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Look Who's Twittering Now

28 Jul 2009
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(No, it’s not me.)

I can’t get away from Twitter. Even though I don’t have an account, it feels like everyone else does because they add the Twitter widget to their web sites so visitors can read about the turkey and cranberry panini they ate for lunch. Sure, I understand it’s a great social and promotional tool, but I think it’s gone too far. Why? Fictional characters are now Twittering. Authors–or their personal assistants–have opened Twitter accounts in their characters’ names and are actually posting things like how they (the fictional characters) would catch a killer or have someone killed. (Imagine the NSA coming across that Twitter post.)

Personally, I find it creepy. It blurs the line. Don’t most people already find it disturbing when LKH posts about wanting to buy Christmas presents for her Anita Blake’s harem? Isn’t it disturbing when authors name characters after the people in their lives–and don’t bother to change any traits? Or, even worse, use their own names? Or write about fictional authors who share their physical traits? Aren’t authors always claiming their stories are products of their imagination and, no, they didn’t actually allow their husbands to tie them up and whip them? Hey, there’s even a standard disclaimer in every published book:

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Doesn’t Twittering as a fictional character come off as unable to distinguish between fiction and reality? Yes, I talk about the voices in my head all the time, but all I do with those voices is put them down on paper. That’s imagination. Anything more is delusion.

Next thing you know, authors will set up e-mail accounts for their characters so fans can exchange love letters with them.

As a side note, Conan O’Brien said something that makes me laugh every time I think about it: “In the year 3000 Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook will merge into a super-website called YouTwitFace.”

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