I’ve never been an autograph hound in the traditional sense — notwithstanding a second-grade trip to Disney World, where I filled up a neon blue notebook with signatures of struggling actors trapped inside Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse costumes. But I do admit to hunting for the 2012 version of celebrity autographs: retweets from the stars!
And, apparently, I’m not alone in my quest. As The Associated Press recently reported, fans have turned to Twitter to ask — and sometimes beg — their favorite entertainers for a little love. Just as a 16-year-old in 1999 might have waited for hours outside ‘N Sync’s hotel in hopes of scoring a photo and a John Hancock, today’s tech-savvy teens are bombarding their icons wherever a smartphone gets a signal.
AP highlighted some examples of sports fanatics reaching out to their heroes:
- @SHAQ the real superman, can i get a birthday retweet from the most dominant big man of all time?
- It’s my birthday and all I want is for @KingJames to tweet me !!
- @serenawilliams please don’t let me go 0-5 for #serenafriday RT from my favorite female tennis player?
“It’s almost like capturing a photo of yourself with that person,” Chris Abraham, senior vice president at Social Ally, told AP. “For a second there, you’ve breached their celebrity. They’ve actually allowed you to come over and take a camera shot of you two together, and you can share it with all your friends.”
Old-school folks with valuable autographed baseball cards hung on their walls may not think much of a retweet. But look at it this way: the number of people who see that signed poster in your rec room will never come close to the number of followers of someone like Serena Williams (2.5 million at last check), who die a little inside each time they notice another person getting some of that sweet Twitter love from the tennis legend.
To be fair, I don’t spend my nights vying for celebrities’ attention on social networks, but I did blatantly seek a retweet from one of my favorite musicians after seeing her perform. When I realized I had snapped several decent shots of Mexican alt-pop star Julieta Venegas, I tweeted one directly to her, assuming she wouldn’t notice it, but kinda sorta hoping she would. To my surprise, the tech-savvy singer retweeted it the next day, prompting me to squeal like a child, screenshot it, save it to my iPhone, and whip it out to anyone who might (or might not) care.
Okay, so it’s not exactly Mother Monster or the Biebs, but in the world of Latin pop, Julieta is a pretty big deal. She undoubtedly has insane demands on her time, but it took her mere seconds to view the photo and share it with her million-plus followers — and it made my day.
The best part? I didn’t have to wait outside her hotel, battling other fans for my coveted prize. That’s #winning.