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Thursday, November 14, 2013

12

The "We Fought About" Couple Talks Trolling, Going Viral, and What It's Like When Internet Strangers Tell You to Break Up

Claire Meyer and Alan Linic are a couple in Chicago. In August, they started keeping an online record of their fights; about a week ago, they "went viral." They are here to talk about it. 

Claire: Hi Alan.

Alan: Hi!

C: First question. Am I a good singer?

A: No.

C: Is that it?

A: Yeah. There’s really nothing else to say on that subject.

C: Okay. What has been your least and most favorite part about going viral?

A: Oh god. My favorite part is that it’s been nice to connect with and identify with so many people. It’s definitely been interesting to see what it’s like to go viral from within the eye of the storm, as opposed to what I have been doing for the rest of my life which is reading about this sort of thing. My favorite thing has probably just been trying to keep up with everything. My least favorite thing is... probably still that. I think it’s gotten so much bigger than I thought it could get, and it’s starting to become some sort of commentary on ALL relationships. I love that people relate to it, but I’d be lying if I said we didn’t start this project because we thought it’d be funny and that our fights tend to be a bit dumb.

C: If you could delete one tweet from the feed what would it be?

A: All the ones where I’m wrong. ALL the ones where I’m wrong. But I would never do that.

C: A lot of weirdo strangers on the internet want us to break up. What should we do?

A: I guess we should break up.

C: Let's redo that question.

A: Okay. Ask me again.

C: A lot of weirdo strangers on the internet want us to break up. What should we do, babe?

A: I guess we should break up.

C: OOOOKAY. Moving on. How long of a nap do you think we’ll take when this is over?

A: I’m falling asleep as you ask me these questions.

C: You can’t say that! I’m not writing that. Ask me your questions!

A: Those were ALL of your questions? Where was the juice? Where was the JUICE at? Grill me, dammit! I can take it.

C: Fine! What’s been your favorite thing that a troll has said out of all the comments?

A: The best hater comment so far was:
So, without going to their Twitter feed (because goddamn) Claire sounds like an insecure control freak and Alan seems like he'd bludgeoned into something between passive-aggressivr [sic] and emotionally catatonic. I'm [sic] short, they deserve each other, but I hope like hell they never reproduce.

And I love the trolls. I love all of the trolls. I feed the trolls. I friend the trolls. A lot of times I don’t think they know it’s me, I get at them from my personal twitter handle or as an anonymous user. Nothing makes me happier than getting close to the trolls that are trying to bite you. Love it. If you’re bashing WeFoughtAbout and someone is loudly supporting you, it might just be me. And I am sincere in my support. People love it, people hate it, and I get both sides. Okay, ready for your questions?

C: Yeah yeah.

A: Claire Meyer, what were your wildest expectations for this project when we started it?

C: 1,000 followers, I thought that would be crazy. Now that we’ve hit that I keep daydreaming about being on the Ellen show and I have it all planned out. SPOILER ALERT: Portia is there and she thinks we’re hilarious.

A: Claire Meyer, is there anything about the attention you that has surprised you?

C: I would say everything about it. I mean I certainly hoped that people would find the feed and like it, but I didn’t think it would be on this level. What surprised me the most is how many people can relate to it. That’s just been a darn delight.

A: There is a case to be made that what we’re doing should be kept in private. What would you say to people who say the negative side of relationships should be kept behind closed doors?

C: I would tell them to get out my face, and find their own space. Everybody understands that there's good and bad in relationships. It’s so widely accepted to post about the great things when everybody knows there’s that other side to the coin. It's so easy to shape how you want to look on the Internet, and I think it's almost a breath of relief to show the imperfections.

Alan Linic and Claire Meyer are Chicago writers (Meyer writes for Chicago HowAboutWe) & improvisers at Second City Training Center (House Ensemble), iO (Switch Committee, Lethal Action Force, The Ruckus) , and The Annoyance (The Awkward Phase). They are famous for fighting, but they are better at peacefully playing Scrabble. They will delete the Twitter when it starts to interfere with or hurt their relationship, whether that's tomorrow or in 57 years. 



12 Comments / Post A Comment

DullHypothesis

Ahah! Hi Claire and Alan! It's Maura, nice to see you on my favorite website.

carolinaclay

This has always been 1 of my favourites.. :-)@y

Blushingflwr

I am curious about your definition of "fight" because if I were fighting with anyone that often and I were not somehow REQUIRED to interact with them, I would stop having to do anything with them. But I do not enjoy conflict and am a big believer in picking battles (in other words, sometimes I am right and I know that I am right but I will drop it because it doesn't actually matter that I was right and insisting that I was will not achieve anything). I understand that other people have different ways of being in relationships.

fabel

@Blushingflwr I was wondering this, also. Are they really fighting ? Is it just sort of snapping at each other? Lightly disagreeing? I don't know. It doesn't matter what I think, but my opinion would change from partially agreeing with their troll commenter to thinking this is cute if I knew what "fighting" meant?

I mean, right now, I think both (of the above)--- it's cute, relateable, at times, but also there do seem to be definite patterns (like how the troll said, only not so asshole-y)

Poubelle

@fabel @Blushingflwr Yeah, I have the same questions you do. It seems like just an exhausting amount of fighting.

Also, ITA with this comment at the Cut: This is really weird... and I'm from Portland.

(I mean, I'm not actually from Portland, but I've been on the internet since 1996.)

Kinksville

@Blushingflwr I feel like a lot of this is very tongue-in-cheek. Like these are real things that bug each of them but it's blown up with hyperbole for the internet.

idrathernot

The anti-social-media-super-happy-relationship-presence! I love it.

hollysh

Oof, all that jealousy stuff really makes me cringe. It takes me back to a shitty place. I'm so so so glad I don't have fights with my partner over exes and random lady friends now that I've learned to deal with my jealousy constructively.

Also, yes, this relationship does look terrible in light of all these fights, but I also feel like we would all look equally as terrible, and are certainly not all terrible.

supernintendochalmers

@hollysh Yeah, the jealousy stuff, the amount of fighting, the cute tone, and the fact that they've been dating for less than a year makes this all sound just a little immature to me. It's not my cup of tea, but it does make me wonder how can one write about a current relationship in a compelling way? I write about my boyfriend sometimes and for all I know everyone finds it totally unfunny and obnoxious. Like, are other couples ever interesting?

Slutface

@hollysh Curious as to how you've learned to constructively deal with jealousy. I'm having a hard time figuring out a way to do that.

RNL
RNL

@supernintendochalmers Raymond Carver sure thinks so.

honey cowl

This is fabulously interesting. I am from a conflict-averse family and am in a conflict-averse relationship so it is totally foreign to me. We joke that our fights consist of lying on the bed and crying. I guess some people thrive on "friendly conflict" (wtf is that I do not understand please don't yell at me I will cry).

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