The context of this isn't that important, but after experiencing a serious hangover after a dinner party, I was just screwing around on my laptop, hoping my headache would go away if I watched enough dog gifs on Buzzfeed. For no particular reason, I was looking at a blog written by one of my college classmates. She and I weren't exactly friends, but the school was small and our paths inevitably crossed from time to time. Since college she's gone on to have a pretty huge presence in the blogosphere and I've sort of followed her from time to time when I was bored at my job.
When I googled her website the other night, I found another blog listed second below her url with a mission to satirize everything she writes. I thought to myself, stupid trolls. They're just jealous of her success, right? But the more I read the critique (very hilariously written, by the way), the more I found myself agreeing with most every point. Now I can't stop reading it! I'm about a third of the way through 100 pages of this artfully crafted mockery, and I've stooped to using it as a mid-day reward when I've completed some big project. ("Come on, KT! Finish up this report and you can read 5 pages of the hilarity.")
At first I thought pretty poorly of myself to be participating in something that's just pure snark, especially towards an acquaintance whom I don't really have a personal problem with. But it's made me reflect on myself and my own online presence, which is albeit minute in comparison, and yet there is one thing all bloggers share: we choose to publish information related to who we are for public consumption. Admittedly, there is some bit of narcissism involved, right? We want people to read about our lives. It's categorically different from keeping a journal. Writing for an audience means that we open ourselves up for the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Back when more people read my blog, especially when I was posting about dates which attracts more voyeurs than talking about buying a car with your husband (and I am among the voyeurs!), I used to get the occasional snarky, even mean comment. I took it way too personally and would either delete it or try to defend myself. I couldn't believe people would hop on the internet to go shit all over someone's life choices.
And I still don't. But if I'm hoping to avoid the pervasive presence of trolls, I'd be better off just removing myself from the Internet altogether. The next time I get a comment that's "trollish" I'm going to let it ride. The last thing I want is to believe that anything I say is above reproach or criticism. At the end of the day, I need to have confidence in myself that I'm just doing the best that I can.
I will probably continue to block the crazy spam comments I get, although some of them are so horribly written they'd be funny to let fly.
So, fellow bloggers, what do you think? Do you agree with the points I've brought up? How do you feel about trolls?