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

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Tony Abbott: A man most Australian women would like to pat on the back...iron in hand

Caroline Garnar
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performs in California  

Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting

Yomi Adegoke
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there