ashtonUp late on the East coast last night,  I watched the anticipation build on Twitter as Mr. Demi Moore‘s number of followers approached 1,000,000.

Among the people I’m following it seemed to be a hot topic.  The majority of people seemed to be pulling for him, tweeting things like “Follow @aplusk go, do it now!!” and “Yeah baby, @aplusk is gonna do it! This is awesome!!!!1”

A smaller group seemed to collectively sigh and declare the end of Twitter as we know it.  They said things like “Great, Twitter has officially hit the mainstream” and “Why should I follow these celebs when they hardly follow anyone back?”  These folks seemed to share an overall feeling that people like Kutcher just don’t get it.

In case you haven’t been following, CNN and Kutcher were competing for publicity and to raise awareness of the Malaria No More charity.

I’ll admit, when I first heard about it I was annoyed, seeing as Ashton only follows 79 people back, the majority of them other celebs.

Of course it’s wonderful when a famous person uses their high profile to do something charitable.   I think my irritation stemmed from looking at it in the bigger picture of what social media is supposed to be about.  How can one person connect with even a small percentage of that number–especially when they are not returning the favor of a follow?

However, although I decided not to participate in the numbers game, it was cool to see this Twitter milestone go down live.  Going mainstream, jumping the shark, whatever you want to call it–it represents a turning point in this wild world of new media.

In the end, something I re-tweeted from Joel Comm sums up my feeling best:

@aplusk is the first to reach 1,000,000 Twitter followers. Yes, it was a stunt. But first is first.

Some people don’t want Twitter to get any bigger than it is, but why not? We all agree it’s a fantastic connecting tool.

And if this helps drive people like Oprah to use social media as a channel to do good things, well then who can argue with that?

Photo Credit: dpstyles

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