"All sorts of entertaining" - Elizabeth Seckman

"Michael and his pals make me wish I lived in Adelaide" - Cherdo

"If I had a daughter, I'd send her to Australia to meet him (and marry him)" - Robyn Alana Engel

"An Australian version of me. Only younger. And Talented. And better looking. Okay, nothing like me." - Al Penwasser

"Whom must I fuck or pay to get a quotation at the top of your blog post?" - Janie Junebug

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

New Experience Challenge Week 36: What Do You Think of Me?

A little while ago, I read a post from Fredulous about his friend who had an account on Spillit. Spillit is a social networking site where you can leave anonymous messages to each other. That's it. Nothing more to it than that, you just have a page and people write stuff on it. You never find out who it was.

Fredulous took full advantage of his friend's trust in the internet. He posted message after message pretending to be a secret stalker who was obsessed with him to a cultish level. I read the messages and thought they were hilarious, so I decided to give it a go myself. I wanted to see what crazy things people could come up with on my account.

I created an account by signing in on Twitter. A few seconds later, there was my photo with the question "What do you like about me?" written underneath. The rest of the page was blank, waiting to be filled. But now was the hard part - how do I get people to come and vandalize it? I was able to answer that question immediately. I've been doing stand-up comedy for ages and I've met quite a few people who love to troll people. Generally, the more they troll you, the more it means they like you. Or they could just think you're a tool. Either way, they were the perfect people to entice onto my page of vandalism. So I took my link and sent this message to practically all the comedians I knew...


I speedily left the conversation and sat back satisfied. Now all I had to do was wait. I posted the link on Twitter and Facebook for good measure and forgot about it. The next morning I checked back to see what inventive, hilarious things they had said.

There were just two responses. Here was the first one:

You're a good guy, but you really need to stop caring so much about what people think of you/ needing to be liked by everyone

Ouch! Right off the bat, someone said something that hurt. It didn't hurt because it was mean, it hurt because I completely agree - I DO care too much about what people think of me. Good call sir or madame. Well played. The next one simply said

Nothing.

That was a bit more like it. Not very creative though. But was that it? Was that all the comedians could drum up? Oh, of course. Do you see what my problem was? I'd forgotten to post the link! Those two messages had come from the link I put on Twitter! How stupid of me. So I readded every comedian on the list and wrote this new message.



There, hopefully that would do it. I didn't think about it again until Friday morning, when I checked for new messages. There were a few...

I think you have great potential to be an amazing entertainer

Aw, really? Someone knows I want to be in entertainment! Ok, everyone who knows me knows I want to be in entertainment. But someone thinks I have potential! Potential!

You seem really smart

That had to be sarcasm. I'm not smart, I'm slow. Really slow. I would be a lot further in my entertainment career if I could think of snappy things to say as soon as I need to.

AYYYYYE

Hey man.

I didn't understand what was going on. No one was posting anything mean! How could that be? Did I misjudge my comedy friends? Maybe they just didn't like me... That would explain why they weren't saying hurtful things. Obviously this comedian thing wasn't going to work. I had to expand my audience. So I went around looking for new places to share my link. I needed to find a place where a lot of hateful people could see it. And since this is the internet, that shouldn't be too hard. I typed the word "chatroom" into Google and looked at what came up. The first option was a list of chat rooms with different themes. Hm, let's see... Chat room for lovers of horse riding... Chat room for Italian immigrants... Chat room about moisturizer... Ah, I've found the perfect one. Chat room for bisexual or bicurious women. I dove in.



Where next? My sister Christina knew the answer to that.
'What about Tinder?' she said. Genius! I created an account and put the link in the "about me" section.



There. If that doesn't get some hate, I don't know what will. On Saturday I checked back to see what had been written.

youre always fun to be around!

I wish i had your confidence

You are lovely, I have known you for 15 years ^_^

More niceness. Disgusting, infuriating niceness. It shit me. And who was this person I'd known for 15 years? Let's see, 15 years ago I was seven. Who have I known since I was seven? There's my cousin Julie... No, she was born when I was eight. I had a friend named PJ who used to live down the road from me. I hadn't seen him in probably 14 years, but I have him on Facebook. I was trying to calculate how long ago I met my Mum's English cousin for the first time when it hit me - the writer said they'd known me for 15 years, it didn't say I necessarily knew them. Maybe I have a stalker!

But that thought didn't have time to permeate. The next post caught my attention and held it for a long time. It said

Not going to lie, I miss talking to you

I see. Someone, somewhere, was sitting around, wishing they could talk to me more. Who could that possibly be? Maybe I was finally getting trolled? No, if that were true, the comment would have been a lot weirder. Maybe the troll is some kind of subtle genius? No. It wasn't a troll. I narrowed it down to two possibilities in my head. One of them I had been trying to distance myself from. The other I was trying hard to keep in my life. Both were people I cared about.

I decided to post the link on Twitter and Facebook again, taking a different approach. I said
'This started out as a joke, but it's starting to get interesting! Please comment!' On Sunday morning I checked back again.

8====D -- - -- - ;-(

Aha! That's the kind of thing I'd been looking for! A penis shooting stuff over a very sad man who for some reason was still winking at me. Hopefully I'd get more of that in the next couple of days!

