Be warned: Next time you bite into a banana at the College of William and Mary, you might just find your picture online.
The anonymous twitter account, W&M Bananas, tweeted its intent Jan. 23: to post and retweet photographs of College students eating bananas.
The hit was out. Today, nowhere on campus is safe. Pictures have been snapped of students snacking in cafeterias, dorms and even classrooms. The account is replete with pictures of subjects munching on the yellow — or green, if you got it at Marketplace — fruit. Some students seem to pose for the camera, others have clearly been caught unaware and a few are actually dressed in banana costumes.
The primary motivation behind the account is the thrill of getting the perfect shot.
“It’s like this school is the Sahara and I’m on a safari,” the banana tweeter said in an email. “Only instead of animals and interesting plants, I’m catching people deep-throating neon yellow fruit. No one wants to be caught eating a banana. It’s great.”
The banana tweeter claims to head a league of photographers devoted to the cause. However, the banana tweeter isn’t much of a banana fan. While quick to praise the fruit’s nutritional benefits, he or she personally doesn’t like its “gross” texture.
“Bananas are the perfect food,” the owner of the account said. “Did you know that a banana can fuel a 90-minute workout? Just by itself. That’s pretty amazing. There’s also the whole ‘sexual innuendo while you eat them’ thing. But I promise, that’s just secondary.”
“Banana eater twitters” at other schools inspired the anonymous tweeter, along with the former account associated with the College.
“[The old account] was just terrible,” the banana tweeter said. “Blurry photos, people that didn’t have popularity or fame. I got more followers in an hour than that twitter had. My launch was very scheduled, very planned, with a bunch of well-known names on campus (and twitter) and some lesser known ones getting sent the link first, so they could retweet it and it could just appear.”
The banana tweeter is particularly proud of his or her marketing technique. He or she hopes to include this social media strategy on his or her resume — or at least bring it up as a talking point in a job interview.
Despite its relative newness, the account has gathered 158 followers, as well as a few critics. The online circulation of images of people wolfing down the potassium-rich fruits is not universally appreciated.
“One girl tweeted [a profanity] at me … and deleted it an hour later,” the banana tweeter said. “I looked at her picture and give her the stink eye every time I see her around campus but she doesn’t know who I am and I don’t know who she is. That’s that.”
If caught, the banana tweeter does plan to “fess up” and take the credit. He or she also believes that the twitter account has impacted campus banana consumption.
“I’ve noticed people tend to eat very privately,” the banana tweeter said. “Especially since the twitter came out. People eat less bananas, and when they do, they kind of hunch over and hide the fact that it is a banana.”
The banana tweeter hopes to leave a legacy at the College — perhaps by adopting an apprentice. However, he or she expressed some doubts about the future comic potential of the fruit.
“Maybe I’ll find a freshman when I’m a senior and make them carry the legacy,” the banana tweeter said. “Will bananas still be funny? I don’t know.”
The banana tweeter noted that some pretenders have cropped up, warning followers against believing “someone who is loud and outspoken” claiming to operate the twitter account.
The tweeter also has the following message for campus:
“Eat more bananas. They’re good for you. I swear.”