Ricky Gervais: The Start of a Twitter Backlash?
Twitter's popularity has soared thanks partly to a celebrity love-in,'¨ but is the backlash beginning? '¨'¨British comic Ricky Gervais – perhaps best known as boss-from-hell'¨ David Brent from BBC's The Office – publicly quit the micro-blogging service within weeks of joining. He opened an account December 14 because '¨Golden Globe bosses wanted him to Tweet as he hosts the awards '¨ceremony January 17.
But after composing only five Tweets, Gervais gave up on January 9, telling his 13,000'¨ followers he was going to stop his updates because "I don't see the'¨ point." He followed up with an'¨ explanation on his blog,'¨ calling Twitter "undignified." (As opposed, say, to David Brent dance.)
"I just don't get it, I'm afraid," Gervais wrote. "I'm sure it's fun as a '¨networking device for teenagers but there's something a bit '¨undignified about adults using it. Particularly celebrities who seem '¨to be showing off by talking to each other in public."
He added: "If I want to tell a friend, famous or otherwise what I had'¨ to eat this morning, I'll text them. And since I don't need to make '¨new virtual friends, it seemed a bit pointless to be honest."
As for the Golden Globes, Gervais pointed out that the show is watched'¨ by 25 million people in the U.S. and maybe 300 million people worldwide'¨ – "tweeting about it would be a drop in the ocean," Gervais noted. '¨"Also I've got the Web site and I don't have to restrict things to 140'¨ characters. My tweeting was becoming like a tabloid version of this '¨blog, and I couldn't even put important stuff like this up."
As David Brent once said, "You have to be 100 percent behind someone'¨ before you can stab them in the back."
Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.