Thursday, November 18, 2010

What About Meanieheads?

What If Someone Is Mean To Me On the Internet?

...I don't have any idea. I've been really lucky—this blog hasn't attracted trolls or any angry mob, because it's only moderately popular. (And I've been slipping on quality and attribution, so I'm really lucky.) The Internet is a free-for-all when it comes to bad behavior, and it's a battleground when it comes to misunderstandings within tone and syntax. (One might argue that a good writer will be able to stave off misunderstandings of that sort, but that person clearly hasn't been using Facebook.)

There's really no good way to arm yourself against the masses. Even the best and nicest bloggers will attract the wrath of some, especially if that blogger finds some level of success. A tough skin will help you here, but I'm not able to tell you how to develop that tough skin. Hopefully your age and experience will help you here. (I'm hoping it will help me, eventually.)

Take some solace that what you are doing is moving people, even if it's not the love and accolades you'd prefer. Ignore the trolls, and feel free to bask in a smug sense of self-satisfaction when the meanieheads employ manners and grammar that are less proficient than your own. (This is hard for me to say, as I routinely bicker with my mother at dinner when she reprimands athletes on TV, because they had less socioeconomic advantages than I did.)

Some bloggers and publications institute a no anonymous commenter policy. (I do, too!) You can refuse to publish anonymous comments if you think it will cut down on the poor behavior. (Remember, it's not silencing free speech if the speech is harmful or threatening.)

Culture Lesson: Trolling

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