Thursday, November 16, 2006

FAQ #12: Why Do You Feed The Trolls?

Q: Yeah, so, um, why do you?

A: If no one did, then they would starve. They're obviously lacking in the attention that most balanced people normally receive from other sources, like their parents or a significant other. People who make inflammatory, anonymous comments to other people's well-reasoned blog or forum posts apparently need much more attention than most normal, properly-adjusted people do. If they were reasonably sure of themselves enough that they didn't need the attention they're lacking from the absence of a full, satisfying social life, then they wouldn't go seeking it out from strangers over the Internet. I give them the attention that they so badly crave.

Q: How noble of you.

A: You might ask, if these people are so emotionally damaged and insecure, why they would seek out only negative attention, but psychologically speaking, even negative attention is better than no attention at all. They understand that negative comments will generate an almost instantaneous response, but a positive comment might go entirely unverified. A negative backlash to a negative comment is just as fulfilling to these people as kindness in return for kindness, because even negative criticism is validation that they are, in fact, noticed by at least one other person.

Q: If you're so worried about their fragile, little egos, then why is it that you react so maliciously to them?

A: Once I made a statement that is becoming increasingly cemented in my mind as an absolute conviction: "You are only entitled to receive the amount of respect that you give." Vehemence, anger, hostility, and guile do not affect these people. I could say that it's because their egos are too strong, but I think it's more becasue they're too ignorant to have formed a proper ego. If a beligerent person convinces himself that his ignorance is justified, it works wonders for stubbornness that an inflated ego could only hope to achieve. I can rest assured that no matter how much sense I make, and no matter how demeaning I can be in making it, it will have absolutely no affect on the troll because no matter how wrong the troll may be, he will go through life thinking that he is the only one who is right.

Q: So then if the entire exercise is fucking pointless, then why do you feed the goddamned trolls??

A: Because it's just plain fucking fun!

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