The internet. One of man’s greatest creations. In generations to come, mankind will look back on this in the same way we look back at the Iron Age or the Industrial Revolution.
In many ways, it is a triumph. It has given careers to those that don’t fit in and didn’t fancy a regular job (hello!); it provides an infinite amount of information in nanoseconds; news is spread globally in an instant; governments are elected and others overthrown. It is mind expanding and mind blowing.
Sadly, there is a large portion of the population who, when presented with such an awesome machine use it to spread negativity, nonsense and evil. Trolls. They are the internet equivalent of dick cheese.
I have adopted a zero tolerance approach to trolls. For all the greatness the internet can bring, their negativity lingers like a silent fart. Being in a band, I have had my fair share of trolls and it used to do my head in. I could have a hundred positive comments about me, my band, my music but it will be that one thumbs down that gets to me. It would feed on my insecurity, become all consuming and make me doubt myself.
Then, one day, when met with such a comment, I hit the delete button and then blocked the loser that posted it. OK, it may be a bit Stalin-esque – re-writing history – but, fuck it. It is my corner of the internet and people are welcome to come and play. But, if you don’t play nice, I kick you out. Simple.
Over the next few months, I deleted and blocked the people from my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube that pissed me off. Even if it was just that their general negative attitude drove me mad. I don’t need to see it, witness it, be part of it. If I wanted to drown in negative vibes, I would watch an episode of EastEnders.
I have now taken that attitude further and no longer browse my newsfeeds. The world is full of so much unhappiness, I don’t want to read about someone’s pretend drama. I don’t want to see people spreading hatred among friends.
My happiness has grown. My positivity has grown. I want to use the internet for good, not evil and, the more of us that adopt the Delete & Block attitude to trolls, the less they will bother trolling. After all, if they aren’t getting the attention they so clearly crave, they might – might – go and do something a bit more productive.
It’s crazy, when you really think about it. Of all the things a human being could do to advance or enhance their short existance, some of us choose to spend that time being obnoxious to total strangers. Don’t be one of them.