The Special, The Mean, The Rotten
Let’s face it. The internet isn’t a friendly place. Yes, you can find groups where you are comfortable and most people act with a sense of decency, but once you’re out in that big, bad electronic universe, all bets are off. As authors, we are particularly vulnerable to attack from trolls who haven’t achieved success in their lives and are looking for someone to demean.
Let’s look at some of the personalities you’ll run into during your daily forays into social media. Bear in mind, if you think I’ve pointed you out personally, please check the mirror before leveling an accusation. The personalities I’ll be discussing are nothing more than a mix of those I’ve had the less than enthusiastic opportunity to run into during my time on social media…
This individual believes their wants and desires eclipse everyone else’s. They’ll offer unwarranted and often wrong advice, say your grammar is wrong when it’s not, and generally stick around until you respond to them. Here’s the clue about dealing with a special person—ignore them completely. Don’t fall for any of their postings, no matter how nice they are or how many times they apologize. It’s a trap meant to pull you into an online argument you have no chance of winning. All that will happen is that Mr. or Ms. Special will eventually vanish from your life, filled with joy that they accomplished their mission of making the author look like a fool. They’ll gloat and tag you for months and months on end, testing your ability to ignore their “specialness.” If you respond, they will never give up making your life miserable.
The mean individual has a hateful attitude. They hate success. They hate the world. They especially hate anyone who is happy. A hateful troll will search for people they can attack at will. They will drop one or two word comments, meant to elicit a response along of the lines of “What do you mean?” Then they will drop a diatribe on you and continue to do so without a response, so their words are out there for the world to see at your expense. How does one get rid of the mean troll? You have to wait out the individual. Oh, you can report their meanness and block them from your page, but they’ll return under another name and continue their attacks. They have a victim now and won’t give up until you cry enough and vanish. Since, as authors, we can’t afford to do that, we must avoid any encounters with the mean troll.
The rotten individual thinks everyone is out to get them. They’ll whine and cry to their friends that this person or that, usually someone with a strong social media presence, has insulted them for whatever reason. Their only reason for posting is to get sympathy and they’ll do that with whatever means they have at hand. A rotten troll has been known to discover information about their victim, to create havoc in their lives along the lines of “I know where you live” or “You’ll get yours someday.” Ignore those threats. They’re meant to entice you into buying into their attitude and attempting to placate them. This will only bring a new round of rottenness into your life and you’ll come off looking bad.
Internet trolls are a fact of life. There is nothing we can do to stop them, no matter how much we try. If they’re shut down by complaints, they come back under another identity and with a vengeance to take on the person who had the audacity to see them for who they are. Your best bet in all cases is to ignore their initial posting and go on about your business. Once they see they don’t have a willing victim, they will move on to someone else.
About the K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.
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