CHICAGO—Saying that he’s probably done all he could possibly do at this point, Twitter user Aaron Gartner confirmed Tuesday that after posting 10,000 tweets and accumulating just 15 followers, the 26-year-old is pretty much ready to pack it in and discontinue his account.
“I think I’ve taken this about as far as it can go,” said Gartner, who created @AaronGartner in March 2010 and has gained, on average, a little over four Twitter followers per year since. “I’ll maybe give it a few more months, but yeah, I think I’m about done here.”
The 26-year-old stated that despite following 785 accounts, avidly retweeting others’ posts, and making sure to comment on topical events like the blackout during this year’s Super Bowl and Lindsay Lohan’s legal troubles, his account has basically come to the end of the line.
Gartner, who plans on hanging it up after receiving no more than three retweets in a given week, confirmed that his posts frequently incorporate popular hashtag-based games and trending topics that at first seemed like surefire ways of increasing his following but ultimately failed to help any of his tweets take off.
“Last year, I got on the Kony train pretty early, but I think my voice got lost,” said Gartner, adding that he’s tried to expand his online presence by thinking of tweets using hashtags such as #ShitMyDadSays, #ShitMyMomSays, #Belieber, and #TeaParty. “I think if more people retweeted my stuff instead of just favoriting it I might have gained a little more traction. The problem is nobody really sees favorites.”
“A couple days ago I wrote, ‘I’d eat bacon-flavored anything. RT if you agree!’” continued Gartner, whose most recent tweets include, “Um, it’s 2013, are we seriously talking about gay marriage?” “.@ConanOBrien, you ever going to come back to Chicago?” and “Thirsty as hell right now.” “I thought the bacon thing was pretty funny and pretty relatable, but the only response I got was a retweet from my brother. And last year, I did this thing where I tweeted about Boy Meets World for a week straight. Nothing.”
Gartner, whose most avid followers consist mainly of his aunt, his roommate, and an unfamiliar Twitter account from Argentina with the profile photo of an egg, told reporters that he got a sense his time was about up when he decided to live-tweet the Golden Globes and actually lost three followers. At one point last year, Gartner said, he was averaging 900 tweets per follower—a statistic that the sales manager admitted was “pretty much the writing on the wall.”
According to Gartner, the most Twitter followers he’s ever had at any given moment was 18.
“The trouble is people who follow me are friends and family who mostly just follow each other,” Gartner said. “So what usually happens is, I post a tweet, and then even if someone retweets me, it’s just being seen by the same people over and over again.”
“You need one of those guys with a checkmark to retweet you so that you can break through a little,” added Gartner, who mentioned that several months ago he “threw a Hail Mary” and tweeted at President Barack Obama in hopes that whomever runs his account might see the post and retweet him. “But the longer it goes on, the longer it seems like that’s never going to happen. At this point, I think I just have to cut my losses.”
While Gartner said he never expected to have 500,000 followers, he did think that after three years of tweeting, he’d be able to make some sort of impression and amass at least 500 followers, and definitely more than 20. However, Gartner now reportedly believes it just wasn’t in the cards.
“I gave it my best shot, but I think it’s about time to call it a day,” he said. “Maybe I’ll try a couple more tweets and see if any of them strike a vein, but honestly, I think I’ve done what I can here.”
At press time, Gartner was reportedly rereading a tweet he posted in November 2012 that received three favorites and two retweets.