So as per fairly usual in my life, I had a minor encounter with a Facebook troll this morning. The conversation ended when I called him out by saying “So you’re just being a troll and you don’t care who gets hurt as long as you’re entertained” and he liked my comment. Apparently he found it really cool to be someone who hurt others. He also felt the need to point out that he associated with people that I would apparently “be disgusted by”, and insist that he was highly empathetic and open minded.
These are the classic troll behaviors. More than anything they illustrate to me that trolls have a few assumptions in common:
1.They are not constrained by the same beliefs that others are constrained by.
2. They are rebellious or forward thinking because they refuse to believe what others believe.
3. They are better than others for not being bothered by mere things like “words”.
4. When it really comes down to it, they’re good people.
5. It’s fun to hurt people as long as it’s over things that “don’t matter” like words.
6. When you hurt people over “stupid” things, you’re really just helping them see an edgier or more free thinking way. You’re doing them all a favor.
Unfortunately most of these assumptions and beliefs are simply wrong. Sometimes when you refuse to believe what others believe, you’re just wrong. There is in fact nothing wrong or overly sensitive about being hurt by words. We as human beings have a drive for acceptance, and words are in fact a form of acting. There is nothing about being cruel with your words that is helping another person or enlightening them to their own idiocy.
I’m about to drop some crazy knowledge on you guys here, so brace yourselves: being mean is not edgy. Being mean is not new. Acting superior and gaslighting people? It’s pretty much the oldest trick in the book. I’m going to be real honest: being mean is just straight out boring. EVERYONE knows how to do it. People even do it all the time without meaning to. Most people probably spend the majority of their time being mean to someone.
In addition, just disagreeing with people doesn’t make you right. In fact disagreeing with a lot of people also does not make you right. Sometimes (I know this will be hard to believe) the majority does actually have the correct facts! There is nothing about disagreeing with other people that is inherently cool, edgy, forward thinking, or good.
You might think that you’re looking real damn good compared to those sissies who overreact. You might think you’re making a statement. You might think you’re more rational or reasonable. But here’s the honest truth: you just look like a douche. Not only that, but you often look pretentious, uninformed, rambling, and unintelligent.
All those little lies that you feed yourself to pretend that you’re coming out on top, that it’s survival of the fittest and you’re the one surviving, that it’s just a big game? You know they’re lies. You know that we are built to be social animals and that at this point in our history we’ve moved past viciously ripping each other to shreds in order to survive. You know that it’s just plain outdated and redundant to do that crap at this point.
So please trolls, just be honest with yourselves. You’re not doing any of this for good reasons or because you’re really a great person. You’re doing it because you like to be mean. The sooner you accept that the sooner we can all move on.