This title is formed of two English words that are “followers” and “mania”, which denotes an obsession. This explains how a great portion of users of social-networks, especially Twitter, have turned to. Now a person communicates with his fellow friend through a “re-tweet” or a “mention”; a terminology that is now dominating the relations in that virtual space, which made some people feel like superstars, but again, this is just in their own virtual world.
For the description to be fair, I will prove to you that this social addiction has surpassed the admiration of a place or an environment and became a true state of obsession and chronic illness. “Twitter” is a platform that influenced many people; it has the same impact as drug addiction, just like Cocaine and Amphetamine. This is exactly what scientific sources describe as one of the reasons that lead the addict to the “followersmania” state.
The obsession state varies from one person to another. There are those who deal with the number and increase of followers, day after day, in a moderated manner and accordingly they are obsessed but within acceptable limits. Meanwhile, there are others who transform their preoccupation into a “mania” complemented by symptoms of psychosis, hallucinations and delusions. They often wonder whether they have reached the fame they deserve and the community started to take their ideas seriously? Or whether there is a conspiracy from their intellectual rivals or digital competitors to break and reduce the number of their followers in their illusionary war?
Most of these addicts or fanatics attained by the ‘Followersmania’, have transformed their lives into a state of depression, where their daily behaviors have become associated with how responsive is that virtual world with their intellectual fabrications, their stilted political vocabulary and their heroic verbal attitudes. Therefore, their lives have become a realistic reflection of symptoms corresponding to obsession patients, where the need to sleep decreases as a result of the permanent presence in the Twitter environment and where the person becomes more aggressive and hostile towards others. Subsequently, their normal personality becomes a natural state of vanity and megalomania that is actually the outcome of a lie created by their addicted mind. In few seconds, they change from quiet human beings to a state of boundless anger where you can only deal with them through injecting a serum called “reality.”
There is no problem for the man to search for someone who would listen to him and believe what he says, because every one of us has a little bit of narcissism, and there is nothing wrong about that. The person who is driven by subjectivity, is essentially a person seeking to be unique. The person has become now enslaved by the followers who are either numbers formed by marketing programs or imaginary characters, lurkers or reckless persons, and this is what obsession is about: the human being lives a lie created by his troubled mind and ratified by his spirit weakened by the love of show-off.
The writer has worked as a reporter and editor in several Saudi newspapers and is the founder of themedianote.com, a website focusing on Arab media issues. He currently works at the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting in Doha. He can be followed on Twitter at: @alghaslan. This article first appeared in Saudi Arabia’s al-Watan on Sept. 15, 2012