Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais perfectly summed up Twitter during a recent stand-up routine and shared the footage online, to our benefit.
“I don’t know who’s following me. I’ve got 12 million followers — I don’t know who is following me,” he said in the clip. “They could be following me without me knowing, choose to read my tweets and then take that personally.”
Gervais laid out what that experience would equate to in real life. Despite what many may believe, Twitter is not real life.
“That’s like going into a town square, seeing a big notice board and there’s a notice [for] guitar lessons and you going, ‘I don’t f*cking want guitar lessons,” the comedian said, as he mimicked an angry person snatching the notice advertising the lessons.
Twitter 😂 pic.twitter.com/GLMqN3Larv
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) May 23, 2021
Continuing, Gervais play-acted as if the person was then calling the telephone number on the ad.
“Are you giving guitar lessons,” he then asked the fictional person on the other end, and when the person replied “yes,” he yelled: “I didn’t f*cking want any!”
This is not the first time that Gervais has opined on the effects of Twitter.
Back in December 2019, he responded to a tweet from comedian Andrew Doyle talking about the “cult of social justice” and warning “it’s only going to get worse.”
“Like all zealots, they are incapable of argument. They can only assert,” Doyle said of many social media users. “Their instincts are authoritarian.”
“They don’t want to argue. They can’t afford to have their propositions questioned,” Gervais replied. “They want to create a dogma with its own blasphemy laws and the ‘fatwah’ of labelling people bigots to shut them down, ostracize them and even have them fired.”
They don’t want to argue. They can’t afford to have their propositions questioned. They want to create a dogma with its own blasphemy laws and the “fatwah” of labelling people bigots to shut them down, ostracise them and even have them fired.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) December 20, 2019
Gervais said last year that his hit show “The Office” couldn’t be made these days because of how hypersensitive everyone is.
“There’s this new weird sort of fascism of people thinking they know what you can say and what you can’t say,” he said, offering a damning assessment on hate speech.
“The two catastrophic problems with the term ‘hate speech’ is, one, what constitutes hate speech?” he said. “Everyone disagrees. There’s no consensus on what hate speech is. Two, who decides? And there’s the real rub because obviously, the people who think they want to close down free speech because it’s bad are the fascists. It’s a really weird, mixed-up idea that these people hide behind a shield of goodness.”
All of which is amplified on Twitter, he noted.
“If you’re mildly left-wing on Twitter you’re suddenly Trotsky,” Gervais said. If you’re mildly conservative you’re Hitler — if you’re centrist and you look at both arguments, you’re a coward and they both hate you.”
The real-life application to Twitter really hit a nerve with people. Here’s a sampling of responses:
Best. Social. Media. Analogy. Ever.
— Jeremy Chapman (@jgcinfieldfly) May 23, 2021
This. This. This ☝🏽 (🤣).
— Anthony Ogogo (@AnthonyOgogo) May 23, 2021
This is hilariously accurate.
— Army of the Darkelf. (@anthonyclark474) May 23, 2021
Our boy Ricky running from his 14.5M Twitter stalkers….us pic.twitter.com/biFkYg72Sd
— EzzMoney (@xezzmoneyx) May 23, 2021
TWITTER BE LIKE….LOL pic.twitter.com/3XagJgMFNW
— Δdnan (@mSixV10) May 23, 2021
That genuinely makes me laugh out loud, twice, 1st time because it is funny and the second time because it’s damn true 🤣
— Jojo (@Joknibbs) May 24, 2021
Ricky it’s a generation of people who as kids were told they were special and should be listened to. Most fucking aren’t. The shock to the system is hard for them to take
— Bags (@Bags_001) May 23, 2021
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