The Plight of Going Viral

Usually, my Twitter feed is a friendly and low-key place. I have a relatively small number of people who I interact with on there and they are wonderful, so it's usually pretty nice and non-stressful.
Then I had a tweet that, while it couldn't possibly have met any objective definition of going viral, felt viral to me and hoooooeeey, it was stressful AF.

I've heard people talk about how unpleasant it is to go viral in the past, and to be honest, I wasn't very charitable towards the idea. Like, oooooh noooo I have so many notifications, I am so popular I don't know what to do with it! Life is hard!

Here's what I wasn't considering: people. They can be the worst. Or, even when they're not being the worst, they can be pretty challenging. Especially when there is just enough context to get riled up and then chime in yourself.

The issue isn't just getting a lot of replies. It's that your replies get full of people mistaking your point and then arguing with each other over it. My tweet was about a political leader, and so I had people quote tweeting me and adding personal insults towards them, which made me really uncomfortable.
Seeing people twist or misunderstand your words, and do so with anger, is pretty dang un-fun. Especially when, like me, you are a person who can't help but engage, which only serves to prolong the unpleasantness.
Eventually, I learned my lesson. I figured out I could turn off notifications from that tweet forever, but dang if my life wasn't dominated by this one thing I said for two days.
It makes me feel very sorry for Bean Dad.

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