Yep, I know how all this works. I’m a big girl, and every time I put my stuff out into the world, I hitch up my big girl panties and prepare for the occasional troll. The sad but all-too-true fact is that being trolled comes with the territory of today’s writing scene.
Image provided courtesy of Pexel.com – https://www.pexels.com/photo/white-clothes-line-trousers-past-54611/ CC0 license, free for personal and commercial use.The sad but all-too-true fact is that being trolled comes with the territory of today’s writing scene. Click To Tweet
In an odd way, to be trolled is a kind of badge of honor. Some random, anonymous “person” is so highly offended by your thoughts and opinions that they take the time to come at you with visceral vengeance. Though the message can sting, it also validates and offers actual proof that someone other than your friends and parents is reading your work. How’s that for a glass half-full attitude?!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love being trolled; there’s little fun in being mocked or put on the defensive in the public arena. You do learn to grow a thick skin and roll with the punches. However, I was recently unnerved a bit by a trolling experience. Why? Because I knew her!
It started on my personal FB page. I made a little joke about the President proposing to heavily tax my tequila (BTW, seriously not cool Mr. President). Now, I’ve got friends down both sides of the political spectrum, so I’m always ready for the occasional comeback. True to form, someone took this post as the opportunity to state an opinion about U.S. border control. Another friend responded in-kind. Before it got too testy, I politely asked both friends to please take the conversation to their own personal FB pages. No harm, no foul, right? My personal FB page, my rules. I viewed it as the equivalent of a request to take the fight outside.
Image provided courtesy of Flickr “The Commons”, https://goo.gl/5hXlPU, no known copyright restrictions.
Here’s where it got ugly. The first FB commenter came at me. Proceeded to message me and question my very being! I was floored. This was someone I’ve known for decades. Truth be told we’ve not spoken directly in over 20 years, but we’ve stayed in touch via social media and annual Christmas cards. Back in college I considered her a friend, confidant, part of my inner circle of trusted allies.
I responded by doing the only thing that made sense to me: I blocked her.Is blocking a troll enough? Click To Tweet
Was it cowardly? Maybe. Did my blocking enrage her? Doubtful. My guess is she doesn’t have two f**** to give. Doesn’t matter. My key take-away is that up here in The Middle-Aged Cheap Seats we know when to cut bait. You disagree with my opinions, my politics, my choice of socks, I’ll happily buy you a cup of coffee and take time for a little gabfest. But, you come at me personal and negative, ain’t no one got time for that. Perhaps we should all try to remember that our mamas definitely raised us better than this.You come at me personal and negative, ain’t no one got time for that. #justsaynototrolls Click To Tweet
How do you deal with negativity? Have you ever been trolled? I’d love to read about your experiences in the comments section.
Joyce Hansen saysFebruary 12, 2017 at 1:03 pm
There seems to be a lot of angry, scared, crazy and self-righteous folks our there. Most are talking from emotion and less from actual logic. With the rise of alt-facts and fake news, how can you have a rational exchange? Delete and block seems to be a reasonable recourse to maintain peace of mind. Heaven knows we all need it!
Beverley Golden saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 9:43 am
I don’t think I’ve been trolled, but I have been challenged it quite an uncomfortable way. I usually begin by seeing if I can engage in a conversation with them (online where they commented) and see what is at the core of their negativity or upset. If that doesn’t work, I just let it go…haven’t had to block anyone that I can remember. I have had people block me in several groups because I called them out on their integrity for not honouring their commitments. That surprised me! I guess people don’t like to be called on their integrity. 😉
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 6:42 pm
Engagement on social media is always tricky. Sometimes folks genuinely don’t know they are offensive. And, sometimes, a D-bag is just a D-bag.
Leanne Chapman saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 2:23 am
It always fascinates me how people can think that if you express something they don’t agree with, that means you’re wrong. It also apparently means they have permission to let you know how wrong you are in the rudest way possible. I have no time for who’s right and who’s wrong when it comes to personal opinion. Like you, I’m interested in how people who see things differently came to see things that way. But I also have reasons for why I view things the way I do, and these trolls never ever ask about that. I used to try to explain myself, something I used to do in daily life as well, but now it’s block online and move away in the real world. Life is too short for tolerating disrespect. Great article x
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 6:51 pm
Life is indeed way too short. I’m pretty sure this won’t be my first blocking experience. I may be a little late to the party, but I’m all about the positive life vibe. Thx for stopping by Leanne.
