Saturday, July 30, 2011

Don't feed the trolls

A while back (around the 4th of July) I wrote a post about Paige Duke and the nonsense that went on when the people from Sprint or NASCAR or whoever found out that once in her life she was naked and in front of a camera lens at the same time. As it turns out, it was years ago when she was 18 and pressured into it by some jerk. Just when she thought that was all behind her, the pics surface. She loses her job at the Miss Sprint Cup Girl.

Now, since she is a known celebrity, she has a myriad of commenters online telling her everything from keep her chin up (me) to "Maybe you should have worn clothes in pics. Trashy." I'm sure the person that made that comment has NEVER EVER made a mistake. He's one of those judgmental assholes I talk about on here so frequently. So she made a mistake. She was young. Her judgment was flawed at the ripe, old age of 18. What a surprise.

So often I see huge fights break out on Facebook and other social networks. People say something, that is misconstrued (because that's very easy to do online) and someone makes a snarky comeback and before you know it, it's an all out war. The digital age has sent the "telephone tough guys"to the computer and they are on the attack. They scream at me every time I like an Apple product and/or dislike a Microsoft product. They stay quiet when I actually like a Microsoft product. They attack everyone over everyone. Twitter is even worse than Facebook. The relative anonymity of Twitter makes it easier to berate a target from behing the safety of a screen name.

It is easy to get sucked in. EVERYONE likes to have the last word. Nobody likes to sit and be attacked without defending themselves. You can fire off an angry email or social network based response without the fear of every having to face the person. There's also no risk of getting punched in the nose. Not to mention it feeds the impulsivity. There's an old saying, "Arguing on the Internet is like being in the Special Olympics. Even if you win, you're still retarded." I know that's not politically correct on pretty much any level, but you get the point.

It's still just too damn easy to go back and forth. So, if you're a content creator/deliverer then you should have a mantra for if (and WHEN) you get attacked.

Don't feed the trolls. Don't feed the trolls. Don't feed the trolls.

Repeat that over and over.

It's like being in the schoolyard in the 2nd grade and someone steals your hat and they all begin to play that very mature game of "keep away." The more you chase it, the more they throw it. They idea is to get you to chase it. And it goes on forever. They have more fun taunting you and you get progressively more frustrated.

Imagine for a second that you had this response: "That's cool. Give it back when you're done" and then you go sit down and enjoy your PB&J. I know that's a little lofty a goal for an 8-year old, but imagine it. All of a sudden keeping something from someone that doesn't want it in the first place really loses its appeal.

So when they attack your character or content or just generally be nasty online just ignore it. In the case of the adult and the Internet, don't even say "doesn't bother me" because then it will become their mission to find what does. So just ignore it. Keep posting your content. Keep being you. Keep doing what you do. Keep ignoring them. Sooner or later, they'll move to someone that they can actually get a rise out of... because that's all they're really looking for in the first place.

Don't feed the trolls

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