I've really latched on to Twitter in the past few months. On the surface it appears to be quite the utopian place - everyone seems happy, everyone sharing information, laughter, giddiness - it's all lollipops and unicorns. It seems free of trolls and the negativity often found on forums and it's not as creepy as Facebook can be. Sure you get your occasional spammer, but they're easy enough to spot and it doesn't really bother me if they follow me, I just don't bother following them back.
It all seemed great until a strange encounter with a local Twit yesterday. What follows below is a top 5 candidate for the most bizarre social interaction I've ever had. I've had crazier interactions, funnier interactions, more anger-inducing interactions - but I'm hard pressed to remember a conversation where I came out of it more confused. Maybe there's something very basic that I'm just not getting...an "a-ha!" that is tantalizingly at the tip of my nose...my social combatant below sure seems to imply as much. I'll let you be the judge.
So before I start, just a little context. I'm always looking for interesting local people (those from Hamilton, Ontario) to follow on Twitter. I came across a list of local twitter users that the The Spectator (our local rag) maintains. Jackpot! So after following some 200+ new Tweeps, naturally I was going to receive a number of follow-backs in return. I had left my computer for a while, during which time the follow-backs started to rack up. And one of theses Tweeps began replying to me Below is a tweet by tweet commentary from this new follower:
I have absolutely no idea what this person is talking about. First of all, are either of those options supposed to be insults? complements? some jedi mind trick?
And then all of this stuff about a mission statement. Once again, no clue what this person is talking about. Upon reading that tweet, my mind races through the list of my online spaces - my blog, twitter, flickr...no where have I written the phrase "mission statement". But my assumption is that they are talking about the "Bio" section on Twitter, which for me reads "A marketer, photographer, and filmmaker who's a jack of many trades and a master of a few." Definitely "stuck-up"...sure.
But I sense that maybe this is just a misunderstanding - I'm not looking to start a flame war. I meekly respond back:
Who knows what's going on, right? I don't want to start a ruckus before I give Chris a chance to explain.
Fair enough. Still confused, but whatever.
At this point, I'm just feeling things out. After the initial craziness, maybe this person is settling down. Maybe they're just a bit strange, but nice enough...you know the kind.
Ok, maybe not. This is the tweet that sends shivers down my spine. Part of me is a bit freaked out because they used the phrase "the others" and I'm in the middle of re-watching every episode of Lost. And part of me is freaked out, because...well, because wtf. I immediately began googling "Chris Halasz" to see if I can figure out what is going on here. Nothing out of the ordinary turns up. I press on...
A seemingly innocent response. Let's see what I get in return.
Is it time to start panicking? Yeah. A bit. I don't even know how to respond to this anymore. And if you're like me, you have no idea what castrati means either. From Wikipedia:
"A castrato (Italian, plural: castrati) is a man with a singing voice equivalent to that of a soprano, mezzo-soprano, or contralto voice produced either by castration of the singer before puberty or one who, because of an endocrinological condition, never reaches sexual maturity."Creepy. So me and a bunch of castrated Italians should go and eat at a fast-food giant of our choosing? How quaint.
Once more into the foray:
I'm kind of a stubborn person. I really want this conversation to end, but I want it to end on my terms. A bit of snark here probably wasn't the best idea.
Hardly anything to rouse up this kind of conversation. Not to mention it's buried 5 pages deep in my photostream.
Nothing. No response. The threat has been neutralized apparently. Is this a troll? Is this someone who had a bad day? Have I met this person before? Offended them?
After a bit of detective work, maybe some answers in part 2 of "Attack of the Twit".