Don’t feed the troll. But who feeds you?

We all know. It’s one of the worst plague of life (not only on the web): for every intelligent criticism posted among blog comments, there is always a huge amount of nonsense. Trolls and jerks are everywhere, and more than trolls themselves I’d speak of a widespread trolling attitude that can affect anyone (because anyone can get mad, and can find liberating / pleasant / funny to attack someone for no real reason).

So when someone sends you a deliberately biting, sarcastic, or even offensive comment, the golden rule (though not the only) is Do not feed the troll. Because his real aim is not to argue or criticize, but simply to go straight to the fight: and for people like myself who are really not able to deal with a verbal fight, it’s the worst thing ever.

That’s why wise men say: “Avoid to respond at all. We know it hurts – it hurts to even think that a lot of people are pushed to comment only because of hatred or stupidity – but try not to think about it.”

In a world of realistic people around, always trolls are the worst eating a person’s mind. Even though more positive thoughts have been put but still people like biting others mind just for a time pass or they know the subject better to argue. Only if the trolls are answered and replied that they leap to next stage. So always ignore the trolls. Navigate to these guys and understand more.

It happens very often. But except in extreme cases, there is nothing to worry about: we are all symptom-free carriers of stupidity, so the important thing is to isolate the real jerks.

Yet, people like myself – who, as I said, do not know how to fight properly – will always feel bad about it all. Trolls should not be fed, but who feeds you? We must not give the slightest sop to provokers, sure, but being silent creates anyhow a disappointment. Something that is likely to stay there and soak: Why do people do this?, you ask yorself. What is their damn point?

And then, you generally let off steam posting on Twitter or Facebook generalist phrases – and equally idiotic – like “Sometimes I think that people are just stupid” and similar: with the likely result of attracting new trolls.

So: how to stay clean and at the same time avoid to a pointless sorrow?

My modest solution, after years of discontent and generalist and idiotic phrases, is: open a book you love and read a few wonderful lines. Do not call immediately a friend or your girlfriend, because you may vent your frustration on them (and therefore troll them!). Instead, relieve yourself with the beauty of a sentence: it is made on purpose, eternally available, generous and gratuitous, and it can welcome you without asking anything in return.

For example: I open Don DeLillo’s Underworld, flip towards the end, and read this one I love:

I long for the days of disorder. I want them back, the days when I was alive on the earth, rippling in the quick of my skin, heedless and real. I was dumb-muscled and angry and real. This is what I long for, the breach of peace, the days of disarray when I walked real streets and did things slap-bang and felt angry and ready all the time, a danger to others and a distant mystery to myself.

And now it goes better.

Of course, I’m no dreamer: the poison is still there, I still hate mankind (and that individual in particular), but it actually goes a little better: if nothing else, I have grasped again that there something infinitely more important and beautiful than the stupid everyday quarrels.

And I take comfort thinking of the time that I have not lost in such quarrels, and that it’s here available, all for me, as bright as that DeLillo’s phrase – and that no jerk has stolen to me. Poor guy, for he doesn’t know.

[10/15/2012]

 

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