Sue Kearney saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 9:10 pm
I spend a shit-ton of time on Facebook (for work! well mostly for work), and I get unsolicited snark and worse all the time. I do block. Most recently I’m awash in unwelcome requests from people I haven’t had anything to do with since I left that cult 23 years ago. Block. Mute. Block again. Feels much better to me than engaging.
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm
Sue I’m so glad you are in the blogosphere – it is a better place with your wonderful writing and engagement.
Beth (GrannyBeth3) saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 8:39 pm
I recently went to the inaguration.. something I’d always wanted to do but couldn’t until I retired. I posted my intention and the trolls came out. Like yours they were friends. What they said was intensely personal and hurtful. I agree, I would gladly have had coffee and a chat but I don’t have time for ugly.
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 7:30 pm
Beth, I hope you had a great experience at your first inauguration. No one has time for ugly indeed.
Betsy Ashton saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 5:37 pm
I have no time for negativity. I have no patience for drama queens. I do have a delete key, a blocking finger, and the will to use them. Thanks for the reminder that we are who WE think we are, not who others think we are.
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 7:35 pm
Bets, you are one of my fave badass women. I can’t ever imagine a troll that would would stand a chance up against you!
Marquita Herald saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 12:42 pm
And you know what, I saw that post – comments and your reply and, for what it’s worth, I was impressed by the way you handled it. For better or worse, I would have blocked her as well. As much as I enjoy various aspects of being online, there is definitely a downside – like Twitter has become a virtual battlefield these days. It can be entertaining to read at times, but I’m not inclined to get in the water with the sharks.
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 7:03 pm
Thx Marty, I appreciate the feedback. I do try to keep the peace on the personal page, but sometimes people just don’t get it.
Diane saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 11:00 am
I had a troll a few years ago who was highly entertaining. And, I think, insane. I learned all about moderating comments after that one. A couple of days ago, someone posted a huge rant on my site about how much he hates American women. Whaaa? He even politely included his website. (I didn’t go there. Yikes!)
What was fun (can I use that word here?) about this was that someone else on my blog chose to rise up in my defence. It was rather heart-warming.
And yes, I removed the troll comment because, let’s face it, I love my sister American women!
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 7:11 pm
I love your attitude Diane. Few people see trolls as anything other than an unfortunate use of social media space. Keep up that positive attitude!
Walker Thornton saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 10:47 am
I’ve only had one troll and it was nasty. He called me the foulest of names you can call a woman. I shot back that his comment only served to prove the point of my article, while preparing to block him. He disappeared but it was a reminder of what happens when we dare to express our opinions in a public way.
I think we have every right to actively manage our world, from the details of our kitchen to who is allowed to interact with us. I would block as well!
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 7:15 pm
Walker, I love your writing. Please don’t ever let a troll devalue your amazing contributions to our writing world.
Paula Kiger saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 10:28 am
I struggle with trolls. And partially it depends on why I’m tweeting. When I was tweeting as part of a Shot at Life campaign, I was getting challenged pretty heavily by someone who feels differently about vaccines. I was given great advice: ignore because reasoning will be a waste of breath. It goes against my instincts not to reply but sometimes that is the best option!
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 7:21 pm
Yeah, I agree, sometimes it’s definitely better to not engage.
shelley saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 10:27 am
I can relate. I’ve had a person I used to go to school with who seems to stalk me. It’s been very awkward because it seems that wherever I comment, she follows right along behind me arguing every point. Haven’t seen this person in over 40 years so it’s very odd.
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 11, 2017 at 7:38 pm
So weird, right? People do change, and I guess we might hold on a little longer than we should to who they used to be.
Julie O saysFebruary 8, 2017 at 8:54 am
Loved this! You are a great writer. I love your voice, style, and especially your chutzpah! “Aint nobody got time for that!” Write on!
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 9:25 am
Thank you my dear! Hope you have a terrific weekend.
Kate Mayer saysFebruary 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm
I’ve told more than one or two “friends” to GET A ROOM when it gets too hot and heavy on my FB page. Not sure why they come to my house to make a ruckus, but I too ask them to leave and judge accordingly. I ALWAYS judge accordingly! #blockedyblockblock
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 9:42 am
“Judge accordingly” – thx my friend, adding that to my FB repertoire.
Curtis saysFebruary 5, 2017 at 4:26 pm
I’m juuuust about to turn 55, and as a 75-year-old friend said about 10 years ago, “Older Is Bolder”. I don’t enjoy engaging with people who don’t seem willing to be reasonable, so I will generally simply evanescence in a wisp of smoke and they eventually scratch their heads about why they no longer see pictures of my dog.
Kim Dalferes saysFebruary 10, 2017 at 9:43 am
I LIVE for pics of Lucky!