Don’t Feed The Trolls: How to Survive Online Bullies
In the age of living online, the greatest gift are the people you meet. The biggest drawback? The people you meet. Once a skeptic of online friendships, I’ve felt the connections made across the globe from one screen to another. A richness lent to my world through knowing people who live in such far off places, we never could have connected, seen our similarities, shared our thoughts and support, had it not been for two lap tops with internet connections. I’ve also seen the dark side of the vail that the computer brings, an entire society of online bullies waiting with snark and nastiness to prey on anyone with a voice.
The blog comments I’ve seen from online bullies rage wildly from strange with a twist of insanity, to angry and hateful. The following is a list of comments I’ve seen posted to online blogs, to people who get paid little or nothing for the recipes that they post:
“I hope your baby dies. I hate you”
“Ugh, I can’t stand this girl. Will you just shut up already?!”
“This recipe sucks, it’s probably why your husband left you.”
“I bet you just adopted that baby so you could get more blog hits.”
“This is the most disgusting recipe I’ve ever made in my life. I substituted [lists 3 major substitutions] and it was horrible! Think before you blog, you stupid B—-!”
“It’s no wonder her husband died if she cooks like this! She pretty much killed him herself, is she trying to kill my husband too?”
I know. Horrifying. People fail to realize that another human, possibly a stay at home Mom looking for a connection to the outside world, a widow, an introvert with crippling agoraphobia, or just and average joe, will read that and be incredibly hurt. We all remember the worst comment that was ever posted to our blogs, the sting from a complete stranger who’s hate has invaded our world. I’ve recently seen two celebrities melt down on Twitter, responding to the nasty comments, defending themselves, lashing out, retweeting insults, indulging those Trolls who seek to disperse hate.
Celebrity, blogger, or just an average mom with a twitter following, here are some rules to help us all cope:
Five Rules to Survive Online Bullies
1. Don’t Feed the Trolls. Don’t respond, engage or even post comments made out of sheer hate and anger. If a comment is just made to hurt, there is no reason to post it and you have no moral or civic obligation to do so. Delete the comment and shake the thought of it from your head.
2. Find Power In Silence. To stay silent and to be silenced are not the same thing. There is powder in silence, feel it. There is no response to a bully or a nasty comment that makes you look cool or superior, you are only wallowing in the mud by responding.
3. Feel Pity. Child Actor turned writer, Mara Wilson said on her blog recently: “Very few intelligent, successful, attractive, confident, happy people spend their time bashing people they have never met. Just be glad you are not that person.” A comment a stranger makes about you says a lot more about them then it will ever say about you.
4. Strangers Will Defend You. More often than not, when I see a nasty comment posted on a blog, I watch others rush to the aid of the blogger. People who don’t know that blogger or the commenter, but who do know right from wrong, and are quick to rush to your defense.
5. Feel Important. No one throws rocks at Tiny Tim. If you are a blogger or a celebrity, the negative comments you receive will rise in direct proportion to how important people think you are. If they didn’t think of you as successful, they wouldn’t even bother. Negative comments are a direct result of doing something right, try to think of it that way.
I try to follow these rules on both this blog, as well as my other blog, The Beeroness, which has garnered a much higher level of praise as well as exponentially higher level of nastiness. With the good comes the bad, finding your own inner filter will help you enjoy more of the experience.
In a completely unrelated note, these Jalapeno Corn Waffles are perfect for brunch, or to serve with Fried Chicken. And you’ll want to drink the Sriracha Maple syrup on it’s own.
Jalapeno Corn Waffles with Sriracha Maple Syrup
1 cup fine yellow corn meal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 large jalapeno, chopped, stem and seeds removed
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 tbs brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup whole milk
1 tbs canola oil
For the Syrup:
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tsp sriracha chili sauce
Preheat your waffle iron.
In a bowl, combine the corn meal, flour, baking powder, corn, jalapeno, salt, cheese, and brown sugar, mix. In a separate bowl, add the melted butter, milk, oil and the egg, beat until well combined. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and mix until just barely combined. Spray waffle iron with cooking spray if recommended, cook in waffle iron according to manufactures specifications.
Mix the maple syrup and sriracha and serve with the waffles.