On Working In Troll Town

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


I almost left a rude snarky comment on someone's blog post today.

Not because I wanted to "educate them," no, several commenters before me already had done that, or because I really felt my opinion needed to be heard (well kind of this,) but at the core of it I just wanted to be a little jerk. I wanted to say something cutting and maybe just slightly belittling simply because I didn't like this person's opinion.

According to me, they weren't RIGHT.

And it made me mad! Boo.

Midway through typing my very witty comment I caught myself and thought, what the hell are you doing? I don't like it when people leave shitty comments on my post, so why would I do it to someone else?

I quickly deleted it and then had a little talk with myself.

It's been a funky week, I think we can all admit that. I've been falling for Facebook traps I don't usually fall for. I'll come across posts that I know will piss me off and yet I dive in anyway. Everyday we have the option to scroll-on or troll-on and I've been choosing the latter lately. And that's not like me.

I found myself wanting to post things that were condescending and hurtful rather than helpful.

My inner dialogue while browsing online has been something like this for the past three days-

*sees post I know will make me mad*

licks lips and clicks on it, oooh 54 comments this will be good!

I knew I wouldn't like this and I was right! I'm mad!

*keeps reading, gets angrier*

This does not please me!

*reads more*

My thoughts must be heard too! I won't be happy until I convince everyone to believe exactly what I believe is right!

*finds comments backing up my opinion*

I don't know this person but I'd like to be best friends now.

*finds comment from a friend going against my opinion*

our friendship is over forever. you're a monster.

*stews about it, makes up fictional fights in head, stews more, writes a response, deletes, stews, writes, more fictional debates, deletes, reads more comments, feels mad, then sad, stews, feels defeated,

and then all energy is gone.*

ext ext.

That's embarrassing to admit. Oof.

I started with good intentions, but then somewhere in the past few days my ego took over and went to town.

EVERYONE MUST KNOW I AM RIGHT. EVERYONE IS A BIG DUMB IDIOT. EXCEPT THE PEOPLE WHO AGREE 100% WITH ME.

pound on keyboard. spit on screen. blah blah blah.

But what I learned from working as a troll this past week is that the more nasty comments I devoured, the hungrier I got. It never seemed to stop. I was never satisfied.

Before someone jumps in I should clarify I am all for advocating for what you believe in, and for speaking up for yourself, I don't think being complacent is ever a good thing. Today, I'm simply putting myself in check for a moment because I stopped fighting for what I believe in and gave into simply fighting. And who is that serving? Nobody.

I've never seen numbers on this before, but I have a feeling no one has ever really changed their beliefs or ideas thanks to a very inspiring Facebook fight they were involved in.

I don't have an end for this post because I'm feeling oddly insecure about it and am already worried people will read it and find something to tear apart. That's not usually a concern of mine so perhaps that goes with the territory of being an angry troll?

That being said, I don't really enjoy the position of mayor of Troll Town so I'm resigning today.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll start fresh as a human just trying to be better.

27 comments:

  1. I just found a GREAT Ruth Bader Ginsburg on an article that echoes this so nicely:

    When it becomes too much .. Turn a deaf ear sometimes.

    "I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one's ability to persuade."

    How about that last line!!

    This has been a shit week for sure. Let's remember to be nice as much as possible.

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  2. Omg, no truer words! I relate to this post on SO many levels, especially over the last week. I think my reading of comments on articles I don't agree with is my worst and most soul sucking habit. Damn my morbid sense of curiosity... You're hilarious though. From one insecure troll to another ;).

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  3. This could NOT be truer- especially right now while everyone is so heated over politics. The bottom line is that no one is going to change anyone else's mind, and certainly not from a Facebook comment. It just further divides us and the hate gap gets bigger and bigger. Good for you for being able to take a step back and realize that you are doing it. Words are something that can never be taken back. We are all guilty of it but its a good reminder to stop and think before emotions take over and we do something we will definitely regret and is out of character.

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  4. I love this! I get sucked into that world as well. I usually don't comment or go through with my arguments but I will get lost in the comments of a viral article or post for what feels like hours. Just going through and picking apart everyone else's comments. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I've even clicked on people's profiles who I disagree with and then judge them based on their profile, like a total asshole. And then I stop and I'm like did I just waste an hour on that?? An hour spent doing something that actually makes me feel shittier than if I had just moved on to the next post in my newsfeed. Good post!

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  5. Thank you for posting this, because it feels oh so true this week.

