My year-long stint with reality and Twitter fame

Photo by Brenda Lin

Dear Georgia Tech,

I have a confession. No, I have not committed any crimes nor do I have a secret, Hannah Montana-esque celebrity identity.  Well, sort of, you see; it’s complicated.

I, Lindsay Purcell, am Twitter famous.

Twitter fame is an elusive beast, but I had conquered it. For over a year, I kept a separate, secret Twitter account on which I mocked celebrities, enemies, friends and even myself. I perfected the formula for a most favorited tweet and how to make a hashtag that becomes famous in an instant. Beneath my fake name and even faker profile picture, I became the most up-to-date, trendy, pop culture learned person I knew.

My year-long journey to the center of the internet taught me a lot. But I like to think that this year has taught me more: that nothing is more terrifying than facing Solange in an elevator. I like to think my Twitter fame has taught me how to be a better, or, at the very least, better humored, person.

I started my account mostly out of boredom. Sitting in my living room one sweltering, summer afternoon, a thought crossed my mind. “How do these random people have so many followers?” I decided, right then and there, that I was smart enough or funny enough to figure it out.

Within a day, I had over 100 followers. Within a month I had 300. And it just kept growing.

I suddenly began to watch my favorite shows and movies in a new light. Waiting in line at Starbucks became an adventure instead of a chore. Listening to the radio was like going to the opera. Basically, every mundane thing I ever did seemed more interesting, at least to me.

The best thing about my Twitter account, though, was I could make fun, be rude, mock and snark without judgement. No one knew who I was, at first. I had free reign. It was like my mother had never taught me to shut my mouth, and I loved it.

Little by little though, more and more of my friends started to discover my Twitter. While no one has been personally insulted yet (I hope), losing my anonymity changed the way I tweeted. I started to go through my past tweets and delete the ones that were too self-deprecating, the ones that showed who I really was: a nervous, awkward girl with strong opinions on the Kardashians and little knowledge of what I wanted to do with my life.

Now my Twitter is fake. It’s not the false name or picture, though, that makes it fake. It’s the content. My Twitter is now like a photoshopped magazine cover version of myself.

My small stint of fame has taught me how much I value my privacy. It taught me that I don’t post ugly selfies or my political views on Facebook because I don’t want my mother to know. I don’t want my best friends to know. I don’t want my friends to know I spent last night rewatching Gossip Girl; I want them to think I am Blair Waldorf. And that is idiotic.