Is Social Media Less About What You Say Versus When You Say It?
Iconclast and award-interrupter Kanye West tested the Twitterstream this week to see if the timing of his tweets could lend weight to what he had to say. Just one week prior to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, West unleashed a series of mea culpas to Taylor Swift, the top-40 pop singer he dissed at last year's award ceremony. Were these tweets born out of calculation or sincerity, or just a case of a TUI (tweeting under the influence of alcohol)?
According to West's tweets, apparently in one year's time this incident caused him to lose a lot of respect from not only his fans, but also from fellow artists and production companies. However to wait this long before making a public apology seems disingenuous - or as @Lord_Voldemort7 tweeted just before this post …
While most folks believe that "timing" is everything in life - I think when its used to gain advantage - its transparency becomes pretty evident. In West's case, even his apology is couched in such a way that redirects the spotlight back to himself.
While he commends the microblogging platform for allowing him to speak directly to the public in a "raw" fashion without the assistance of a publicist, he goes on to say that he's written "a song for Taylor Swift that's so beautiful… (but) "if she won't take it then I'll perform it for her." Sounds like a perfect segue for him to take the spotlight at the VMAs and sing his song in another veiled apology attempt to regain his popularity.
What might be the true test as to whether West's use of social media to apologize was sincere or forced is to have this year's host grill him on stage. Chelsea Handler, long-known for her acerbic wit could easily slice and dice through the singer's true motivations. In stead of hiding behind Twitter, West would have to think on his feet and respond live in real-time.
And think about this, race fans - as another wrinkle into ulterior motives - both West and Swift have albums due out soon. Who's to say the two weren't collectively collaborating on West's Twitter apology campaign - to draw attention to both artists in an attempt to promote their latest releases?
What are your thoughts? Too little to late - better late than never - tweeting under the influence - or a case of just shifting the spotlight back to Numero Uno?