People love attention. That’s what social media is all about. But some people really love attention for being — dare I say it — shit disturbers.
When I first started writing newspaper columns 13 years ago, I wanted to do just that: rile people up and get them so enraged that they wrote a letter to the editor. I wanted to piss them off. That’s how you knew you got to someone back in the day: when they were moved enough to write a note, address the envelope, send a stamp and find a mailbox. Social media platforms didn’t exist then.
I often formed a far-fetched opinion just to poke at people and provoke a response out of them.
True, my opinions were never off the wall like a president wasn’t born in a certain country or that a devastating terror attack never happened and was simply a conspiracy. I was never that hateful.
Instead, I wrote about an opinion that I thought would go against the norm just for the sake of having people disagree with me.
Early on I remember my brother saying, “Don’t you feel like a liar giving an opinion that isn’t real?” I flipped it around and said, “The opinion is real, it’s just not mine.” Disingenuous at best, I realize that now.
I wanted to be in the business of shock commentary. Now thanks to platforms like YouTube and Facebook Live, everybody has an outlet to be heard. And trust me, I see my fair share of people trying to piss off others just for the sake of a few minutes in the spotlight.
Over time I have transitioned to giving my own opinion because I like to hear how people agree or disagree with me. Back in the day I had people tearing me to shreds with an opinion that I actually held with them. It was comical because I would fire back and defend a position that I didn’t really agree with.
Often people are called “conservative commentators” when they enjoy firing up the mob and getting everyone riled up. Sometimes I wonder if they are doing the same thing I did. Do they really feel the way they say or is it just for show?
I guess we’ll never know the answer until their spotlight is off and they are just quiet people without a megaphone to blast their message. I know from the brief time that I attempted to be a shit disturber that the beliefs weren’t always truly mine.
Now I’m a genuine dick when expressing my opinions.