forrest Gump

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