The other day, I tweeted a reply to a comedian.
It was a little joke. It was clearly a little joke. She's a comedian. It made her laugh. She tweeted it on to her followers.
And there, the madness began.
There are a few basic outcomes when your tweet is forwarded on to 138,000 strangers. Most of them will ignore it. In fact, most of them won't even see it.
Some will be amused, forget about it and move on with their lives. This is a sensible result.
Some wil be amused, and will start following you on twitter. You might check them out, follow them back. This is a good result.
Some will try to top your gag. They'll reply to both you and the comedian that retweeted you, and they'll add a new punchline on top. This is a bit weird. It might work if the new punchline was actually funny - so it's not completely stupid - but most of them weren't. In fact, all of them weren't. We just ignored them.
The weird ones, though, they were the ones that pointed out that my joke didn't make sense, and explained why. I wanted to reply to them. I wanted to thank them for their comments, for opening up the debate. I wanted to ask them why they followed comedians on twitter when they clearly had no sense of humour. I wanted to point out where they could go to check their facts, because while yes, they were right in some of their assertions, most of them were errant nonsense. I wanted to thank them for sucking a little bit of joy out of my life and making me feel a little bit empty inside. I wanted to ask them if that made them feel good.
I didn't, though.