As anyone with a Twitter account will tell you, (vicariously) following the often-exciting lives of your favorite celebrity can be fascinating, unpredictable, and fun. You soon learn about their favorite books/movies/songs/alcoholic beverage, what their sense of humor is really like, and, most often, their political and/or personal beliefs. Yet, this strictly online relationship really creates a one-sided friendship - you know everything about what's going on in their world, but they have no clue as to who you are. In fact, you are one of their many "followers", there to simply promote their latest project to.
Then, you can only imagine my surprise, when the following tweet popped up on my computer screen from high-profile actress/screenwriter/goddess Nia Vardalos, sent to all those who follow her on Twitter: "After much LARRYCROWNE press, I'm bored of my own voice. What u working on that could use a little twitter promotion? I'll RT."
I had to re-read her words. In the midst of promoting the release of the Tom Hanks/Julia Roberts film Larry Crowne (that she wrote and therefore has a high stake in the success of), she was offering to take the time to promote a project/cause/purpose for someone else? Who does that?
Nia Vardalos does, that's who.
I replied to her with information about my upcoming book: "My second novel, a gay thriller titled ACCIDENTS NEVER HAPPEN, hits stores July 19th! Thank you very much for your support!"
But I wasn't the only person she helped. For the next hour, she retweeted on behalf of the Humane Society, a man whose music store had burnt down, the adoption of HIV+ children, scholarships for families of fallen soldiers, and much, much more.
When the question was posed to her of why she was retweeting on behalf of so many people, she replied with, "I wanted to use Twitter for good."
I now clearly understand the power of social media. Collin Kelley and Karen Head, mentors to many in this all-too important arena deserve credit here for sharing with me - and many other writers - their know-how and expertise, and encouraging us to utilize social media.
I get it now.
At the heart of it all, Nia Vardalos is an exception. She really does care about the people who support her. Given the chance, she used her celebrity status to support them.
I'm living proof of this. And, I'm forever grateful.
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