Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Frickin Nutjobs

Earlier today I was sitting in front of the computer watching a video, when tweetdeck started popping up new messages every ten seconds or so.

So, I pulled up Tweetdeck and saw some guy was spamming bible verses using the hashtag of a podcast I follow. (For the uninitiated, you can ‘follow’ certain tags. For example, I follow the #DnD hashtag which people use to mark tweets about Dungeons and Dragons, that way, I see those tweets even if I’m not following the people who tweeted them.)

Now, fair enough, it’s not exactly possible to ‘own’ a hashtag, but hijacking one is pure douchebag behavior. For example, if I decide that #DnD doesn’t stand for Dungeons and Dragons and decide it stands for Drinks ‘n’ Donuts and start spamming about my favorite places to eat, I’m going to piss a lot of people off. I’d be sending an awful lot of tweets to people who have no interest in what I’m saying by using their already ‘claimed’ and established hashtag

It’s etiquette, plain and simple.

So I wrote this guy a very polite tweet, informing him that the hashtag he was using has been used for this particular podcast for the better part of two years, so maybe he should use a different one because his tweets were gumming up a hashtag being used by hundreds of people for a different purpose.

In hindsight, what did I expect from a guy spamming random Bible verses. Not only did he pick up the pace on his tweets using the Podcast hashtag, he started spamming me directly. When that failed to get a reaction from me, he started trying to get other people to start sending me tweets as well.

I just don’t understand this sort of behavior. If I was a religious person and wanted to spread the word of God, I wouldn’t do it by deliberately annoying and harassing people. Did this guy think that as his hundredth random bible verse rolled in I’d suddenly scream Hallelujah and be converted?

The more I ignored him, the more ‘out there’ his tweets became. From saying he would pray for me, to swearing, all in caps, that he would WIN MY SOUL. Bear in mind that at this point, all I’d said to him is that maybe he should use another hashtag.

Eventually, enough was enough. I was tired of his bullshit and decided to beat him at his own game. For every tweet I received, I sent one back trying to convert him to the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Sure, it was ridiculous and childish of me, but sometimes you have to fight fire with fire.

I told him I’d pray that he’d see past his heathen ways and accept the one true religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. How the FSM had lead the Pirates to smite the evil Ninjas…and of course, said I’d pray for him on the behalf of the FSM, (May you be touched by his noodly appendage).

This went on for a while until the idiot finally gave up… but my favorite part was the way he continually retweeted everything I said, thinking someone else would join in and help him smite the unbeliever. No-one did.

When he finally gave up, I dropped the fun stuff and told him what an arrogant, self-righteous prick he was. He’d pray for me? He’d save my soul? How arrogant can you get?

The thing is, I do my best to respect people’s beliefs. I understand the concept that just because I believe in something doesn’t automatically mean I’m right, and just because I disagree with you doesn’t automatically make you wrong. Of course, I’m more than willing to debate my beliefs with anyone who cares to, but if I do, it will be a normal, grown-up discussion.

Just let me put this into perspective. If you’re a religious person, how would you feel if I looked at you with a pitying look and told you that you were wasting your life in church and that your faith is essentially wishing for things from an imaginary friend. Then, regardless of your response, I just shake my head and say “Well, I sincerely hope you’ll eventually grow out of this foolishness.”

That’s what it feels like whenever anyone says they’ll ‘pray for me’ when I tell them I’m an atheist.

Here’s the deal. If you’re a religious person, spread the word to people who want to hear it, or even start a discussion with those that don’t. I’m happy to discuss religion all day as long as it’s done in a grown up, respectful way on both sides. When you literally start harassing people with Bible verses, all you’re doing is turning them away from religion, not bringing them closer.

Oh, and to the douche on twitter. When you’ve sent me a hundred or more tweets about how you’re going to save my soul and random excerpts from the Bible, you can’t cry foul and accuse me of mocking and harassing you when I do the same to you in return.

1 comment:

Evan 08 said...

Evan grins at today's post.