Just when I start to feel like I’ve got nothing to write about, the blogging gods send me an asshat on a silver platter.
I had a very thought-provoking afternoon yesterday. Some genius out there decided to use an anonymous texting service to attempt to make me feel bad about myself. I won’t go into the gritty details, but I will say that the texts involved calling me boring, annoying, and (are you ready for this one?) middle aged. What’s sad is that this person was not only a friend of mine on Facebook, but someone close enough to have my phone number. I suddenly felt like I was waiting for the bell to ring and let me out of Trigonometry.
I’m not sure what kind of reaction I was supposed to have, but all I could do was laugh and shake my (25 year old) head in utter disbelief. What it did do, however, is get me thinking.
Technology has done a lot of very beneficial things for us; it’s given us the ability to reconnect with long-lost friends, communicate instantly with someone across the ocean…and talk smack to people without ever having to let them know who you are.
As a blogger, one of the things I have to get used to is that people are not always going to like what I have to say, and they have the ability to be vocal about it. The comment section on a blog can be a wonderful launchpad for discussion and connection, and I always welcome differing opinions. Even if someone absolutely hates what I wrote, I’m still interested to understand why.
This is where it can get ugly.
Many blogs allow you to post comments without having to actually divulge who you are. This means that you could hop on, tell someone their “momma’s so fat they sat on a rainbow and skittles popped out” and no one would be able to track you down and slap your stupid face. After all, it’s easy to state your ridiculous opinions when you’re wearing a mask.
These are the new cowards. These are the trolls that lurk under your social bridge, waiting to throw slime on your self-image.
So how do we, as bloggers and human beings in general, handle this?
We take comfort, that’s how. We take comfort in knowing that we’re content with what we have and who we are, and that we’re confident enough to put our authentic selves out there. After all, what are the reasons for giving out opinions anonymously?
1. You have nothing to back up said opinion.
2. You are embarrassed.
3. You are aware and afraid of the social consequences.
It doesn’t matter which reason applies; they are all symptoms of a socially fatal Yellow Belly. These people will be hoarding discontent and secrets until they’re able to buck up and be themselves. As long as you are staying true to yourself and the people around you, you’ve got nothing to worry about.
Besides, if these trolls had anything legitimate to say, they’d put their names on it.