How to Defeat the Trolls

When I was about 10 years old, I was obsessed with Barbie. I would lay in bed at night, thinking about what I would play tomorrow, after school.
I always played alone.  I hated playing Barbies with anyone else, because my Barbies were on epic adventures on the high seas, in medieval Europe, or on the American frontier.   My Barbies didn’t care about silly parties or have any interest in going shopping. It annoyed me to no end when someone gave Barbie a silly high voice or tried to play something I deemed “floofy.”
After school, I would race home, usually watch a movie with my mom before she had to go to work, then I would go to my room, and plop down in the pile of Barbie dolls, accessories, gowns and other things that were part of my adventure repertoire, and commence playing out my fantasies with my dolls.
This was when the bane of my existence, my little brothers, would amuse themselves by standing outside my bedroom door forcing themselves to belch.  If it wasn’t belching, it was calling me “Jenta.”
I would try to ignore them for a while, but before long, I would start screaming at them to go away.  The angrier I got, the louder they would get, but their taunts would be interrupted by fits of gleeful cackling.
My mom kept telling me to ignore them when they’d get that way, but how do you ignore someone who is standing outside your door?
I remembered all of theses  things, last night.  It was the wee (tee hee) hours of the morning,  when my arch nemesis, my bladder woke me. Drew was still awake, so there was no going to sleep, right away. I tried, but it just wasn’t happening, so I did a dumb thing. I opened Facebook. I like to look at my memories after midnight, but this time, I was immediately drawn in by a post from a former contestant on AGT who I really liked.   He is a young black man and he had posted a story about the Tulsa Race Massacre. I’d read about this story a few years ago, and if you haven’t heard of it, I recommend that you research it.
What actually caught my attention was that the first comment was “White Lives Matter.”  I wondered why someone who thought enough of this artist to follow him on Facebook would write such a thing.  Then I looked at the other comments.  There were over a hundred comments on his post, but really only about four or five thoughts (if you can call them that) were being expressed:   “Black Lives Matter.”  “All Lives Matter.”  The standard, “You wouldn’t say “‘All rain forests/cancers matter to someone who wants to ‘save the rain forest’/’promote cancer research'” as an attempt to make people see how inappropriate their comments were.

I realized that these people were not here to say that they really believe that all lives matter.  They were essentially burping outside the bedroom door.  They were there to get their giggles from provoking reactions from people who are genuinely hurting.  Imagine how quickly the foolishness would have stopped if everyone had just clicked “block” on those trolls.  I mean none of them are going to change their minds through any kind of hostile response.  That’s what they’re seeking, so, in terms I learned in my child psychology courses in college, those who react with such hostility are positively rewarding bad behavior.  If what they want is attention, don’t give them attention.   If they don’t get what they want, they’ll go somewhere else to find it.  If we all start blocking our trolls, maybe they’ll shrivel up and cease to exist.

One can hope.

I’d like to close, here, but I know that inevitably someone will say, “But all lives do matter!”  Of course they do.  Literally no one has said anything differently.  But you don’t really believe that those who say Black Lives Matter are saying that only black lives matter.  You probably would never have thought such a thing had you not heard or seen some like-minded person say it before you.

So often we see people asking for donations for certain causes on Facebook for their birthdays.   For me, it was stroke research.  Does that mean that I think no other illnesses matter?  Of course not, and no rational person would think that.

So the anger you see when you post “all lives matter” in response to “BLM,” is not because we don’t believe that all lives matter.  It’s because we KNOW that you don’t believe we believe that.  You’re just burping outside our door.

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June 15, 2020

Never feed the trolls. Your attention feeds those shriveled up egos. Ignore. Block. Say nothing.

June 15, 2020

I agree completely!

June 15, 2020

For some reason I have never posted anything like that anywhere on social media….And does it really matter what I think anyways?  I bet not many people would even care.

June 24, 2020

Great enrry!