One of the strangest things to any sort of notability one earns in life is finding out that other people think of you more than you think of them. I've experienced various degrees of this throughout most of my life (I'm not claiming any sort of real fame here, but everything in life depends on scale), but this post isn't really about me.
No, what got me thinking about this today is something that happened to someone else.
Some friends of mine do a recurring panel at cons modeled after a talk show. I guess that's the best way to describe it? In any case - they do it, and it's quite entertaining. The host is one of the four people I model Max from UnCONventional on. That will probably flatter him too much, but whatever. It's true.
Anywho, a mutual friend of ours expressed appreciated for said panel in a Facebook status. Perfectly innocuous, and not at all unexpected. What was unexpected was a response comment posted to it, dripping with vile douchery by someone who I will refer to simply as "The Douche."
The Douche made some, as you guessed it, highly insulting comments about the panel. I, of course, being the nosey jackass that I am, inserted myself into the conversation - calling The Douche a... well... douche. I was super mature.
Anyway, The Douche proved his monicker immediately after that, and said some rather nasty things about me along with more nasty things about my friend's panel. What was clear throughout all of this though, was that these were very, very personal feelings to him. He had, in some way, gotten very personally angry not just about my friend, but myself as well (dropping a piece of personal information about myself I don't talk about publicly these days).
I know this was a rather long set up, but this got me thinking. Here is this guy, this guy I don't even know. This guy I'm fairly certain I've never spoken to, and who I'm fairly certain has barely spoken to my friend who runs the aforementioned panel. This guy who really seems to care a lot about us though.
He's sitting there, focusing all this emotional energy on us. He's bothered to research me, and hunt down errant statuses about my friend. Even if this is just a micro-fraction of his life, it's still there occupying brain space. He cares about us.
And I wouldn't recognize him on the street.
Now, there's nothing wrong with dedicating brain space to things you like. I may not have a huge number of readers, but they exist - and they dedicate brain space to me. Likewise, there are fans of my friend's panel who he doesn't know that dedicate brain space to him. This is fine, because (as previously stated) these are things that bring you pleasure. Likewise, there's nothing wrong with dedicating brain space to negative things that actually matter - injustices in the world, elections, etc.
But unless people are personally involved in your daily life, there is zero point in dedicating brain space to those like my friend or myself. We do fairly unremarkable things that like minded people enjoy, and that's that. If you don't like us, why think of us at all?
What it shows is that the person has a life so small and unremarkable that they have nothing else to fill it with. And as they are so filled with bitterness, they cannot think of things they love, but instead waste their time indulging in hatred of trivial things.
With every word they betray this. With every whispered innuendo about people who don't know them, they prove how small they are.
People like this don't realize though that they are incapable of hurting those they rail against. I know my value and worth, and any time this stranger posts things - so personally angry - they merely verify my certainty of their unremarkableness.
They hope their words will evoke anger and hurt in me, but instead they only cause me to feel one thing.