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  6. So relatable! Sometimes I read the comments because I KNOW I'll get mad. I hate being mad, so why would I do that? Maybe because I feel justified in thinking about how stupid everyone is (but me). I'm getting better at scrolling past that crap, but I won't hesitate to defend Planned Parenthood when I have a chance :)

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  7. I have to remind myself of this when some family members post something and all I can think is, how can you possibly think that?!?! Grrr! And, then I remember, we don't have to agree to get along and they are entitled to all those opinions. It's hard sometimes though. Yay for being nice. <3

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  8. Yessss this has been me all week!! It's so hard to figure out when to chime in and when to take a deep breath and walk away... I will say though, I commented on one thread that really got under my skin and it was surprisingly satisfying to say my peace. Especially when it was far more respectful and rational than the person who provoked me haha ;)
    xoxo,
    Lauren | http://www.lakeshorelady.com/

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  9. Omg, I was nodding in agreement while reading this post. Most of the time, I just roll my eyes and ignore the comment, telling myself that internet wars are lame!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

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  10. Love your honesty. I'm confident that we have all experienced that. It's a counterproductive way of promoting something you're passionate about, because it usually causes people who disagree with you to reject your ideas even more strongly. I read your blog because it's always uplifting and light. You're such a positive person - don't ever change!

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  11. I've hit the delete button after drafting a comment on social media this past week so. many. times. I honestly wish I could unread so much of what I've read--and I'm sure there's much more to come ugh But I'm with you on trying to hold back, as hard as it is.

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  12. I'm having a hard time staying away from it all this week too. It's not healthy.

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  13. I applaud you for posting this despite the odd insecurity feeling. I wish that more people with the ear of the public (bloggers, vloggers, journalists) would echo this sentiment and squelch this trollism (I made that word up) that has risen.
    I am a new follower to your blog, and am liking it so far! Hope you have continued success that positive energy cultivates!

    Christine

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  14. I love the distinction you made between fighting for what you believe in and simply fighting. I feel like everyone needs to understand that difference! People change their views when they have open and honest communication with each other, not when they feel attacked.

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  15. I ended up deleting my Facebook account. I even delete the app off my phone....I meant business.

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  16. LOVE this ... I've tried to unfollow people, but I keep looking them up and scrolling through their posts - their wall is Troll food for me.

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  17. I was feeling the same thing earlier when I click on trending hashtags I KNOW I'll hate, then do it anyway. I can't stop thriving off being angry haha.

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  18. I'm the person that sees gray; not just black or white. So I'm tempted to argue with every far right or far left argument. However, I realize that nothing I saw will make them stop venting on facebook about the people opposing their view. I've written and deleted countless comments.

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  19. Ugh, word. My dad is the WORST at commenting on things and unfortunately it shows up on my Facebook and makes me rage even harder. I can deal with a stranger being rude and clueless, but when it's my own family it kills me inside. I feel like I have had to parent him through this whole election "Dad, you're not defending yourself, you're being a bully." "Dad, just because he called you a name doesn't mean you have to call names back." "Dad, you don't have a vagina so please stop talking." I am getting married this year so I am treading very lightly as to not burn any bridges, but damn if it isn't crushing my soul.

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  20. Omg I totally get what you're saying. Someone who works for me posted something really like, actually terrible, and I ran into her the next day. I resisted the urge to comment on it on Facebook, and resisted the urge to say anything in real life, because it's probably not professional in the least, but it was hard to walk away. I'm getting better at it and I have a feeling that that's a skill I'll really need to hone in the next few years...

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  21. Came read, got interrupted, read again, got interrupted again, read a third time mind has gone blank so all I am saying is that I was here I read and re-read the post and now I am leaving but like a bad smell or Arnie I will be back

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  22. Believe it or not, I have had a couple of times where my opinion was changed about something based on comments/posts on Facebook. It's rare, but it does happen. Sometimes I realize I'm looking at something the completely wrong way and when someone points it out, I rethink my position. However, if a commenter is rude or belittling, it doesn't matter how valid their point is because I'm already mad and not listening. So, at least for me, it's all about respectful conversation and discourse. Kindness is so much more effective.

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  23. I definitely ask myself what's my motivation before commenting.

    Sometimes my motivation is to speak for people afraid to speak, or people who might feel deeply wounded by the post. I had to comment on a post recently that pissed me off because all I could think of were all the women I know who are survivors of sexual assault, women who know this person who posted such hurtful remarks. I wrote for them, and I write for myself.

    Sometimes my motivation is to present data that cannot be countered. Statistics and links to specific studies are my friend. Even if data won't change someone's mind, that data might help someone else reading the comments.

    But sometimes my motivation is just to prove I'm smarter. And that's not a good motivation. That motivation might lead to me ranting to my husband about stupid people on the Internet, but I leave it at that.

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  24. With me it happens all the time. I guess I tend to be crabby, especially when I get 10 mails about some custom writing service review I feel like I have to go to their https://topwritingreviews.com/services and "open their eyes". I'm not so good at catching myself on that thought and stopping on time though:(

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