Picture this: you have decided to make an appetizer to bring to a potluck dinner party your friend is hosting tonight. You choose to make a new type of snack: one that you’ve put a lot of time into choosing and you really hope people will enjoy. After tweaking your ingredient list, making the trip to the grocery store, and preparing the recipe with countless corrections along the way, you finally deem your appetizer as finished and ready for the party. You get yourself dressed and ready, and off you go.
As you walk to the door, a sudden thought crosses your mind, “will everyone else enjoy what I’ve brought? What if they don’t?” You shake the idea, knowing that it’s going to be fine and you’re probably over-thinking the situation. “Hey there! Wow, that snack smells great! Bring it over here in the kitchen,” your friends exclaim as you walk through the door into the room full of cheerful people. You think the worst is over and the party will go off without a hitch except, suddenly, you see them: the group of tiny yipping Chihuahuas barreling out from seemingly nowhere. “Crap,” you groan under your breath, “I forgot coming here meant I’d have to listen to these really annoying dogs all night.” Barking in their really high-pitched abrasive tone, they jump towards the dish in your hands. Being as small as they are, you know they won’t be able to get to your thoughtfully prepared dinner addition, but they continue to make noise and step on your toes none-the-less.
Do you see where I’m going here, trolls? Do we need further explanation? Not only does each writer carefully brainstorm, write, edit, and publish their work, but they do so with the intention of reaching an audience – a legitimate audience – not one of hateful, bitter Chihuahuas who have nothing to contribute but everything to critique.
I whole-heartedly challenge anyone who hides behind the anonymity of a computer screen and a disposable username to try being on the other side of the trolling. Write something that you feel strongly about, or support, or laugh at, or poke fun at, or hate, or hope for. Write something that means something, and then take a look behind you at the tiny trolls yipping at your heels. You might just realize how silly they look from way up here.