TV & Movies

Briony Smith Joins Twitter, Doesn't Die of Embarrassment

FLARE’s senior culture editor has refused to tweet for the past seven years, so we hooked her up with CBC News writer Lauren O’Neil—who has amassed 54,300 followers by tweeting 15 times a day—and challenged Smith to
 lose her Twitter virginity



Speaking to Lauren O’Neil (@laurenonizzle) about joining Twitter causes me to break out in blotches, because the idea of opening my big, fat mouth to the entirety of the Internet is terrifying. She doles out practical advice: Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say to your boss, your mom or a room filled with 1,000 people; be authentic (“Fakeness really shows on Twitter,” she says); post at least five times a day; and engage people.

After our chat, I send out my first tweet: “The apocalypse has arrived. #hashtag.” Within 24 hours, I have 100 followers and make the rookie mistake of including an apostrophe in my #datingdon’ts hashtag. Next, 
I post my FLARE feature about being
 a #PerenniallySingleBitch, and it gets 50 retweets, plus thousands of shares via social media. (I take Lauren’s advice and “engage” with a user who liked my story—i.e., I ask him out via DM. He says yes!) However, I become paralyzed about crafting my next tweet and clam up for eight days.

The perfectionist in me finds it hard to grasp the off-the-cuff nature of the medium (without getting fired), and I’d rather not tweet at all than toss off something lame. I fill the gap by sharing content, which makes me feel like a good Twitizen. I gain another 75 followers the day I call out Toronto cabbies on their horrible behaviour. My angry tweet gets 91 retweets and 162 favourites. Finally, 
I get it. Blathering into the ether isn’t just narcissism. Whether I’m eye-rolling over #datingdonts or outraged about trans discrimination, sharing is solidarity. We’re all in this together.

Total Weeks on Twitter: 15
Total Followers: 867
Follow me at @brionycwsmith

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