Thursday, July 2, 2009

There's Something About the Internet

Computers are without question a wonderful invention. They've made life much easier, and certainly more fun. We can talk to people far away, make new friends, meet members of the opposite sex, spend hours upon hours lost in mindless entertainment.

But there is a dark side. An evil side. The side the trolls live on.

I've been fortunate so far. I haven't attracted the attention of the trolls yet. Mainly because there's only about a dozen people who read anything I write. However, so many of my online friends have been viciously attacked by people who hide behind a mask of anonymity and spew forth vile, disgusting, hateful things.

But WHY?

Why is it fun for anyone to purposefully, intentionally hurt or demean others? I know many people go through stages of this behavior as children, taunting other kids. Then of course, there are the teen years, where insults are taken to a new art form.

But as adults, who are supposed to know better, why does anyone do this? What is missing in your life that you get thrills from making someone else feel bad? What has warped your brain to the point that you would tell someone already in the midst of the worst pain they could ever imagine, to just "get over it". Why would you tell a mother that has lost her child that she's somehow to blame, when you have no firsthand knowledge of this person's actual life.

I realize that you are comfortable doing this online is because you have no fear of repercussion. You know that the target of your venom does not have the ability to punch you in your stupid face. Your friends or family won't stop speaking to you. You won't lose your job. In short, nothing happens to you. You live with your dirty little secrets. Do you sit around giggling to yourself about how you made someone cry? Do you feel important because you were able to provoke a reaction? Tell me why. What do you get out of it that you keep doing it, over and over. Do you have no friends? Did your mother not love you enough? Did your Dad walk out on you? Did your siblings beat you up? What happened to the part of your brain that censors what you say? Were you perhaps dropped on your head? Because honestly, nothing, NOTHING justifies this kind of behavior. I don't care if you just had the worst day ever. I don't care if you yourself are dealing with loss - YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!

Bringing someone else pain will not lessen yours. Oh you might giggle, laugh, snicker, whatever. But I will bet you that eventually your nasty side will leak out to your real life. You'll hurt people you really care about. You might even end up alone. When you are lying on your death bed, and you look back at your life, I'll bet this will be a part you will wish you could change.

And if you don't, look out. There is a comment mafia. They will find you.


  1. Can I get an AMEN?!?!

    I also can't believe some of the things people heartlessly spew out. Seriously, there are alot of soulless trolls out there who need to remember karma is a beeeyotch.

  2. I completely agree! I have this thing about reading comments after news stories (I know, it is weird and my husband tells me so) and I always get mad because some of the things people say! It's like, get over yourself and put yourself the their position! I am glad someone else feels the same way I do!

  3. Comment Mafia is damn straight! You tell 'em! I feel exactly the same word for word. I honestly don't get it.

  4. So true and so sad there are people that are that unfulfilled in their life. But karma's a bitch and they'll get theirs.

  5. I love this. Every single word. Love you for saying it too.

    I am so tired of them, the trolls. Esp. because they always attack when someone is really raw and open and hurting and it's just not okay. Not a single piece of it is okay. In fact, it's horrendous. They need to be bitched slapped.

    Also, the comment mafia needs a raise, cause they are teh awesome. I heart each of them.

  6. Well said. People like that just make me sick. I just don't get how anyone can get amusement from making someone already so down feel worse. They need a huge bitch slap to bring them back to reality.

  7. You just wrote everything I was trying to work out in my head to say in my next post. Well done Jenna!

    I don't understand the need for people to be cruel, and people need to stop and THINK before they push that "publish comment" button on blogs that are so personal, and so heartwrenching and take in to consideration that a PERSON is reading it on the other end.

    I heart you!

  8. Great post and I totally agree!

    And the Comment Mafia ROX!!! Especially the really creative, phrase making ones, like YOU!!!

  9. You know, I very rarely read comments to a blog. For that matter, I rarely comment on blogs. The handful I have commented to, I don't usually read the comments before or after mine unless I know something's going on before I read the comments.

    I don't know why I rarely read the comments. I just don't. I rarely comment because I don't want to say something that comes across in a way I didn't intend. I have enough of a problem doing that on Twitter. I mean well, but it doesn't always come across that way.

    I read the blogs I read because I want to see what others have to say, because someone has steered me to that blog, because I read what someone wrote somewhere else and found their blog. I read blogs about being a mother, being a better parent; I read blogs about politics, education; I read blogs about infertility and loss; I read blogs about gaming and music. Those interests are who I am. I read the posts. I rarely read the comments.

    Yesterday, I caught up on comments on some of the blogs I read. And, some of the comments made me cringe.

    Trolls, the bane of the internet. I've been one. I've been a troll on message boards and forums, particularly when I played World of Warcraft and trolling was elvated to an artform. I got caught up on trolling on an annonymous blog once upon a time. I was vicious at times. It's not something I'm proud of, and I did it because of exactly what you said: Anonymity

    I know I've never come close to being as horrible as what I've now read. And, moreso, I'm ashamed to have ever thought that trolling, even on an internet forum, as harmless.

    Trolls need to remember that there are real people behind the screen names. If what you're going to say would hurt you if someone said it to you, imagine how someone else will feel, someone who's just reaching out, someone who's venting, or something who's hurting.

    The thing is, though, trolls don't care, especially the hardcore trolls. They take pleasure in causing someone else's upset. They WANT people to attack them because it's the fuel for their fire. It gives them a reason to fight back, to comment back. I don't know if blog trolls operate the same way as forum trolls, but I'm willing to bet they do.

    They deserve the ire of the comment mafia, of anyone who reads a comment and thinks, "WTF? Why would you say that?" I just wish that ire, that righteous outrage, affected them, made them stop and think. Maybe it does. Maybe it will.

  10. Agreed! Very well written! I wish the trolls would stay away.

  11. So true, and your comment on Heather's blog deserves to go into the annals of the innerwebs as one of the most badass comments evah. I love it. That troll had it coming. I heart you, I pledge my service to the comment mafia.

  12. Well said! I know where this stemmed from and I still get sick to my stomach thinking about what that horrible comment on Heather's blog said. I have never felt so much hatred and anger towards someone I didn't even know their face. I wonder the same thing about them...what has happened to them to make them feel comments like that are acceptable?

  13. Where do I enlist? I really never understood trolls, and it made me so angry. Being a member of the comment mafia would be a dream come true.

  14. Some people just really don't care. They don't realize that to someone else, what they say can really hurt. I've had a troll come at me, on twitter though, and it's sad really. There is no way to "get them in trouble' or make them stop. You can report one account, but then they get another email and get another account. It's sad. But, as each one of you says, Carmas a biotch!