The holidays are here, and I view their arrival as the perfect opportunity to marry tradition with high tech. It’s my latest epiphany: I’m going to climb over the digital divide and hand-deliver a holiday gift for my 3,475 Twitter followers. (This week’s post includes a special guest illustration from Mónica Lalanda!)
The idea came to me during a heated argument with a crusty old Luddite who scoffed at my ever-growing Twitter following. “These people aren’t your friends,” he said. “You don’t even know them.”
“I do so!” I screamed at him, tears of cyber-rage rolling down my cheek.
Why was I so dismayed? Perhaps it was because I’d never had a circle of friends of my own. Heck, I haven’t even had friends, much less a circle of them. Yet here was 3,475 beautiful people who had publicly proclaimed we were chums.
“You don’t even know 95% of those ‘followers’,” the Luddite nagged at me. “Prove it.”
An epiphany struck me with the weight of a freshly-minted Twitter IPO. I would deliver each and every one of my followers a Christmas gift, bridging of the gap between old world tradition and new world Twittering.
The task proved a tad more difficult than I’d imagined. First, it was extremely difficult figuring out how to purchase unique gifts for each of my different tweeps. I wanted to get something special, something that would remind the person of the times we’d had together.
The problem is, as that crabby old Luddite had so accurately noted, I hadn’t even engaged in anything remotely resembling contact with tweeps like Margie Church, Lisa McFerrin and Paperfreckles.
I had no choice but to pull out all the stops and employ the one guy who knew what was on everyone’s wish list – Santa Claus.
In Need of St. Nick
My first option was to go old school, and mail Santa the one thing on my x-mas wish list. I sent him a letter, asking him to find all my tweeps, and deliver each of them a perfect gift from moi.
I needed confirmation Santa could handle the task, so I tried to find him on Twitter. A search yielded @santa, @santa_claus, @OfficialSanta, @AmazingSanta, @Santa_St_Claus…the list went on.
With no idea which handle was legit, I hitched up the dog sled and headed north. A few hundred miles and two frostbit toes later, I’d arrived at the North Pole. I found Santa, sobbing at his computer.
“St. Nick, why so solemn?” I asked.
Between sobs, he told me his sad story. Turned out he had received my request and had been trying to figure out how to get presents to all my tweeps.
“Thanks to those newfangled privacy laws, I can’t find their home address,” he turned redder than his suit. “Imagine – privacy! I’m Santa. I know when you’re sleeping. I know when you’re awake. But now thanks to the federal government, I don’t get to know jack s—!”
He produced a silver flask and took a healthy draw. An elf, standing nearby, gave me a concerned look. Being a mere mortal with two frostbitten toes, I knew I was in over my head. I quickly and quietly made my exit.
In the end, I’m afraid all I can offer my 3,475 followers is the one gift social media has to offer – the ability to extend a heartfelt and very warm message. Happy holidays to all! And if you’re moved to return a gift to me, feel free to retweet the hell out of this yuletide message.
Special thanks to Mónica Lalanda for the guest illustration. Click here to learn more about Mónica!