I wasn’t going to do this post, or any other like it really. You see, I’m a mean person at heart. At least that’s what people tell me when tact falls asleep and lets me wonder around the world with an unguarded tongue. As such I think I’ve pretty much tried over the last few months to not be that mean soul. I’ve tried to put a leach around my brutal honesty and the hulking rage monster that sometimes eggs it on.
Indeed I find that sometimes my victims may not even be at fault. You see we read in our internal voice, and thus what we read takes on our internal tone, our internal ideals and our internal biases. Not only that, some things just don’t translate well to print. Things like sarcasm and dry humor, just don’t seem to go over into the net-universe well. But how then to communicate online? It’s not like my world is all sugar cake and mango juice.
It helped, a little while ago when I was doing a course online and they provided us with an etiquette guide in responding to posts made by our peers. The gist of it was:
- Don’t be confrontational. No abusive language. i.e don’t say “you are very stupid” even if we really really want to
- Try to begin and end on a good note. It kinda forced me to find the good no matter how small and jump off from there, and then expand if I could on the ending note.
- And finally. Keep scrolling. If it doesn’t suit you. Find a post that does. Move on. No harm no foul. If it really does bother you, or you think you can help, PM the person and offer a suggestion, while bearing the two rules above in mind.
The strategy works, if only for me, because it stops me from cracking off responses without thinking. It helped not only for me to be a troll, but to avoid those toting around the Troll visa proudly. Recently, however, it seems that even with my jovial little self, out there trying to be all witty and eloquent and maybe a little funny when it fits. I come into the way of trolls, both online and in real life.
I don’t go looking for them, and try to scroll past them when they appear on my social media fields, but sometimes it just seems unavoidable, the rage monster in me causes my fingers to twitch, or my very expressive face turns, and BAM there it is, a troll confrontation.
It amazes me how much these encounters cause me to emotionally invest. How quickly one of the citizens of that part of the Net, or even those in real life, provoke a response. Sadly one steeped in either logic or tiredness, neither of which seem to go over well with the Troll-nation. Come to think of it they tend to remind me of that guy from Guardians of the Galaxy, go figure.
Hmmm, I guess, short of hitting each and everyone with a copy of that Net-etiquette, there isn’t much to be done about the Troll-nation, and it does take all kinds to make this little blue rock keep spinning.