And Finally Artist News Digital

Autographs out, retweets in, Twitter study finds

By | Published on Tuesday 15 September 2015


Have you ever queued up to get an autograph from someone you admire? It can be a pretty dispiriting experience. You come out afterwards realising that you were just on a conveyor belt of imagined personal connection. It’s easy to see, perhaps, why the shine of getting a celebrity to scribble on something has worn off.

But, hey, The Kids. Stop thinking that a retweet is better than an autograph, you idiots. Yeah, I see you, sending tweets to popstars asking for them to repost your message because it’s your birthday. Where is the value in that for anyone? I mean, at least with an autograph you’ve got something for your grandchildren to throw in the bin once you’re finally dead.

Imagine in 30 years’ time, saying to someone, “I still remember the day that James Bay retweeted me”. It will be met with one or all of these responses: “Who is James Bay?”, “What is a retweet?”, “Why are you talking?”

At least with an autograph, the people of the future will still recognise that someone was once well known enough for you to consider having them write their name down to be of value. That is literally the last thing they will think about before they burn all of your former belongings and try to forget you ever existed.

I only mention all this because a new study carried out by Twitter (which you might think results in a little bias) says that many people now consider a retweet better than an autograph.

A spokesperson for the social network said: “Digital culture is changing the way we interact with our icons, now that fans have direct access to their favourite singers and the selfie has become a staple of the red carpet. For many the retweet really is the new autograph”.

Oh well. At least one day the sun will explode and destroy all trace of any of us.