Ask Juliette (Ask a Vampire, Advice for Everyone) is a regular feature here at VampireMaman.com
All questions are from my readers. If you have a question about anything (and I mean anything) just send me a note at juliettevampiremom @ gmail.com
Lately it seems that I can’t view a single cute or inspiring thing on the internet without seeing at least one asshat trying to ruin the moment with a negative comment. There’s a puppy cuddling a baby, someone says the baby will get germs. There’s a puppy drinking from a baby bottle, some idiot says milk is bad for dogs. (puppies are bottle-fed with special formula, dumbass) A paraplegic rider demonstrates how she mounts her horse, which is trained to lie down. The trolls spewed their poison all over that one as well.
The simple solution is to stop reading comments on things people post, and yet I find myself drawn there every time like a rubbernecker at a car crash. I worry that I’m developing some kind of sick obsession.
What is wrong with people?
And what is wrong with me, that I feel compelled to seek out the trolls? Does that make me a troll?
What is wrong with people? They’re assholes. But I’m going to show a few examples. No, I don’t have any answers. Trolls need to grow up and get a life.
If you look at trolls are you a troll? Absolutely not. You’re right, it is like car crash or a train wreck. But it pisses us off because it is like seeing a car crash caused by a drunk driver.
We’ve all left nasty comments (don’t tell me you haven’t) on sites. I don’t do it anymore because when I have I usually feel guilty and troll-like. You just have to let it go. LET IT GO.
LET IT GO like James Bay or Elsa in Frozen but neither one of their songs work for this – so let’s move on.
Now that the US Presidential election is looming and in our faces 24/7 the trolls are out in full force. Be careful. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the mess. Nothing good will come of it.
For the sake of this post we’re going to discuss serial trollers. You know who they are. They’re the people who ALWAYS have to leave a nasty comment or something that contradicts what you’re trying to say. They’re the kind who like to leave their nasty snail slime trail on news stories, blogs, and public online social media groups.
From Wikipedia: “In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to forward a feel good news story (usually on NPR) to someone but then saw all of the asshole troll comments on it. I swear some of the regular trollers have no lives. They can’t have lives – not with all of their narrow minded negative energy that they MUST get out.
I have three examples of crap I’ve recently seen.
Linda Holmes writes the popular culture feature Monkey See. Even though I’m a hundred years younger than she is, and don’t always have the same taste as she does, (but what is there to agree with it is just a popular culture feature to be entertained by) but I love her writing. She is bright and fresh and funny. Anyway, on a recent column about a The Bachelorette TV show she had to start it with an anti-troll disclaimer.
[Note: This is where a spoiler warning would usually go, but in this case, the warning is this: it’s a post about The Bachelorette. You should only read it if you’re interested in a post about The Bachelorette. If you’re not interested in a post about The Bachelorette, I can recommend this story about a snowy owl or this examination of ancient Chinese beer. If you’re not interested in The Bachelorette or owls or beer, I’m out of ideas.]
But even with that there were trolls making comments. The other readers pointed out the disclaimer but trolls gotta troll. They can’t help it. It is their sick and twisted fix. But what is with the guy who doesn’t understand that the program is just fluffy entertainment and went on a rant about politics and the fall of Western civilization?
I don’t watch The Bachelorette but I thought the article was laugh-out-loud funny.
Another example was a story with the title, World’s First Surviving Septuplets, Born In ’97, Graduate From High School.
I thought the article about the McCaughey siblings was sweet. I remember when those babies were born. Seven! Count em. And their parents raised them ALL at the same time. Can you imagine the diapers? Can you imagine having seven toddlers? It was a feel good article. But the trolls have to move in and make about every kind of mean and nasty comment they could. Why? I have no idea. Those kids aren’t hurting anyone. And to make matters worse they might read the comments. But trolls don’t care about that.
I’ve noticed on news sites that it is the same trolls coming up over and over. Get where this is going? On one of my own social media sites I used to have a cat hater hating on my cats. WTF? I’m not going to hate on your pets.
Recently (today) a young friend of mine posted this disclaimer before posting a funny video on Facebook.
Please, no “this is why you don’t cater to children” comments. We’ve all gone down this path at least once (some only once) and found ourselves eating the damn toast over the trashcan.
No, we don’t give into toddlers like that, well usually, but the video was funny. If you’ve lived with a wild chimp, I mean toddler, you know what the maker of the video was getting at. But it is a shame that the young mother who posted the video had to tell her online friends to back off.
