Reality: It didn’t work out.
When I’m not acting or writing, I’m a social media marketer in Los Angeles. Twitter is literally my life and I love it.
I know it’s hard to believe. But you know, you’re welcome, Twitter.
I started using Twitter as a simple source of content for my blog and for when I wrote for Playboy, and it quickly evolved from there. I thought of it as a genuine feed to connect with people, and I saw it become part of my job. It was an instant communication channel. I have followed other well-known celebrities as well, like Mark Cuban and Mark Zuckerberg, but I gravitated toward people like Paris Hilton and Marilyn Manson who engaged with the platform. It was all about conversation and inbound links to posts, so I asked my personal adviser to set me up with a personal Twitter handle which was easy to find and set up.
As social media habits are increasingly regulated, no one is quite sure what’s what anymore and with the addition of real-time trending hashtags, it’s turned into a scramble to maintain a little bit of control. The anonymity of so many individuals has become problematic for me. I noticed how impossible it was to set up authentic channels for my work, and I knew that everyone already wanted and welcomed direct messages on Twitter and I didn’t want to create a channel where I felt I had to actively have conversations and be in touch with people to be heard. After getting a phone call from the people I regularly tweet to about “banning” some of my more controversial tweets, my private and professional social media habits are constantly regulated. So I broke up with Twitter.
Twitter is also part of my brand and identity. I’ve been cultivating my personal brand for years and this social media platform, and Twitter specifically, was one of my most important tools. You can’t name your brand without including social media as part of the equation. I had a thing for it, and after years and years of tweeting it, and using it as a means of communication, I realized that I could build a personal brand from it. By now I have multiple digital platforms, many of which follow my @unvergedhood account, from coffee and wine blogs and photoshoots to fashion industry influencers, curators, and influencers who let me mentor them and give them guidance.
I don’t let anybody know about it, but I can tell you personally: I now don’t rely on Twitter at all anymore. My overuse of the platform had become a double-edged sword and one where I worried that everything my followers or fans said about me was judgmental, and I wasn’t going to be able to deal with it in the long run. That made me very nervous. I’m a brand, and my brand is the way that I dress, respond to my fans and media outlets, and take care of my posts. And then, there was the selfish side of me; how could I be happy if I didn’t have an account where people could interact with me and believe in me?
I knew it wasn’t a good relationship for me. Twitter was a hit-or-miss thing for me. I could connect with people in conversation, but there was no spontaneity and it was like going to a random guy in the street and talking to him without making eye contact. It felt weird and very reminiscent of when I went to parties as a teenager and would just talk to the host and then move on. You know, that feeling. So I broke up with Twitter and switched over to other digital platforms. I still log in to Twitter but it’s pretty tame and people aren’t after my attention, so it’s like a much-needed bath bath.
This story was originally published by MyRegistry. It’s republished here with permission.
Caitlin Burnett, who appears on TV, in movies, and in print, is an Adjunct Professor of Fashion Marketing at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She has amassed over 85,000 Twitter followers.