I Was Possessed by a Digital Demon and Got into My First Twitter Fight
Being fairly new to blogging on my own and promoting my work on Twitter, I was wondering when I’d draft myself into a pointless, trivial war in the land of the Big Blue Bird.
Since I’m typically not a confrontational person, I always chose to watch these skirmishes from afar, laugh at everyone’s needless outrage, then go back to living my libertine life.
However, when I saw an unnecessary controversy (I won’t say which) erupt on Twitter, I was taken over by something primal, something atavistic, something that could only be explained by the worst parts of the Bible. And that’s when I entered the fray.
There were no survivors but me.
My demon started off civilly enough; instead of kicking off my participation with a profane insult, I offered a sharp yet thoughtful opinion on the matter, and many people liked it.
But of course, it is an article of faith that there is no drug more addicting than Twitter likes, and I immediately plugging the stuff into my veins.
I saw a mostly innocent participant voice a fairly innocuous yet troubling opinion, and then unleashed my sarcastic fury upon them with a mildly pointed retort. Not long after my initial offensive, I drew the ire of what my demon-self regarded as simpletons, and there was no retreating now.
After quickly scanning the Wikipedia entry on Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” and declaring myself a master military tactician, I advanced on my enemies: EVERYONE ELSE.
I prepped my laptop for the coming battle (“This is my laptop. There are many others like it, but this one is mine…”) and shot back at an adversary with such poetry, insight, and violence that I’m sure they needed therapy they couldn’t possibly afford.
And when someone responded to me with a reasonable criticism, I quickly felt lava flowing through my veins, and emitted thunder from my fingertips. I quipped back with words, and only words. But my God, what words they were!
I soon found myself in the middle of several tête-à-têtes, fighting intellectual clashes on numerous fronts, firing weighty ideas at my opponents like a machine gun that shoots omnidirectionally. And by Jove, I was not only surviving, but thriving, relishing in the imagined bloodshed of what my demon told me were brainless stooges, agents working for a higher, more nefarious purpose.
However, I soon realized that I was not alone in my battle against the world. Other noble warriors joined in the melee, liking my responses more than those of my enemies; I knew that my soldiers had heard my battle cry and were ready to sacrifice themselves for my ungodly person, ready to take a bullet for their newly-self-appointed leader.
The hair on the back of my neck stood up; even my luscious follicles were ready to enter the fight, but they were not needed, for I was surrounded by my cheeky, feisty compeers.
Of course, just because my loyal Soldiers of Reason were ready to attack on my behalf, that didn’t mean that there weren’t more miscreants ready to continue their vain assault on logic. “Fine,” I thought, “You play with fire, you get electrocuted!”
My rivals countered my efforts by liking the posts that criticized my objectively correct points. Never before had I wished so hard to put on a gem-encrusted gauntlet and Thanos-snap my enemies into so much Mary Poppins chimney soot. But not having the budget for a trip to Tiffany’s or wherever I can purchase such a weapon, I was forced to use my wit, words, and bloodlust.
However, in the middle of a brutal, bloody, textual brouhaha with an elderly woman, the digital demon that had possessed me had sated its appetite for social media mayhem, and departed to occupy the vessel of another innocent Twitter bystander. I soon snapped back to my usual dull consciousness and ended my onslaught on someone’s gammy-num-nums, choosing to follow some random martial arts instructor’s advice and simply walk away from the fight.
My heart rate stabilized, my blood pressure went down, and my violent hallucinations of a future that has yet to come ceased.
Even though I emerged as the clear victor in this war of words (folks are still liking my responses and requesting me to impregnate their wives AND husbands), as I stepped over the nonexistent corpses of my enemies like a shore bird avoiding an oil spill, I realized that this was a pyrrhic victory, that everyone who engaged in this scuffle had lost just a bit of their humanity and literacy (except me — my literacy actually improved).
So, lessons learned all around, I suppose.
(One of the weirder results of my participation in this silly fight is the large number of right wing followers I acquired. It’s funny because I don’t even identify as a Republican — I’m a Calvinist.)
Ballads will be written about my triumph over complete strangers, but they’re not going to be happy ballads, let me tell you.
However, to ensure that I never again become the helpless victim of another digital demon possession, I’ve consulted with numerous psychics, shamans, and professional pagans who I found on Craigslist to sell me their wares. And since I’ve yet to find myself as the fleshy porta potty of some social media succubus, I can confidently say that I’ve got no buyer’s remorse.
If you enjoyed reading my blogging antics as much as I may or may not have enjoyed writing them, follow me on Twitter even more literary irresponsibility!