Yes, It Really Is All About Me
This probably will not be one of my longer columns, dear readers. I have decided that it’s probably best for all of society if I occasionally toss off a quick post when something odd pops into my head so I can exorcise it before it starts bouncing around and distracting me from everything. Back in the day, I’d get on stage, tell a couple of jokes or two, it would be gone, and all would be right with the world. I’m not going to get much stage time while people are still wearing masks so, tag, you’re all it.
As I mentioned in my previous column, I’m operating in a mostly apology-free zone these days. Trust me, that will work out better for your entertainment in the long run. Nobody is coming to the virtual Kruiser Kabana for deep dives on policy (although I can occasionally do those too), we’re all here for the caustic snark. Those of us who are regulars, anyway. We’re fun people.
One of the most annoying aspects of our constantly connected, digital age is dealing with nearly everyone complaining about the toxicity of social media…on social media.
While out on a bike ride I began to ponder this. I don’t usually think about social media while enjoying a ride but lately it seems that almost everyone but me is on fire, loudly decrying all things social media. Caterwauling about Twitter on Twitter has become our drunk and dysfunctional town square.
It’s a big town though and there are far too many village idiots.
It’s not just the anonymity that the internet provides that’s making people jerks, it’s that the anonymity has created a class of amateur egocentric people who don’t have the skill set to handle a robust neurosis like that.
Before I proceed, a clarification. People often confuse egocentrism with narcissism. They’re not the same:
In egocentrism, you’re unable to see someone else’s point of view; but in narcissism, you see that view but not care about it. People high in narcissism may even become annoyed when others fail to see things their way.
Right there is the key to why I don’t find Twitter toxic, boys and girls: I’m only really paying attention to me. And I’m a freakin’ blast. Sure, I’ll tweet or retweet others but I can assure you that the focus immediately returns to Numero Uno here.
That’s the difference between someone like me who is actually egocentric versus a pretender wearing the Internet Cloak of Egocentricity: I have social skills. There is a significant amount of jerkishness that comes with being egocentric. I’m an entertainer and have some rather outsize attention issues. Through comedy, I happened to find a way to be my jerk of a self and make people love me for it. My biggest regret when I am on stage is that I can’t be in the audience watching me.
The social media randos have no such skill. Everything goes awry for them because they start off as fake egocentrics — they really don’t care about the opinions of others — then morph into the worst of narcissism by deciding that they’re upset that others aren’t seeing things their way. Their psyches have gone full Hatfields and McCoys at this point. In the real world, true egocentrics and narcissists stay in our own lanes. We don’t pollute the world with conflated dysfunctions.
I’m thinking of starting a camp/retreat for people who want to cure themselves and get back to their God-given emotional problems and stop glomming onto mine.
“Welcome to ‘Camp Just Shut It, Already.’ You’ll be bunking with other people because you’re just not that special. ”
Tough love is good love.
I think we’ve really made a connection here. Let’s do this again soon.