I have a Twitter account. I’m not bringing this up because I want people to follow me, but because it’s helping me realize how delusional I could become. I like to follow, for the most part, two kinds of people: comedians and fictional characters. They’re funny and I enjoy having that anchor into reality that only people like Patton Oswalt could provide, and simultaneously suspending disbelief by reading the tweets of various comic book characters (as you can see in the blog’s sidebar). The problem lies with the latter group.
There’s something quite elating about seeing one of your tweets responded to, whether it be retweeted or just replied to. Of course, I’m a massive nerd who’s not used to a lot of attention. Nonacademic attention. Attention that doesn’t really matter. So, when I get a some sort of contact, it’s particularly thrilling. These are people I don’t know, so there’s a little (itty-bitty) thrill in having that kind of mystery. Now, I already have a suggestive imagination. It’s why I can’t watch Criminal Minds anymore and why I’m very particular about the movies I watch. I get a little wound up, or my mind gets self-destructive. So, when Steve Rogers or Tony Stark replies to my Twit Bits, I find I could easily become crazed and trapped in a world of my creation. I have to remember that these gents are RP-ers (Role-Players) and are doing it only for fun. It’s just a game. Only a game. Oh, and it’s not helping that there’s been some chatter about verifying the fictional characters’ accounts.
Of course, The Batman helps keep me in line. It also helps that some of the RP-ers are really chatty, and it can be off-putting. Or, when you’re following people who are following each other and they end up having a conversation.
It’s also comforting that, as I go through my Twitter feed, that many of the RP-ers go the way of Brian Griffin and use the character as a soapbox. When I see Edgar Allan Poe (not a fictional character, but in the context of Twitter, he may as well be) tweet,
I realize that (whether you agree with his sentiment or not, I don’t much care) the writer for Poe is kind of a douche nozzle, I have an easier time deleting him, because that is certainly not–even in emulation–my favorite writer.
Facebook made stalking that much easier, and I agree (many of my crushes would also, but I’m a careful voyeur). But, Twitter has made open invites to celebrity stalking. Twitter wants us to be pervs like they are. Good thing the guys I follow are mostly fictional, until the perforated boundary between reality and insanity finally snaps and I end up following Tom Hiddleston in a van.
- Can a fictional character take you over? (guardian.co.uk)
- Positive Dissociation, and its Importance: “Losing Yourself” in a Fictional Character Can Affect Your Real Life (sott.net)