“Do you ever feel you’ve become the worst version of yourself? That a Pandora’s box of all the secret, hateful parts — your arrogance, your spite, your condescension — has sprung open? Someone upsets you and instead of smiling and walking away, you zing them. ‘Hello, it’s Mr. Nasty.’ I’m sure you have no idea what I’m talking about.”

I almost feel as if I don’t need to go any further than this quote to explain how I feel right now. Nora Ephron nailed it perfectly in You’ve Got Mail. The characters agree that the momentary satisfaction you feel after zinging someone perfectly is not worth the residual guilt of what you’ve said. Every single word could have been true but that doesn’t mean you need to say them.

I’ve noticed that this is has become a bit of a problem. Someone will say something on the Internet and I will call them out. And not only do I call them out, but I feed on this sick adrenaline rush I get from stringing someone out online in front of everyone and forcing them into the dirt.

Wow. I just read over that and it sounds alarmingly like the elementary school bully. Am I a bully? Maybe sort of.

Maybe I just feel bigger and stronger than normally when I’m safe behind a computer screen. My face-to-face social anxieties fade away when I’m left with only a blinking cursor and time to craft a witty reply.

Maybe I fancy myself to be an online superhero, committed to exposing the wrong and the ignorant for what they truly are. I zoom around web pages faster than your computer teacher and proliferate justice for all.

Once, this boy posted DJ Earworm’s United State of Pop 2009 video on facebook. He tagged all of his friends in it and was telling people that he had made it. So I commented “hey, cool video.” And then I pasted a link of the video on youtube. It turned into this ridiculous and unnecessary drama which ended with him deleting my comments and unfriending me.

I can name at least two other times I’ve done this, and each time I get this rush from calling people out and exposing their inconsistencies to the world.

That’s sick, isn’t it?

Would I take all these things back if I could? I don’t think I would. I don’t feel regret for the things I’ve said, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel like a bully.

This is me trying to work out what’s going on in my overly emotional head right now.


One response to “zingers

  1. I completely agree with you. I always feel so much safer, bigger, badder, funnier, and more confident behind my computer screen. It’s almost gotten to be out of hand. How has this happened to our generation?

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