Leading article: Instant fame

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The Independent Online

One moment you're tweeting fairly solo; then the whole world is listening. Well, not exactly.

But when the US rapper Kanye West, for reasons unknown, made Steven Holmes his only Twitter follower, the young man from Coventry certainly saw his audience leap dramatically in hours, from only 60 or so to more than a thousand.

Fame is always welcome, right? Not necessarily. Mr Holmes, apparently overwhelmed by the need to up his tweets in quality, admits to finding the matter "weird".

As well he might. There is an assumption, much promoted by Hollywood films, that every girl wants her foot to fit the glass slipper and so become a princess, while every boy must aspire to some similar transformative process guaranteeing him lasting glory.

What if this is just a myth? The word "Twitter" has markedly ornithological connotations. But one only has to observe birds in song to note that while some are desperately ambitious divas, wowing the flock from the rooftops with the range of their repertoire, others are happy to cheep away in a solitary fashion from some obscure twig inside a hedge, pleasing no one beyond themselves. In his low-key reaction to the opportunity of fame, Mr Holmes has struck a blow for all those who might say, pace Garbo, "I want to tweet alone".