Last night I was trying, and failing miserably, to tap my well of creativity. I wanted my first post as a fixture here at SaPM to be funny, thought-provoking, and brilliant. What this means is I was mentally shooting rubber bands at the ceiling fan and writing exactly squat.
My spouse-guy calls it procrastinating but I maintain it’s just my “creative process.” (I’ll never own up to this but he’s right, I was procrastinating.) I had crap for ideas and after exploring and discarding one suckish idea after another I got sucked into the Facebook vortex. While randomly reading bits and pieces, I stumbled across a new page that made me snap to attention and seethe with rage. Those were MY people who were being targeted! How dare this asshat be so thoroughly and completely wrong?? This was pure evil and I would not allow it to continue!
I mentally took my feet off the desk and started crusading. With the growled equivalent of “This mother f*cker right here…!” I became a whirlwind of indignation as I posted screen shots of the trollfile page and expected people to be just as outraged as I was. I sent a message to our awesome Lola and had a brief bout of hysterical crazy all over her evening. I read the posts the page had put up and the comments of people like me who saw this as a great injustice. In the midst of all this activity two things happened and it brought back my sanity, or what’s left of it anyhow.
Now, please understand that I don’t normally get sucked into hate speech or trolling. I used to take everything to heart and I would exhaust myself just trying to win an argument and make someone see the error of their ways. Let me repeat that… I tried to win arguments. On the Internet. It finally dawned on me that some people LIKE to stir the pot and cause discontent. There are people in the world that have some sick need for the reactions they provoke with their ignorance and the web is an endless well of satisfaction for them.
I stopped trying to make it a cyber-utopia; it has worked out quite well for me so far. I still sometimes stare open-mouthed in horror at the sheer stupidity of things I’ve read but I usually shrug it off and move along. I don’t know what made me fall in that slimy puddle of crazy last night. I hate that I got my panties in a twist over it but shit happens.
I was busy “stopping this nonsense” and was reminded by a couple of individuals in my life that I was being a bonehead. (I’m paraphrasing here.) As that truth was sinking into my brain another hate related page crossed my radar and suddenly I understood. This second page was just as vicious and horrible as the first. It made me sick and made my heart ache even though I personally couldn’t relate to the people it was targeting. I had to be reminded that I was giving these yay-hoos free advertising and the power they were so desperately craving with my Facebook super-hero behavior. I had to admit that I had done exactly the wrong thing.
I don’t enjoy feeling like an idiot and I try to avoid it at all costs but somehow I had let an Internet troll grab me by the ankle and drag me through the sand-box. I had hurt feelings, a bruised ego, and sand in my lady bits because someone had been an ass. I went back and took my posts down and evicted the idiots from my head. It still bothers the hell out of me and I hate that it does but I’m not going to give that kind of nastiness any free airtime in my world.
Here’s the thing… None of us are immune to being hurt. This is what those assholes are banking on. They’re trying to fill some sick need because they don’t find fulfillment otherwise. Maybe they get bullied and only doling out the very same treatment to others is justice. Hell, I don’t know, maybe they didn’t get a puppy when they were a child or maybe they ordered their burger plain and got mustard slathered all over it. Who the hell knows what drives people to act in such a way? I don’t and I’m pretty sure I don’t want to find out. All-in-all I find life pretty awesome and to understand the monsters who have to bring pain to others might be to become one of them.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in, whatever that may be. It’s awesome when people are able to stand together and make a change for the better but getting sand in your girl parts, either via the Internet or otherwise, doesn’t help anything. I write because I would like to hope that if nothing else maybe one person can nod and relate or laugh and spew iced tea everywhere. I’m not changing the world with my musings, just maybe changing the crappy day one person might be having and that’s plenty.
Do me (and yourself) a favor? Shake them off. It’s not worth it. Don’t get all boo-hoo and call the Internet police because they don’t give a damn. The playground bullies lurk in every shady corner and under every bridge. It doesn’t matter how morally reprehensible you may find their behavior; short of some CIA level reprogramming these people aren’t going to change their ways. If you’re letting faceless cowards in cyberspace hurt your tender little feelings then turn off your computer and walk away.
I’m going to sit here and work on my “creative process” now.