The Artistic (Figure) Rollerskating community is filled with trolls. My own child (a US National Champion) spends a lot of time defending young skaters against older trolls. There are first the old timers who do everything they can to put down young skaters. Yes, old people are trolling young people in their sport. They throw out their old nasty phlegm about how the skaters aren’t any good and how their dresses are ugly. Really? If they want the sport they loved to die they’re doing a good job and helping it along to it’s grave with their negativity and lack of support. By the way – the skaters are better now and their dresses are better than ever. These old folks never even think that when they spread their negative crap that the young people who are working so hard see it. So shut the fuck up skating trolls – or anyone who trolls any young people in an activity they love.
What is even worse is that the old trolls give younger trolls permission to be mean. And don’t even get me started on trolls from one sport who troll another sport (don’t even get me started on them.) If you want respect don’t be a troll. Make sure you tell your kids that – even if your kids are grown.
Earlier this week I asked my readers to give me their thoughts on trolls.
From Kevin A. Ranson:
I think Trolls enjoy participation, but they also like reality TV drama. It’s their chance to be snarky safely behind their keyboards without worry about other people’s feelings — which may say more about the Trolls than their targets.
That said, however, posting anything online invites conversation. If the comments are left on, it may be naive to expect that only supportive statements will be made. Some folks don’t have the education or the experience concerning a particular subject matter and may be asking ACTUAL questions in a way that may sound Trollish while not trying to be. Being accused of being a Troll in a new group can transform someone into a Troll; after all, shouldn’t they act accordingly if no one will take them seriously?
Online conversation tends to exist in a microcosm of support where people may expect to be safe — Facebook groups, for example — but a difference of opinions can manifest between even the best of friends. My own policy is to allow Trolls to be themselves on my threads while I ask them constructive questions to see if they are indeed a Troll or, perhaps, have been transformed into one. One aspect of this behavior tends to be intelligent, articulate, net-savvy folks looking for someplace to belong; make friends with a Troll and they will be your online friend forever!
Many folks I’ve met online started out as Trolls but have since joined a contingent of Trollhunters: Trolls who hunt Trolls — a-holes who hunt a-holes. These are friendly but arrogant folks who target Trolls, luring them away down dark tunnels until they find themselves surrounded and left with little choice but to run screaming back under the rocks from whence they came…and it can be quite entertaining to watch.
I will get personal attacks on my weight or looks when I post pictures of myself (well, when I did, I mean) but they would filter out and never get published. Either I delete and don’t care or, depending on where I am in the depression and such and take it all completely personally.
I know that it has become popular for some people to troll-track or expose people for who they really are, but I view that as just as lousy behavior as the troll. Even in the name of defense, creeping is creeping.
I agree with Holly. The beauty of most social media and blogs is that you can delete trolls, block them out, and get rid of them. Holly’s smart and entertaining blog is https://bloggityramblings.wordpress.com
When I first started Vampiremaman.com I had a few trolls. OK maybe not complete trolls – they were just people who wanted to tell me that I knew nothing about blogging or Vampires (really?) or spelling. OK I admit I know nothing about spelling. I had a few tell me that I was going to Hell for writing about paranormal creatures of darkness. But I just blocked them out and they went away.
But back to the original question… I don’t think we’ll ever get rid of trolls. Maybe if we just all ignore them they’ll go away.
Dear readers, I’m soooooo behind, so I only have a few short questions left.
My boyfriend has no sense of style. If we’re going out he’ll wear an oversized tee shirt and baggy sports shorts, no matter what the occasion. How can I get him to dress nice without hurting his feelings?
Ask your boyfriend the age-old question, “Are you going to wear that?”
Another version of that same question is, “You’re not wearing that are you?” I find that one the most effective at my house.
Be firm. If he doesn’t get a clue take him shopping and show him the following video cause every girl’s crazy bout a sharp dressed man.
I met the perfect guy, except I just found out he is a Vampire. What should I do?
Ask Juliette is a regular feature on Vampire Maman. It is usually posted on Thursday. If you have any questions about anything please ask and I’ll answer the best I can. Send your questions about relationships, parenting, vampires, paranormal stuff, life, love, cats, oranges, ghosts, werewolves, fashion, cooking, art, and everything else to juliettevampiremom at gmail dot com.
Thanks for dropping by. xoxox
~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman