You know what? There are a lot of atheists on Twitter. Apparently they’re a very vocal bunch. I’ve been following many of them for a few months now, but lately I’m feeling less impressed. In fact, I’m turned off enough by most of them to stop reading.
It’s hard to explain why, exactly, but mostly it’s because many of them come across as total jerkoffs with their constant “Fuck religion, so there!” tone. They tweet a steady stream of what they must think are hard-hitting proclamations against god or religion, with the goals of 1) making readers think “Ohhh, snap! He/she really stuck it to those Christians with that one! Such witty and razor-sharp atheist observations!”, 2) accumulating as many followers/readers as possible, and 3) provoking Christians with their nasty, offensive comments into endless back-and-forth arguments so they can defend their non-belief with more insults. I know that Twitter exists so people can blab the minutiae of their brains to anyone who wants to see it, but this sort of obvious targeted antagonism (trolling, really) is just rubbing me the wrong way for some reason. I call them “asshole atheists” because their goal seems to be simply to provoke believers and increase those reader numbers. It’s probably a big boost to their egos.
Oddly enough, this mirrors what the most popular Christians and Bible-bangers on Twitter are doing: they spout thousands of “inspirational” tweets (or Bible quotes) each day with the goals of 1) making readers think “Wow, such inspiration and faith! I feel, like, soooo uplifted and close to Jesus and stuff!”, 2) accumulating as many followers/readers as possible, and 3) engaging with “the enemy” by drawing them into religious debates. I’ve seen this happen a lot.
Now, far be it from me to pretend to be innocent of being an asshole towards Christians. I’ve spent more years than I care to admit typing outraged tirades against them and their actions, and I’m not proud of 100% of it… 95%, perhaps. The difference, I think, is that I tend to target people acting stupid/evil on behalf of their religion–ignorant twats who think they know what god wants, or else just use their religion as an excuse to harm and oppress others. And I’ll admit that sometimes I just want to mock innocent, everyday Christians in general so I’ll do something along those lines, because to me their beliefs and behavior often beg to be mocked (plus, that’s just the kinda guy I am). Essentially I do all this because I am clinically opinionated. But I don’t do it with the goal of offending large swaths of people or drumming up more readers, because I really don’t give a shit about that. I don’t even know how many people actively read my blatherings here. I just do it for me. It’s a kind of coping mechanism, I think…maybe even therapy!
Am I completely full of shit on this? I don’t know…but I do see a difference in what I do vs. what these mega-tweeting atheists are doing, and I don’t want to be like them. You can express your opinion or vent your ideas without resorting to such public and widespread dick-waving. To me it just makes you look desperate for attention.