I started using Twitter seriously in August 2018. I remember my first few months of tweeting, getting 1-2 likes/tweet, knowing I wanted more but not knowing how to get there. Once I started to get 4 likes/tweet, I thought I had made it. Little did I know, I was so far from where I wanted to be: verified. With that beautiful blue checkmark next to my name, I knew I’d be unstoppable.
It would be months before I started to even think about verification. I first just wanted to acquire as many followers as possible. I started with people I knew, but I soon moved on to the people Twitter recommended me. Those people were typically famous, though, which makes no sense – I’m not out here tryna get good content. I’m out here tryna get followed back. So I did what anyone in my situation would do: I looked up the twitter accounts of people I was jealous of, and I tried to steal their followers.
At first, I just followed their followers from the follower list, but I soon saw the flaw in this plan. For any given social network, 75% of the users are trying to give it up at any moment in time to “better” themselves. So dumb – can’t you just switch to soy yogurt and call it a day? I need your likes!! Most of their followers were inactive. So I moved on to following the people who liked their tweets. Boom! About 7% of them were following me back. This was great progress!
It wasn’t as simple as just mass-following people, though. If it were, we’d all be Twitter verified by now, but instead, we’re all just dumb-ass pieces of dirt. I couldn’t let my ratio get too skewed, so I also had to unfollow the people who didn’t follow me back (“asswipes”). This soon came to consume most of the time I spent sitting at open mics (Goodbye, Tinder!). But my follower base was growing. I was manually inserting people into my fanbase, one by one. I was making it.
In June 2018, I had about 3,000 followers. I tweeted out something simple but snarky (my typical tone). I wrote, “not to brag, but I don’t need alcohol to send texts I regret.” I felt good about the tweet but I didn’t think it was anything special. Little did I know – it would change the course of my destiny.
10 minutes after I tweeted it, it had about 17 likes. Pretty good, right? 40 minutes after I tweeted it, it had 80 likes. Whoa. This was not normal. Something was up. Within hours, it had thousands of likes. Was this the mythical viral tweet I’d heard so much about? Had I broken the 9th wall? Was I Jessica Simpson? So many unanswered questions.
The tweet did go viral, it turned out. But no, I wasn’t Jessica Simpson. Still, after a viral tweet, I was sure I’d get verified. People were copying my tweet on their own Twitter accounts (one person did it, I searched). Twitter had to verify me.
There’s no longer an option to apply to be verified, sadly. Still, I was sure I must have gotten on their radar. I was a viral tweet-writer, after all. You don’t see one of those every day, unless you happen to use Twitter. So I sat and I waited. And I tweeted, and I followed, and I unfollowed, and I scraped nail polish off my thumbs. And I waited. But no word from Twitter – I was still a nobody.
But I’m not one to sit on my hands and do nothing. I prefer to sit on a couch and do nothing – my hands are a little uncomfortable. I continued with Twitter. I followed and unfollowed, all the way up to almost 10k followers. And still no verification. I felt like a fool. I was invisible. So I took matters into my own hands. Twitter verifies users who others might try to impersonate. So why not have someone impersonate me?
I wanted someone to make a fake Ginny Hogan twitter account, but I had to find the right person. Someone who got me, but also had their own independent flair. Someone who got my backstory. After pondering this for 7 seconds, I settled upon my little sister Claudia. Not to brag, but we share a LOT of DNA. I was sure she’d make a fake Twitter account, and sure enough, she agreed.
Claudia started sharing my articles, claiming they were written by her. She even did rude interpretations of some of my tightest stand up bits. And people were buying it! Within 12 hours, she had 3 followers. It was almost like they liked her better than me. This sucked. But I knew what I had to do — I shared one of her tweets and called her out for copying me. I had the attention of my followers. At least 6 of them reported her. My followers might not get me verified, but they do stick by me! Tears glistened (not in my eyes, but somewhere).
So I wrote to Twitter. I told them of this imposter, implanted by me. Their bots were sympathetic, but unable to do anything without proof of me being me. I sent them my driver’s license (which I earned on the 4th try. I was so excited to have passed the test that I promptly failed to turn off my friend’s dad’s car whatever). And again, as I had done so many times with Twitter, I waited.
And then my email dinged. They were informing me that they’d verified me, I was sure of it! I held my breath and waited. I clicked into the email. NO! THEY WERE JUST SHUTTING DOWN MY SISTER’S FAKE ACCOUNT!! THEY WEREN’T THERE TO VERIFY ME AT ALL!! FOR SHAME!!
I am still unverified don’t look at me!!!