Troll on the internet? Oh, I know the kind; The unemployed 40-year-old with something to prove, wearing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle slippers and spreading Cheeto powder all over his mom’s basement computer. I am absolutely. certainly. not one of those.
However. If you were brave enough to peruse the comment section of this recent Scary Mommy Article, you may have begun to form a different impression of an “internet troll”:
And, if you were one of the moms to annihilate the above-mentioned, vulnerable and honest writer, you might ask yourself if you may have a little something in common with Chucky Cheeto.
Hear me out. I mean, we don’t set out to intentionally be ass-trolls. After-all, comments are only strings of letters on a lifeless, soulless screen. I too sometimes forget that living, breathing life forms actually exist on the other end of my i-phone.
In fact, a computer screen sometimes makes it all-too-easy to forget the basic etiquette of not being an ass. But do not fret, would-be ass-trolls. For I have devised the solution to our mannerless online culture Behold, a simple quiz to decide whether or not to share your comment on a blog post:
1) Would you say your comment to the author’s face?
a) Hell no! To her face, I’d smile and tell her that her necklace is to-die-for. But later, I’d make my Bunco bitches spit their wine when my Forrest Gump impression perfectly captures her stupidity!
b) Yah, I like to criticize in a cold, monotone voice, while I secure eye contact just long enough to make
my victims others squirm. Then, later, to cement my dominance, I will cyber-stalk her until I find an appropriate photo on which to point out her cellulite.
c) Yah, I think it might be helpful for her or others to hear my direct, yet respectful perspective.
2) Why are you compelled to comment?
a) Because I simply love the thrill of bringing-up abortion and gun-control in a conversation about breast-feeding. (Those who do not breast-feed are basically holding guns to the heads of every unborn child in America. Duh.)
b) Because it simply establishes me in my rightful position as a superior human being to all other human beings, especially to this idiot author.
c) Because this comment might elicit helpful and/or interesting dialogue.
3) Would you want to hear the comment if you were the author?
a) No, but this isn’t about me. This is about some dummy who had the audacity to misspell two words. Whether or not she wants me to post a gif of a drooling-donkey, licking a window while wearing a dunce-hat, is irrelevant.
b) I wouldn’t care. Because I am better than every living being on the planet, no matter what anyone says. If this author doesn’t have the resilience to withstand my comparing her article to the bloody lawn-puddle that ensued the time my mower grazed my pinky toe, that’s NOT. MY. PROBLEM. (And, no, I didn’t even need a Band-Aid. Why? Because I am TOUGH Unlike this sissy, pansy-ass author.)
c) Maybe not, but it might be helpful if it is expressed in a direct, non-aggressive way.
A or B: Say it to yourself, your journal, your therapist, or your husband. But please. For the love of God, don’t post it.
C: Post away. And don’t forget to add a winky face.
For more sometimes-serious, sometimes ridiculous posts about kids, relationships, and psychology, check out On the Yellow Couch.