Dylan Klebold Twitter
I understand that in the U.S., mass shootings occur more frequently than other countries in the world because of the ease in accessing guns. But in this project, I was curious to see the minds of the shooters. I wanted to explore the minds of someone who would ever think such a murderous act, and how it leads up to an atrocity. So, for this project I decided to be Dylan Klebold who was one of the shooters in the Columbine shooting in 1999. I found resources that included the diary on Klebold from the span of 1997 to 1999. He called this diary, “A virtual Book: Existences” and I was intrigued by his writing style and voice.
I created a twitter profile called Dylan Benet Klebold and wrote the entire diary through tweets. I made an effort to type out his diary to really channel his inner thoughts on the online platform. The process of writing out his thoughts felt raw and I felt as though I was in a conversation with him. The beginning entries consists of his own philosophical thoughts on the idea of existence and what it means to be a soul. I was overwhelmed by the sheer ideas he had about this topic because he truly thinks about seeking knowledge and exploring the realms of our existence. In one instance he writes, “Existence is a great hall, life is one of the rooms, death is passing thru the doors, & the ever-existant compulsion of everything is the curiousity to keep moving down the hall, thru the doors, exploring rooms, down this never-ending hall.”
Eventually, the diary entries take a turn when his best friend gets a girlfriend and Klebold becomes envious and angry at his friend. This is the first moment he mentions a gun in his diary, and it comes from a very emotional state. He feels wronged and betrayed from a close friend and starts to become obsessed with the idea of finding true love and happiness.
What’s interesting that follows is his obsession with a girl in his classroom, and the bulk of his diary becomes a statement of love towards her. In some areas he’s a poet, in others he becomes a maniac in search of love. Lost in his own emotions, he starts to call people “zombies” and angrily states he has no friends or love. He also starts to have a God complex.
It was interesting to see how a very thought provoking individual went down a path of insanity in the span of two years. I wanted to document his path of insanity by adjusting his cover photo and name, depending on his current state of mind.
What I least expected from this project was getting a response from other profiles. One follower tweeted, “dylan was spitting some mad fire fr” and I was intrigued to see other people connect with him. This made me think about the concept of cult followers and how people start to idolize mass shooters after the horrific attack. People relate in some ways of his sorrows, self despair, and depression, but Klebold also exhibits a god complex that creates an illusion of self worth. Is this how mass suicides happen? Before I got too deep into that concept, I decided to keep posting and see if other profiles would retweet me.
Eventually, others retweeted the posts about love and finding happiness that Klebold discusses. In a certain sense, I can understand why people would share his thoughts, as it was presented in a very thoughtful way. A profile under the name of “happiness” liked one of the posts when Klebold is professing his love. I feel that had I prolonged this project in a span of 2 to 3 months, Klebold would have a decent following (as scary as that sounds).
Klebold would not write in his diary for a while, and then suddenly, write about shooting his school. During the time away, I am sure his psyche turned an even darker turn with his friend Eric. I cannot empathize Klebold, but from this project, I am just starting to see the surface of his psychology and how mental health plays into mass shooters.