Charlie Sheen and Twitter

Charlie Sheen and Twitter

25 hours and 17 minutes.

That’s the length of time it took Charlie Sheen to get 1 Million followers on Twitter.

According to the LA Times, Sheen is poised to monetize his tweets, pitching products for He also set a Guinness World Record by reaching the 1 million follower mark faster than anyone else has before.

As of this morning, Sheen has 1.8 million followers. He’s following 28.

He wants to amass a lot of followers — fast —and he’s not all that interested in interacting, except with other celebrities.

The only @replys I saw while checking out his tweets were to @iamdiddy and @FloydMayweather. He RTed @SarahKSilverman. He sent out a #ff to @rmf811, who is credited with being his 1 millionth follower. It seems she has become an instant celebrity as a result.

I am not following @charliesheen. I will not follow @charliesheen.

In fact, I think that anyone who values Twitter for the numbers game is completely missing the point.

Twitter is not about numbers. Twitter is about interaction.

In the 25 hours and 17 minutes that made Charlie Sheen a Twitter sensation, I talked with several friends on Twitter. Most of my tweets begin with an @reply.

These Twitter friends: I met them on Twitter. We interact regularly. We exchange emails. We Skype. I know the names of their kids, how long they’ve been married, where they live. We talk on the phone.

In fact, during the 25 hours and 17 minutes that made Charlie Sheen a Twitter sensation, I probably talked to at least 5 Twitter contacts on the phone, if not more.

Most of the time, I talk to my Twitter friends at pre-arranged times.

But lately, and I love this, I can just pick up the phone and reach out.

And they answer. And we talk.

Because we are real friends.

During the 25 hours and 17 minutes that made Charlie Sheen a Twitter sensation,I RT’ed countless blog posts of people whose work I read, respect, and admire.

I learned from my twitter friends, and they learned from me.

I sent DMs to my Twitter friends and they sent DMs back.When @charliesheen sent out one #ff, I sent and received dozens.

In the 25 hours and 17 minutes that made Charlie Sheen a Twitter sensation, I gained a few new followers on Twitter. I looked for ways to get to know them, and for them to get to know me. I enjoy seeing my Twitter tribe grow, because of the new relationships those numbers represent.

Twitter is not about numbers. Twitter is about interaction.

I am not following @charliesheen. I will not follow @charliesheen.

Tell me something! What interaction did you enjoy on Twitter during the 25 hours and 17 minutes that made Charlie Sheen a Twitter sensation? What makes Twitter valuable for you? If you’re not using Twitter, I would love to hear your perspective on this topic, as well.

Filed As:  numbers, interaction

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • Becky! So well put. How did Charlie Sheen get his Twitter limits lifted? I am stuck on following 2001 and can;t make new friends I desire to genuinely make because I’m just under 1600? You are right, it isn’t about the numbers, it’s about the conversations. Loved your thoughts.

  • Becky, 100% agree with you! I guess we all want different things through social media, but I am into genuine relationships rather than the numbers game. We are all different I guess but as I always say to you, you changed my perspective on the power of twitter to build real relationships.

  • so true, Becky. I met Art Petty yesterday in Phoenix. I spoke on the phone to Jesse Stoner last week. I have a phone conversation scheduled with Kneale Mann in Canada. You and I have spoken on the phone. Without twitter, these examples simply would not exist. But I’ve also connected with people in London, NYC, and Denver that I met on Twitter. Any committed twitter user can share similar stories.

    • Bret and Becky,

      I just had a great chat with Mr. Simmons and we met on Twitter and began reading each other’s content and discussing BUSINESS (shock horror!). There will always been a Sheen story, there will always be a Libya story and the rest of us need not distract ourselves that either situation will help us grow our connections and communities. I will add that we need to ask for more from each other. It is wonderful to connect and make friends, but we also have bills to pay and I think (as proof from almost all of my paying clients) we can do both.

  • Becky, great post, and I totally agree with you. Twitter is an amazing resource for connection and for learning as well. I doubt that Charlie wants to glean any of the expertise shared by some of the incredibly smart resources on Tiwtter who are willing to share. If he doesn’t even want to connect, why would he go any further to learn…or to try to add additional value to anyone else.

    It’s even more concerning to me that so many people want to follow him, just to stay tuned to what he wants to blast out to the masses. We are all affected by the people we let into our lives. Is this the influence that people are looking for?

    I keep wondering, if Mother Teresa has decided to get on Twitter, would she have gotten as many followers as fast? I don’t think so, but I know I would be wanting to learn from her and interact!

  • Becky,
    Thank you for a timely, thought provoking post, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading; despite my disagreement.

    I believe Twitter is about numbers and interaction. How many people can you follow/follow you, and still interact with? 20? 20,000? Everyone’s tipping point is different.

    Charlie Sheen and other Twitter Evangelistas are a metaphor for a mindless solo romp through twitter land. But, no one has a gun to the heads of the vast numbers of people who press the follow button.

  • Hi, Becky,

    Charlie Sheen is a train wreck looking for a place to happen. Most likely much of his “audience” are simply people who like watching train wrecks.

    Personally, he as well as IM spammers ruin what makes Twitter great! You’re right. Twitter isn’t for self-aggrandizement or self-promotion. It’s for connecting and initiating relationships.

    In my short time on Twitter I’ve managed to meet some really nice people. You’re one of them. I’ve enjoyed our conversations and look forward to many more.

    Following a gazillion people doesn’t make Twitter any better or worse, but caring about people and interacting, whether in email, by phone or on Twitter, makes being active online a rich and rewarding experience.

    What Sheen is doing is nothing short of sheer arrogance and an exercise in self-justification and opportunism. My respect for the man just slipped way beneath zero. Like you, I will not be following him. Not now, not ever.

  • I, too, do not follow @charliesheen.

    I, too, will not follow @charliesheen.

    “Getting” followers in social media isn’t nearly as important is fostering a relationship with them.

    Apparently like a lot of other things in life, @charliesheen is missing … the … point.

  • Hi Becky,

    I enjoyed how you used a current event to make a great point. Some people feel that the numbers are important and some don’t. For me, the jury is out.

    But I absolutely agree with your point that the true value of Twitter is exactly as you describe it. In fact, connecting with you through Twitter has been one of the highlights of 2011.

    The phenomenon you described makes me wonder, not only about Charlie Sheen, but also about the 1.8 million people who are following him. Why are they using Twitter? Do they know what they’re missing out on?

  • Twitter’s just a tool. A powerful one. A tool to do what you do. If you like to connect and deepen relationships, like Becky…it will be a great tool for that. If you want to see how many people will follow just for the sake of it, you can do that, too! For me, the learning curve has been a bit steep. It took me a while to enjoy Twitter and I used to think it was kind of silly. But, being there has made a GREAT difference to me. I mirror your experience, Becky and also regularly talk with, work and enjoy my Twitter friends. But it also changed my mind about the numbers issue. How many people can you really follow on there. A lot more than I first thought. Really. And how many of those will become meaningful relationships. A few. Isn’t that just like the rest of life? What amazes me every day is the range of far-off and interesting tweets I can find there. It’s a big world. And Twitter gives you a taste of it – of the parts of it you are interested in – in real time.

  • If you don’t follow @charliesheen, perhaps you will follow @newcharliesheen 🙂

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