Image from “Marketing Abstraction”
Pistols + Popcorn isn’t really a very controversial forum. I write about my son, I write about my relationships, I write about things I do in New York City, I write about confusion in parenting, I write about solutions I’ve found in parenting. Once in a while, I approach topics that can be discussed in more than one way with intelligence and civility. I have no problem engaging with my readers if they disagree with me – and usually have to thank them for their part in helping me clarify and re-think the points I am trying to make. I am not the most intelligent nor the most articulate writer on the planet, in Brooklyn, or even on my block. Still, I keep on writing because it helps me remember these beautiful days I’m living, and it helps me connect with people I would probably never ever meet.
And then sometimes, a person stops by, takes the time to read, and then takes a whole bunch of time to let me know what a moron I am. When this happens, I’m always a little confused about what to do. Obviously, my knee-jerk reaction is to take whatever they’re insulting me with and dismantle it, tell them why they’re wrong. But that’s attention, isn’t it? And that’s probably what they’re looking for. So, my next choice – do I leave their trollish comment, for others to read and react to, or do I delete it? Tempting to leave it, because honestly – I don’t want to be accused of only permitting comments that praise me. But I also don’t want to turn this place into a back-and-forth of escalating remarks. And it’s tempting to delete it, because honestly – this is my spot and I’m the boss applesauce, and if you’re going to be obnoxious, it won’t be on my watch, in my house.
So what’s the right answer?
I read an article at computerworld here, called “Five ways to defeat blog trolls and cyberstalkers”. Trolls are defined as “a person who posts with the intent to insult and provoke others”. It goes on to describe trolls as being “characterized by having an excess of free time and are probably lonely and seeking attention”. So that tells me that the blog-world acronym of DFTT (Don’t Feed The Trolls) is probably on point – by not reacting, you are starving them for the attention they’re seeking, and they’ll probably, hopefully, maybe move on.
What do you think? How do you handle the Haters and the Trolls? Ignore them? Eviscerate them? Go into the “Edit Comments” option of your Admin page and fill their comment with spelling and grammar errors to make them look ridiculous? (Actually that was an idea my brother Fatty threw out one day. I love it. Passive-agressive in the most delicious way.) Let me know your approach in the comments below. Just make sure to agree with me, or I’ll delete it. Ha. Kidding. Or am I?…..