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… 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.