Abuse me if you must, but I'm not the Big I Am

Share

I suffered another random outbreak of online abuse last week. It was my own fault. I'd already announced in this column that I was going to go offline while my current comedy series was on the telly. Too much time spent in the back of cabs broke my Luddite resolve however. Sometimes, when you're on your own, potential access to the whole world is a tantalising thing.

The latest spat came after I mentioned that, in my view, there was a strong correlation between the number of tweets someone had posted and their mental state. I'm bad enough; over the past five years I have posted 20,000 or so tweets but, in my defence, I have a lot of followers and many of my tweets have been in response to multifarious enquiries.

The tweeters I am fascinated by are those with numbers like 130,000 tweets to their name (that's a lot of time spent online) but with very few followers. It often feels like they're shouting into a void and, in my experience it is these deluded types who are the most vociferous and unpleasant online. I got caught up in a tussle with a bunch of these online vegetables and was soon getting loads of abuse from what appeared to be a very angry dungeons and dragons club.

My favourite one was from someone who tweeted to anyone who cared to listen that I was a very unpleasant man. She knew this from a reliable source. Her "friend" supposedly worked in my local cinema and had told her that I had gone in there and swaggered about giving it the big "do you know who I am?"

I'm not sure that anybody (except maybe the late Michael Winner) actually does this. If I spot someone inquiring of strangers "do you know who I am?" my first thought is possible dementia, not an attempt to assert celebrity status. The fatal flaw in this celebrity myth is that, if you have to tell people who you are then you are clearly not "famous" and therefore would surely be loath to draw attention to the fact?

Nevertheless, I was intrigued and wanted to know more details about how I had behaved at my local Cineworld. Had I arrived and demanded a private screening? Had I insisted on free tickets in return for an autograph? Maybe I'd stood up in the middle of the film and told the other cinema-goers that they were in my hallowed presence? I asked but, as always with these sort of stories, the moment actual details or facts are required everything tends to crumble away.

I racked my brain and did remember a time when, having been faced with a quite extortionate bill for a couple of soft drinks, some popcorn and a packet of sweets I mentioned out loud that cinema "food" must be the most overpriced commodity on the planet. I assumed, perhaps incorrectly that everyone must do this unless they had too much money. That evening I was, once again, at my local cinema and tried my hardest not to be an arse.

Sadly, I watched Sunshine on Leith and couldn't help having a couple of sly teary moments. I hope nobody noticed.

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SEN Teacher, Permanent Role in Ashford

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad urgently seeks a qualif...

SAP BI CONSULTANT

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: SAP BI CONSULTA...

Infrastructure Manager - Southampton - Up to £45K

£35000 - £45000 per annum + 36 days holiday and more: Deerfoot IT Resources Li...

Drama Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Liverpool: We are looking for someone who can t...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Spy chief speaks on the record: "Thank you, and that's it, really"

John Rentoul
 

The daily catch-up: fathers looking after children, World Cup questions and Nostradamus

John Rentoul
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice