When it comes to social media, I have been on Ryan Adams’ do-not-fly list for as long as I can remember — a period that predates the book I wrote about him, “Losering.” Not that I think he’s paying the slightest bit of attention to me, but he did at least go to the trouble of blocking me on Twitter. I am hardly alone in this, of course. There are enough of us who have been shown the door to populate an actual joke-group on Facebook, “Blocked By Ryan Adams On Social Media.”
Today, however, I somehow found myself improbably joining the ranks of the unblocked. I have no idea how or when this might have happened, as it’s literally been years since the last time I checked. But whatever the reason, today that blue “Follow” button appeared as an option when I went to his Twitter page, rather than the scoldy “You have been blocked from following this account at the request of the user” shame-message that used to show up.
So anyway, what the heck, I followed him. Even took the liberty of hitting the heart-shaped “Like” button on a few of his tweets, like this one about Heartbreaker. I’m sure it won’t last, even if I can restrain the urge to mention the words “North Carolina” in one of his threads. And now that I’ve called attention to my presence in this way, I wonder what the over/under is on how long it takes for me to get blocked again?
...UPDATE (mid-day on May 17, 2018): After I followed him, it took less than 48 hours for me to be kicked back into the teeming blocked masses. I didn’t even have to reply to any of his Tweets for it to happen.
Ryan Adams talks a good game about ignoring critics and bad reviews, but the truth is he can be as thin-skinned as anyone else in response to discouraging words. For example, there’s the tweet below (which Ryan has apparently since deleted), inspired by some gratuitous social-media snark about DRA 1989 from New York Times critic Jon Caramanica — who also had some underwhelming things to say about that album when it came out back in September. Ouch…
UPDATE: Some responses from Carmanica are also below. It seems that he, too, is now Blocked By Ryan Adams on Twitter — and taking it in stride.
When it comes to his interactions on social media, Ryan Adams has a mighty itchy trigger finger. That especially goes for Twitter, where I am one of the legions of people he has blocked over the years. I’m a charter member of the tongue-in-cheek Facebook group Blocked By Ryan Adams On Twitter, which is all in fun. “Losering” is not a harsh recounting of Ryan’s story, but it is unauthorized. So it came as no surprise when I found myself outside looking in.
All of which is to say that the oh-so-meta Twitter interaction below is funny, at least to me. It’s also probably the closest Ryan is likely to come to acknowledging the existence of “Losering” in public. It’s from my fellow North Carolinian Dan Schram, in which he cites me by name as the reason he used to be blocked by Ryan — while celebrating the fact that he’s now apparently unblocked. And who is the first person to favorite Dan’s tweet? Why, @TheRyanAdams.
That got me to wondering whether or not Ryan had ended my Twitter purgatory, too. So I checked, but no, the freezeout continues. Oh well. As Dan said in a followup tweet, I feel like there’s a “Bad Blood” joke in there somewhere.