There are many excellent benefits to having your favorite writers, actors and show runners on Twitter. That picture of your favorite heartthrob wearing a t-shirt bearing your teen idol. That question and answer session about the ending of your favorite book. That little tid bit of a spoiler about an upcoming episode. These are all really fun things.
But there are also a lot of not so fun things about being a fan on Twitter. The hate. The bullying. The stupidity. And while every day I hold out hope that it will get better, it only seems to be getting worse. Human beings are ever more seduced by the mob mentality while hiding behind their computer screens.
It has become the rule and not the exception for fans to spam celebrities until they get a response. And these spammers are not alone with their idiotic beggary. They often have multitudes of compatriots waiting in the wings to help them get that oh so important birthday wish. Twitter spam is like air pollution. The smog from your Hummer may not be bothering you but many others are finding it hard to breathe. When did it become okay for many people to support the aggressive behavior of one? I can think of many times in history where this happened and it never turned out well.
Begging for birthday wishes is, of course, not the only belligerent behavior happening on the internet. On Twitter, and in comments, so-called fans of television shows, movies and books are going after the medium creators with such maliciousness that it turns my blood cold. I often wonder if these hit men of the world wide web would be as brave with their words if they were to meet these artists on the street. I am a big fan of disagreement. Disagreement is where ideas and compromise are born. Sometimes it helps us to find our own identities or identify better with others. But there are ways to do that without stinging, personal attacks.
The biggest problem is that these troublesome few are ruining things for the rest of us. I do believe that those actors and writers will be just a little less giving on the internet if all they get in return is foul language from corrupted minds. The internet is a public place and there are ways one should behave while in public. Or, so I was taught. Perhaps some of these people never had parents to tell them that it’s rude to curse at strangers or that basic manners are essential to living a good life. I am sad for them.
As I said, Twitter and Tumblr and the blogosphere can be such wonderful places. Full of fun and friendly debate. I have made some of my best friends through these channels. But it is up to us to make it wonderful. Give a hoot. Don’t pollute. Or as Vampire Diaries creator Julie Plec said, “Love. Not shove.”