The other day during my planning time at work, I sat down and decided to take a break by checking into the world. This check-in, of course, included the Twitter. Who did I see on my little timeline?! Yes, by now, I’m sure that each and every one of you has heard that John appeared on twitter for three little tweets. In those tweets, he mentioned about how we was going to return next week and that he needed to get back in twitter shape. This was welcome news for many fans who took these tweets as a sign that he was going to come back and come back for good. As I’m sure you all remember that John used to be a fairly regular on Twitter around the release of All You Need Is Now until December of last year. During that time, he used Twitter to answer questions and to response to many fans. It seemed like he was using it to connect to the fans and even made references to such in his autobiography. Then, he stopped. Out of the blue. No explanation was given. He sent out a couple of other tweets when the Koshii and Hush song came out with him on vocals, but no conversations took place. No responses to fans. Thus, this week, when he came to say that he would be coming back, there seemed a collective sigh in the fan community. After all, at this point, fans are pretty desperate for something from the band. The tour ended over a year ago and no album release or tour dates on are the horizon. I’m sure that there were many fans who thought that they might survive the Duran downtime as long as John really did come back to Twitter and this week, it seemed like they got their wish.
Then, a few hours later, Duran’s official twitter said something about how John was doing a twitter chat next week in conjunction with the release of his autobiography. As soon I read that, I thought. Really? Is he just coming back to twitter to promote his book? I tried to dismiss the idea as me being cynical but before the afternoon was up, I saw more and more Duranies vocalize the same thing. These are smart women who were commenting about the very same thing I thought about. If I thought that and these others thought that, is that true? Is that all there is to this? Should it matter if it is?
I have no idea if the only reason that John is coming back to Twitter is to sell his book. Is next week just a one off or the beginning of a real return with frequent tweets from him? I certainly have no power to tell me that, but I think it is safe to say that many of us think it could very well be possible that the ONLY reason he is coming on is to sell something. Time will tell if that holds true but that has been the case for 2013 and this seems no different as of today.
Should this matter, is the bigger and more important question. I know that many fans were super excited when John and Simon not only joined twitter but started to use it. Quickly, fans could see that John was responding to people. He wasn’t just making a quick comment about something he saw or read or thought. No, he was reacting to people, seeming to converse. People ate this up. It increased excitement surrounding AYNIN and the following tour. Fans saw this as John wanting to reach out to fans, wanting to connect, to really connect. What fan doesn’t want to connect with one’s idol? More importantly, fans saw it as John saying that WE matter. FANS MATTER and that they matter to him. Every fan wants to know that they matter and that they are appreciated. Now, though, if John really is just tweeting for the sake of promotion, this puts his intentions before into question. Did he really care? Does he now? How will we know or is the seed of doubt now planted forever?
I’m sure that many of you are thinking that promotion does have a place in social media and that every celebrity uses it to promote their work. That’s true. Heck, many of my friends use it for that very reason, too. Yet, they also use it to check in with people they care about and the people they are friends with. They use it to connect. Do all celebrities use it to connect? Am I holding John to a higher standard? I’m well aware that some celebrities only use it to promote. Yet, I have to admit that I appreciate knowing that about them. There is no guessing. No false promises. I am not looking for anything else from them but that. John, on the other hand, convinced many/most us that he did want to connect and that it was more than just a promotional tool. If this isn’t true, that hurts. A lot of fans will feel lied to. Betrayed. While many won’t see this as a big deal, I’m sure this could turn a lot of fans off, so much that some may leave. After all, why stay if we aren’t really appreciated, if we don’t really matter? Many fans felt this way after Red Carpet Massacre. They felt like the band just didn’t care. They seemed so aloof, so uninterested in the fans that many fans left. Many of my friends walked away. Now, I’m sure that there are others of you reading this that are horrified that these fans would walk away “so easily”. Yet, I assure you that it wasn’t easy for them. They were just THAT hurt. I’m worried that this is what will happen again. The band should worry about that, too.
Maybe all of my worrying is for nothing. Maybe John will prove me wrong. I hope so. I don’t want to feel like I did this week. I want to believe that he does care about his fans, that he does appreciate us and that he does want to connect with us.