Twitter fiction: Pierce Gleeson’s “Four Million Followers”

gleeson

I just stumbled on this site — distorte.com — and what I’ve seen so far is brilliant. Odd scraps of fiction; extended musings on Twitter; more and more and more.

It’s written by an Irish fellow named Pierce Gleeson, who is also a designer. He’s a hella-good writer, too.

This one is called “Four Million Followers,” about the spiritually detached world of a real man called to Tweet to a soda brand’s many, many Twitter followers. Here’s a small segment:

One evening, as he sat at the screen watching retweets blossom from his promotional competition announcement, he received a direct message flag. It came from a rival brand, a salt-sharpened sports drink hugely popular is Europe. ‘Are you a real person too?’ it said.

He sat on it for almost two days without replying, weighing up the potential risks. Anything he sent could be screencapped and publicised. Eventually, succumbing to the strange loneliness of his medium, he replied: ‘Yes, I am. But so what?’

‘I was just curious. We are like secret celebrities.’

Over the following months he exchanged messages with several other large brands. Nobody ever introduced themselves or spoke of their lives beyond the Twitter feed. It was a strange kind of roleplaying, an extension of the mantle he wore as Quark Cola’s Twitter feed.

Love it. Here’s the rest.