Your fashion

I liked that one. It was undoubtedly sarcastic, I have no interest in fashion whatsoever. I wear exactly the same thing every day - a t-shirt (most often with a rock band on the front), jeans that are a size too big for me (or shorts in summer) and running shoes. It was making fun of me, but for something I knew and liked about myself. So good call.

You're awesome ok?

Clearly someone who was fed up with my constant spruiking of the page. Well if you don't like it, just keep ignoring it! I'm certainly not going to stop.

You r easy to talk with. U r nice.

Aw, that's sweet! That's something I've always worried about, my ability to hold an interesting conversation. I'm glad at least one person in the world likes talking to me.

I've always found you attractive, just never been able to say it

...How do I take that? At first I was excited that someone was thinking of me that way. That was replaced by a sinking feeling when I realized I'd probably never know who it was. Then came apprehension at the thought of finding out who it was and having to tell them I'm not interested. But then I went back to excitement when I realized that someone might be trolling me again. If it's real, and if the person who wrote it is reading this now, just know that I'm thankful and I probably think you're a great person.

I made one more last ditch attempt at getting new comments by putting up a sign at work. I was working in JB Hifi, a place with lots of tattooed, alcoholic, apathetic and/or cigarette smoking people. They might be the kind of people who would give me material.



On Monday I came back to find three new comments on my page. The first one said

you are always right

Hm, was that sarcasm? That's certainly not something I think of myself. The only other option was that someone thought I had all the answers that they didn't. I guess that could be true...

your knowledgeable about a great many things

Same story as the last comment. I guess if I'm to be honest, having knowledge on as many topics as possible is something I do aim for. Most topics that I don't already know about, I'll constantly ask questions about it until I do.

Your smile is awesome

Hahaha thank you. Any time anyone says that to me, they bring that smile out. But I've got bad news. Generally to get a smile that's warm and welcoming, you have to be hurt. Many times. My smile is one of those smiles that says "I've had some pretty dark stuff happen to me in the past, but it's made me a stronger person and I love my life now that it's behind me." That and I brush my teeth pretty thoroughly.

Tuesday came and went and I received two more comments for the week. The first one said

Why cant things be simple between us

Okay, I was pretty darn sure I knew who that was. To that person, I say this - I'm sure you've got dozens of relationships in your life that are simple. I'm happy to let this one stay complicated for a while, as long as you're okay with it too.

The last one was a lot longer.

You're getting better at asking about how people are and caring about what they say. Also you're seriously motivated and a real laugh to be around. BFFL. Sound's corny but I'm serious. Love you always x

I also thought I knew who that one was. There's only one person in my life who would call me a BFFL, knows about my troubles with empathy, talks about motivation and points out that the stuff she says sounds corny but is all true. Now that I think about it, she's the only person in my life outside of my family that says "I love you" when we part ways. I actually saw her today and showed her the message, asking if she wrote it. She giggled and said 'Yeah, I did. You know me well.'

If anyone else wants to own up to any of the messages they sent, that would be a load off my mind. You could say so in the comments section below or shoot me an SMS or a Facebook message if you'd like it to be more private. Some unexpectedly great things were said about me this week and despite the fact that it's against the whole point of the website, I'd love to know who said them.

14 comments:

  1. I once led an excercise with coworkers when I lived in Honduras where I had everyone tape a piece of paper to their backs. Then we went around with markers and wrote messages to each other. Of course, the point was that they would be encouraging, but they were still anonymous. I still have that paper, it was so nice reading what people wrote to me. You're brave to invite people to write any ol' thing, because negative comments would hurt my feelings!

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    Replies
    1. That sounds really interesting, what kind of things did people say to you?

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  2. There's a lot of love out there for you, mate, and possibly a root if you play your cards right.

    (I hope you're impressed by my use of Australian lingo. I was trying to come up with a comment worthy of your friend Damo!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mate, you got it spot on. Welcome to Australia.

      Delete
  3. This is the weirdest damn thing I've ever seen. Why would anyone want to do this? It's beyond me.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't know why you would WANT to get hateful comments. If you get a lot of them at youtube it usually means your video is getting a lot of views, perhaps more views than the trolls think you deserve, so they leave mean comments. Or maybe they just really, really hate me. I dono. I think the really vicious ones are funny. The ones that masquerade as constructive criticism like the first one you discussed, I find the most irritating.

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    Replies
    1. I agree, because it gives the comment more validity if you know it's not just coming from hate.

      Delete
  5. Aw yes. I love that you did this. I posted the link on 4chan.org after you asked me to spread it around. Any obscenities probably came from there. I just looked at my post and realised that I made a joke at the expense of Joan Rivers. Topical...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 4Chan, of course! Thank goodness for the internet.

      Meh, I'm sure she doesn't mind.

      Delete
  6. Wow, what an interesting experiment.


    A smile does say a lot about a person.

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  7. you are brave! especially for hoping for negative comments, some people just get annihilated online. I'm glad so many people had nice things to say to you!

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    Replies
    1. I was very surprised. And a little bit guilty for being so selfish.

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