I used to be filled with a lot more meanness. The type of meanness that could make someone cry pretty quickly. Some of that was probably due to the fact that I was hungover for five years and that will take a little niceness out of anyone. I think I’ve come a long way though, and there’s no better proof of maturity than one’s social media history. Sometimes when I need an emotional lift, I’ll scroll back to my status updates on Facebook from 2009. They’re a combination of mystery and sadness and some of them I can’t even decipher. Others sound just desperate:
I sometimes tell my former self, “No, Scott. You should not be an MTV star! Stop drinking wine in bed.”
But for the love of the soak, I’d like to think we’ve all matured since 2009. Hopefully you’re not still wearing flat-brimmed hats in our 20s and maybe we’ve even stopped making bongs out of coke cans and apples. If you’re still doing these things, this is your intervention.
Personally, I think you can tell a lot about how you’ve matured based on your social media behavior. In the not so distant past, when someone pissed me off or annoyed me, I’d just unfriend them. It’s kind of a coward move and like drinking Facebook poison and expecting the other person to die. It takes a long time before they’d even realize you’ve unfriended them and by the time they do, they’re probably unsure what happened so your spiteful move falls on deaf Facebook ears.
Now let me be clear that I’m not a fully realized human being in 2016. I don’t unfriend someone unless they are a real threat to me. Like a potential murder-threat. Now, I just ‘unfollow’ people. It’s a classier move and nobody gets hurt. I used to thrive off of hate-following people and thinking about passive aggressive things to post on their wall that may make them cry. When some rascals would post political things–and I knew they didn’t know a Democrat from an Aristocrat–I’d dislike them in pretty unhealthy ways.
Not anymore, Jets!
I know they shouldn’t bother me but I’ve always internalized weird emotions that I think the OTHER person should feel. Don’t you know how dumb you sound? Years ago I would have to switch the channel when Blind Date was on because I’d feel so awkward when the men were saying ridiculous shit. I miss that show.
Despite the social media strides I’ve made, there is still an inner troll that dwells deep in my soul.
The internet offers an endless amount of content from an endless amount of clowns. I don’t think my trollishness stems from deep rooted hatred or anger. Honestly, I’m just super curious. I want to know why people are they way they are and why they would say the things they say. I want to know what type of parent raised someone who would reveal TV spoilers on Facebook and Twitter. These people will occupy a special place in hell and that hell will have no WiFi or chargers. Anyways, this curiosity I speak of is the fuel that writes Keath Otis a letter. This is the ammunition that propels me down internet rabbit holes.
Like this week!
I wrote the blog about Slate’s “Dear Abby” column. I wasn’t impressed with the advice given by Mallory Ortberg so I decided to learn more about her and now I follow her on Twitter. I tweeted her, asking how many cats she had because all I pictured was a single, lonely woman with cats, who talked about Jane Austen with her academia friends on the weekends. I know it’s a little childish and passive aggressive of me but I really don’t appreciate her failure to discuss how and why the Facebook masturbator admitted to the deed. It’s a real journalistic failure on her part and she owes me an answer, like how many cats she has adopted.
And like I said: the content never ends. I was viewing some random article yesterday and of course, I was drawn to the comment section because that’s where all the magic happens. And here is where I came across Mike.
It was an article about how Amy Schumer got freaked out when a “fan” bum-rushed her and demanded a photo. Mike added some real insight into the issue of the fan/celebrity relationship when he wrote “It was probably a black guy. Black guys are always scary.” I thought the comment was obviously a troll-job but he got my attention, like good trolls do, so I clicked on Mike’s avatar. This click brought me to Mike’s “Comment History” which consisted of over 8,000 comments. Thanks to the internet, I had an inside and easy look into some of the comments he’s made and the articles that sparked them. Down the rabbit-hole of hate I went, learning that Mike wasn’t just a troll. He was a full-fledged racist who, SPOILER ALERT, hates Obama. Some of the comments were so ridiculous I wondered where these people live and what their parents were like. So many questions and so many comments to navigate through.
But unfortunately for me, and this blog, I couldn’t get more info on Mike. I tried to search Mike and glean any information I could that would allow me to search for him on Facebook. This was obviously a social media behavioral regression (an SMBR) on my part but Mike needed to be stopped. I’d like to say I came to my senses and read a book or something but I just couldn’t stop looking for more evidence! I blame the Serial podcast for this. And like a true psychopath, I even googled how to find someone’s IP address so I could mail him a letter and ask him why he hates black people. I’d throw some glitter in it and a gift card that was never activated because Mike deserves that type of let-down.
Anyways, the point I’m trying to make is that we’re all trying to navigate these hot tub waters we call ‘life’ one day at a time. We make strides, and we take steps back. Sometimes they lead to places we’ve never been, while others may reveal that maybe we haven’t changed so much after all.