Or, Trolling is not Activism
On Facebook, it is common for those you have friended to post statuses. Most statuses are harmless little things, such as your friend’s reflections on the cuteness of their dog/cat/boyfriend or something zany that happened to them that day. However, sometimes your friends will post statuses that you do not agree with.
This is okay. You don’t have to agree with everything your friends say.
You also don’t have to argue with everything your friends say.
Now, I understand that your friend’s belief that Hitler was right may rub you the wrong way. It may rub you so wrong that you want to unleash a tidal wave of relentless fury and possibly call the other person an idiot.
Do not do that.
Why, you may ask? Because then you look like a total jackass who calls the other person an idiot in lieu of actual points. Even if you have points in your aforementioned fury tidal wave, all people are going to see is you calling the other person rude names.
Playground rules also apply to facebook. If someone is saying things you don’t like, walk away. It may not feel good and that tidal wave may crash against your stomach, but sometimes being the bigger person isn’t easy. Especially when the other person doesn’t even see you being the bigger person.
If you must comment on the status, and most of you will despite this advice, present your points like you would in a school report. Take emotion out and craft a well spelled, well researched comment to prove the other person is wrong. Use logic. This is very important.
Then, walk away. If this makes you look like a jackass, at least it makes you look like an educated jackass. Even if the other person rails against you and comments back, do not reply. Let your original, well crafted status and its valid points speak for itself.
Now, some of you reading this are thinking “But I love to debate on facebook! I can’t do it in real life!” Ask yourself, do you love debating for the sake of having intellectual sparing matches or to educate another about an issue, or do you love to debate on facebook for the sake of causing controversy?
If you answer yes to the latter, you may be a troll.
If you are a troll, sit down and have a hard look at your life and where you are headed.
For both answers, perhaps you could brainstorm arenas where you could take your debates and find worthy opponents to battle wits against.
If you take nothing out of this chapter, take this: People don’t think before they post, and if they post specifically to make people angry, then perhaps you should not be their friend on facebook. If a status prompts an emotional response, do not comment out of that emotion.
And if you are a troll, then perhaps you should find yourself a forum to debate with other such like-minded people.
Stay tuned for more borderline-condescending advice in Chapter 2: Spell check is your friend