Last week I stayed up to watch the US election results come in. As it turns out, democracy in action can be a slow affair, so I took to Twitter to have some form of conversation as I awaited America becoming great again/World War III (delete depending on your political views).
Because I used to dress up in humiliating costumes in exchange for money on Sky Sports a few years ago, I have a respectable 10,000 Twitter followers. I imagine most of them clicked 'follow' in the early days of the site, and because I'm fairly lackadaisical in my tweeting, haven't noticed me since. If they did, I imagine they'd delete me, wondering who I am and how I got on their feed. My follower retention strategy is essentially keeping my head down and not looking at anyone's pint.
I tweeted half a dozen things, got a few replies and likes, and thought nothing of it. Little did I know, amongst all the grit, a pearl was forming. A Megatweet.
Initially nothing much happened. After about twenty minutes a YouTuber acquaintance of mine Saunders Says retweeted it, and shortly after, his brother Spencer Owen. Because they're popular on the interweb, a few people saw it and liked it, and retweeted it. And a few more. And then I went to bed, happy that the validation I had received from a few strangers online would cancel out the imminent collapse of the free world.
I awoke to the news that my tweet was 'going virus' as people probably say if they work for Google. By 6am it had been seen 50,000 times, and liked by 958 people. A few hours later a friend mentioned on my Facebook that he'd seen it in a list of 18 Tweets About How America Has Out-Brexited Brexit. Another friend replied to say they'd seen it on Mashable.
The tweet in question was simple.
Typical America. We do Brexit and they have to go bigger.— Robbie Knox (@RobbieKnox) November 9, 2016
It's not particularly funny or original. Oscar Wilde may have done better with his 140 characters, but it didn't matter. I was winning Twitter.
As the day went on, the numbers rose. 100,000 impressions, 150,000, 200,000. Then in mid-afternoon, I got the news that the Megatweet had broken out of the internet and into the wider world.
I was on the news, and I didn't even have to murder someone. Incredible scenes.
As I write this, my tweet has settled down with just over 350,000 views, and plenty of likes and retweets. And how many new followers did I get, you may ask. Six. Yes, six new followers.
Having a Megatweet go virus is in many ways pointless. Your phone beeps all the time and you don't get many new followers (the currency of Twitter). But I don't care, I got on TV and we all know that people who are on TV are better than people who aren't on TV. That's just a fact.
People are having a go at Donald Trump just because he's misogynistic, offensive arsehole who has been accused of child rape, but how often was I on TV under Obama? Zero times, that's how many.
Perhaps Donald Trump is going to ruin the world. But maybe, just maybe, he's finally going to give us white, heterosexual, middle class, middle aged, home owning, university educated males a chance to make it in life. God knows we've waited long enough.