Detritus*

Wednesday, April 4, 2012
I've been thinking about trolls lately. Not surprising, after our weekend troll fest here at HCDSM, but there are some things I just don't get.
  • Why do these people give a good goddamn what I think? Seriously - why would anyone waste their time arguing with complete strangers? I don't have a particularly large readership. I have 97 followers on Google Connect. There are 113 people subscribed to HCDSM via Google reader. And I get about 150-200 unique visitors a day. When you eliminate the folks searching for the pr0n and the drive-by readers, I'd estimate there's about 150 people who read this space on a regular basis. So it's not like this is HuffPo or Yahoo or whatever. So what drives these people to come here? Perhaps it's simply a case of "Someone is WRONG on the Internet," but I just don't get the appeal. I don't scour the web looking for people who think women (or progressives, or Navy vets, or engineers) are full of shit and argue with them for fun. How is this an interesting or rewarding activity?
  • Do trolls really think that being rude, condescending, and pompous will make the author (or anyone) change their mind? 
  • As a corollary to the first point, what makes trolls think I give a good goddamn what they think? While I enjoy a lively exchange of ideas, and I've learned some interesting things from drive-by commenters, the fact of the matter is that trolls do not engage in a way that makes me want to learn from them. Whatever wheat they may have is lost in the chaff, and really - I couldn't care less about their opinions. What makes them believe that I do?
I'm sure there's some deep, psychological reason for this behavior (Megan?), but I'm not sure I care enough to chase it down.

___________________
*The title of this blog post is a pun that maketh me to giggle, inspired by the amazing RANDOM MICHELLE.

15 comments:

Dana Teel said...

I've always thought bloggers in general must have thicker skin than the average person. You put your ideas out there for all to read and then have the audacity to allow folk to respond. I'm glad that you exist, it gives me some interesting stuff to read. For the most part I agree with what you're saying, you haven't taken a position yet that I can't understand, accept and approve. Not that you're looking for my approval any more than anyone else’s. As long as you’re willing to share your thoughts, I’m a willing reader.

Steve Buchheit said...

Sometimes Evangelicals aren't proselytizing to convert, but to maintain their own perceived holiness.

Megan said...

I have experience with real-life trolls, meaning people I know IRL who tried to make trouble for me on the Internet and IRL.

My greatest mistake in dealing with them was in not recognising them as trolls. My normal reaction is to acknowledge concerns, find common ground and move forward. That doesn't work with trolls.

Janiece said...

Megan, that truly sucks. I'm sorry you have to live with that.

Laur said...

Hi Janiece,

I'm a fifty-seven year old lesbian in a 31 year long love and I just love to read your blog.

You have worked and earned each rank that you have achieved for good reason. I would like to say thank you to you for your service in our military and also that I hope you never give up your voice or your blog.

Marhalim said...

wowwwwwwww...............
fantastic

IllanoyGal said...

I started reading your blog because I liked your comments over at Jim Wright's Stonekettle Station and wanted to see what else you might have to say. Since the room is comfortable, the company is interesting as is the chat, and the flower pictures are lovely (especially the ones taken in Hawaii where we now live), I keep coming back.

I'm sorry that you now have to deal with trolls. They seem to be determined to intrude everywhere as if their presence will leave the readers in awe of their "brilliant" verbiage. Maybe the impulse is the same one that dogs have. If they pee on it, it marks territory and maybe that's what they're after - marking lots of territory.

Frankly, I'd rather they just go chase cars. ;-)

Warner said...

Fairly certain I followed you home from Stonekettle, and I've no idea how I got there in the first place.

Yours is one of the first places I go in the morning.

Random Michelle K said...

I love Detrius. :D

I do not love Internet trolls and their "shit-as-a decorating-scheme" ideas.

Janiece said...

Thanks to those who delurked to introduce themselves, and welcome!

I have no intention of abandoning HCDSM, as I love the community we've built and the interesting people I've met through this medium. Besides, then I wouldn't have a space to rant about PEOPLE WHO ARE WRONG ON THE INTERNET.

Megan@MondayMorningMusings said...

You rang? :)
My understanding with the troll situation (and my pitiful site is MUCH less populated by them than yours, so all of this is based on second-hand reports) is that the impetus for their behavior is mainly for shock value. Much in the way that frat boys moon people to get a rise out them.

Often, it's done for the benefit of other trolls, to score points for bravado and such. So it may indeed have nothing to do with you, but everything to do with their own narrow worldview.

Megan@MondayMorningMusings said...

Hey Janiece, you don't have an email subscription option on your site, do you? (can't find one)

Janiece said...

Megan, just the subscription key on the right. Let me see if I can add one...

Janiece said...

Megan, I added it on the sidebar.

Megan@MondayMorningMusings said...

Thanks, that really helps with my organized blog reading plan (something about feed readers I can't quite keep up with).