Good news: Amy Schumer retweeted me!
Bad news: for some reason that made some people say mean sexual things to me over the internet.
What a weird world we live in.
About a week ago I managed to get a ticket to an early showing of Amy Schumer's new movie, Trainwreck. I've been a fan of Amy for a while now, I've seen all her stand up and every episode of her show, Inside Amy Schumer. She's kind of blowing up right now, and I think she totally deserves it. She's so funny and and a great example of a strong independent woman making a name for herself.
The night before I went to see Trainwreck, Amy posted this tweet:
When I got to the theater, the room was already packed. But after searching around a little bit I managed to find a spot right in between two strangers, kind of near the front. Then I took a selfie, wrote a caption and tweeted it out to Amy and the rest of the world.
Yes. It's a horrible, dark photo. But I was making a joke about the fact that I was at the movies by myself (something I do a lot actually and it's not that weird), and I was also complimenting Amy's ability to pack the theater for her new movie. I didn't think anyone would even see it.
Amy instantly retweeted it and I was smiling immediately. I was ecstatic that Amy and I were now officially best friends and that she had noticed me. For a good 5 minutes I was at the top of Amy's Twitter feed! I had officially made it! But the movie was just about to start so I turned off my phone and put it in my purse.
Trainwreck was hilarious. Just the right kind of romantic comedy that the world needs right now. Amy's character is so wonderful and awful at the same time. She's relatable because of her flaws. I found so many things in the movie that I could relate with, and I was crying with laughter and sadness at various points during the movie. I'll definitely be seeing it again soon.
After the movie was over I turned my phone back on, and my twitter had a ton of notifications. The simple act of Amy retweeting me gained me 80 followers, and lots of comments. Here's some notable ones that were left in reply to the picture:
The first gentleman was kind enough to offer me a seat on his face because of my difficulty finding a good seat for the movie. Lovely! The second wonderful member of society suggested that the reason I was unable to get a date to the movie that I willingly attended alone might have been because my vagina smelled bad. Charming.
I also received a lot of attention from random male accounts. Some specifically targeting pictures of me and my friends. Gross. Others sending me direct messages that were wildly inappropriate. Yuck.
Luckily the comments subsided by the end of the weekend and I'm back to getting nice comments and messages about the quality of my jokes. Besides reminding me why I don't go on dates very often, those tweets also made me aware of how gross people are and how scary the internet is in general.
The internet is cool. You can use it to mail potatoes to your friends, to binge watch episodes of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and to buy things you never even knew you needed online (Like this instructional make up video starring soap actress Donna Mills). But despite all that there's also a sad dark part of the internet. And that's where lonely sad miserable people go to spread their lonely sad and miserable thoughts to the rest of the world.
I think it probably takes a special kind of person to spend their evening scrolling through their twitter feed and making rude comments to perfect strangers. I feel like their lives are probably very disappointing. But my brief moment of internet celebrity gave me a very small understanding of the kind of harassment that celebrities receive daily. A good amount of the comments on my picture were directed at Amy as well. A quick look at her social media accounts reveals comments making fun of her weight and criticizing her comedy while also sexualizing her. Amy regularly makes fun of these things in her show and her standup, but I can't even imagine what it's like to get those comments on a regular basis.
There's been a lot of talk about internet trolls in the news lately. This season's star of The Bachelorette, Kaitlyn has received death threats from viewers who were disappointed with her choice to have sex with a contestant.
John Oliver did a nice piece about internet trolls on his show, Last Week Tonight.
And This American Life did an entire episode on internet trolls and their victims that is definitely worth a listen.
I'm unfortunately no stranger to harassment, especially now that I live in a big city. I've had men spit on me and call me a cunt. I've had men shout at me from across the street and scare me my by yelling profanities about what they'd like to do to my body. I've had strangers honk at me when I use the crosswalk as they make comments about the paleness of my skin or the color of my hair and what they assume about my sex life based on those qualities. All for the simple act of me being a woman that has the nerve to walk around in public. But internet harassment is new for me. It's a different kind of harassment, more cowardly. These people don't have the courage to say things to your face and instead they hide behind an avatar on the internet. It's sad. And so unoriginal.
Here's a little trick for dealing with internet trolls , just imagine that all of them look like this:
Oh wait. Don't do that. That's actually terrifying. ( I actually owned some of those troll dolls, WHAT!?!)
I hate people sometimes. But honestly I'd tweet the same picture of myself again and again because none of it really matters anyway. Let the sad internet losers spend their time trying to find new ways to make you feel uncomfortable and report them if you start to feel unsafe. But don't let them get to you. Because according to a new study, it's more likely than not that they're just upset because they lost at a video game. They are literally just losers.
I guess I don't really have a point here. I'm not the first person to fall victim to internet trolls, and I definitely wont be the last. I'm gonna go eat some tacos now.
Let me know your thoughts about internet trolls in the comments. Also feel free to request an invitation to hang out with me and my new bff Amy Schumer. I'll see what I can do.