To tweet or not to tweet - that is the future apparently. As the tiny telegraphs become more mainstay, they continue to infiltrate every aspect of life – including love. Like any new technology, people will be slow to adapt, and make mistakes along the way. Private messages can accidentally become publicly permanent in an instant- something celebrities are learning the hard way.
When it first debuted in 2006, the massively under-estimated Twitter seemed odd to most. The idea of limiting your thoughts to 140 characters was described as pointless, silly and counterproductive. Now with over 500-million worldwide users, many people- including some celebrities- use the site to send love notes or even spontaneous flirts. Sometimes they’re cute, sometimes confusing - and even sometimes creepy.
One dangerous element with Tweeting is just how easy it is to accidentally publish an intended private message to all followers. This is what caused the undoing of US Congressman Anthony Weiner. It also burned Michael Jordan’s son Marcus (point guard for the University of Central Florida) who seemed to openly proposition a porn star for a second helping of his love skills. He later claimed hackery and denied authorship.
Celebs can have a tricky time with Tweets, as it effectively removes the safety buffer of a publicist. Before they went separate ways, Ashton and Demi were well known to tweet more then a cockatoo in heat. He once shared “watching my wife steam my suit while wearing a bikini” along with a picture of just that. So sometimes publicists do actually serve a purpose. They might have also been able to stop Tori Spelling’s husband from sharing a pic of her exposed breast while tweeting baby photos.
Ice T’s wife Coco Austin isn’t the shy type – having worked at and posed for Playboy. Her tweets have shared an inside look into her barely-dressed routine, which apparently includes Thong Thursday. No word on Penicillin Sunday. She once tweeted about life with the Law & Order SVU star, “Laying in bed naked w/Ice trying to watch the Jets game, like a normal couple should.” Not sure if this sort of linguistic exhibitionism is to benefit her, him, their followers or anyone really.
Rihanna tweets religiously, and no topic seems out of bounds. That may include her infamous assault at the hands of then boyfriend Chris Brown. She recently caught some ink when retweeting “#Pisces are tender and caring, but frequently become the victims of domineering and uncaring partners.” Pisces is Rihanna’s birth sign, and it was widely taken to be a direct slam on Chris. Maybe, but a quick examination of her Twitter feed shows that she re-tweets countless astrology tidbits that appear aimed at no one in particular. The songstress might prefer something a tad more intimate then tweets when dealing with matters of the heart. This week OK Magazine reports that she has begun going after Twilight’s Robert Pattinson through flirty texts. This just weeks after his highly reported split from Kristen Stewart. According to OK, friends have been encouraging Pattinson to get back in the game. Pattinson has chosen not to tweet on the matter.
Jennifer Love Hewitt famously lashed out on Twitter after her heart was bruised earlier this year by Adam Levine. After admitting to having a crush on the Maroon 5 singer to Ellen DeGeneres, her advances were quickly rebuffed. “The moment when you make a comment about something or someone” she posted, “and the world makes you feel like a total fool.”
Whether this is the best forum for celebs (or anyone else) to find love remains an open question. But like them or not, tweets don’t appear to be going anywhere. Using them to flirt can be tricky, like most forms of internet contact. True context can quickly get lost or become misinterpreted. For celebs who feel a need to share such matters, perhaps some analysis is in order. Talking with the New York Times, clinical psychologist Dr. Seth Meyers(not the SNL guy) said celebrity life can lead to narcissism and Twitter feeds into that. As he explained, it offers “constant feedback from others to keep up their grandiose image of themselves.” Besides, does anyone really need to know what the Jonas Brothers think about the Mars Rover – or the political leanings of one of The Real Housewives of Wherever? It’s an immediate way for people to inject themselves into an event, movement or conversation – and stars find that challenging to resist. Surely the people will want to hear from me on this matter. Those type of celeb tweets are annoying enough, but the personal tidbits can be downright pointless- and even dangerous from a PR standpoint. Which is why it’s surprising that many of them play around so casually with that brand of fire.
The same hazards exist for the everyday Twitter user as well. We at least have the benefit of undoing things before the world takes notice. The temptation of social media is easy enough to understand. Many of us can’t wait to share our thoughts with the world, even though the world isn’t exactly waiting for us to share our thoughts. As a romance platform, it’s a tricky terrain. Lots of average people have made the same infamous error, sharing too much with all the wrong people. Still, in the contest over who sent out the single most self destructive tweet – it’s no contest. Weiner takes all.
Will King is a television and media critic who splits his time as a stand up comic. He collects conspiracy theories and claims to have invented Teflon. In his spare time he follows presidential politics and all traffic signs. He lives in Charlotte, NC.
Selma: Umm… technology seems to be everything to everyone these days. I’m so grateful Demi updated her Twitter every second of every day. How could I function not knowing her every mood? Technology is a crucial facet of our lives and websites like Mashable are a testament to that fact. I recommend this DiscoveryGame to help couples and singletons alike discuss how technology affects today’s dating world.
Giulia: Twitter is great if you can understand how to use it. It can offer a nice window into the thought process of a prospect, ahem, potential mate! I recommend this TokiiLab read so everyone, even the celebrities can better understand how to make your characters count and your creativity shine. More and more couples are now linking up for free in the wilderness of social media.