I commented on one of Donald Trump’s posts yesterday. That’s not unusual. I comment on his Twitter feed all the time. What was unusual was that I posted the comment on his Facebook feed. I try to avoid making public comments on Facebook, because it brings the trolls out. Oops.
Trolls suck. One common troll tactic is to skip the debate and simply tell you that you’re stupid. I try not to take it personally, and sometimes it’s even sort of amusing. I wrote a Facebook post about the impressive collection of insults I’d received, including “fool,” “imbecile,” “moron,” and my personal favorite, “pee brain.” Some of my friends got a big kick out of “pee brain.” A little laughter brightens the day, so that was all good.
But, there were a lot replies (200+), and I read far too many of them. At some point, they started to get to me. I lost my temper. I responded angrily, first to some of their comments, then later to some comments on a friend’s post. Oops.
Not to say that those people didn’t have it coming. They did. That doesn’t excuse my behavior, especially given that it was bad for me. Being riled up like that doesn’t feel good. Worse yet, it’s almost addictive, that little ding my computer gives me whenever someone responds, and it makes me want to comment more and more so that there will be more dings. (Maybe the trolls ought to have called me a “dingbat?”) Anyway, it’s not healthy behavior, and I have other, better things to do.
It was also a futile exercise. There was nothing I could have said to change their minds. In fact, recent scientific study suggests that arguing with people is more likely to cement their opinions than to change them. Trying to make unreasonable people see reason, especially when it comes to gun control, is like shooting yourself in the foot—it only hurts you, and you’re the one limping afterward.
Plus, what if some of them were bots? Responding to bots is stupid. Only a “pee brain” does that.
So I’m writing this post as a reminder not to do this again.
- Don’t post public comments on Facebook!
- Control your temper!
- Put your words to better use!