Internet trolls are everywhere. I’m pretty sure the Internet was created just to give them a haven once people stopped crossing bridges to get across small rivers by foot.
We all do become these wild, untamed monsters at some point in our Internet surfing. A rule to follow to ensure you don’t grow too much hair is to never actually become a bully. By this I mean you shouldn’t pick on someone smaller than you. Leaving a trollish comment on a big company site or a well-known writer is a little different as they’re in the position to actually handle your negative comments which is where you should hope to get to.
When I first began writing on the Internet my skin was much thinner than it is now. But hey, I’m sure I have consumed more donuts since then.
Every troll comment, whether genuine or not, did dig at my soul. Eventually I had so many people say negative things it no longer seemed to bother me. It was after publishing my first article on Yahoo Sports when someone suggested I must have penises for fingers because my writing was so poor. This was the first comment I ever received on a “high-profile” article and obviously hasn’t left my memory if only for the amusing image. Oh and many people agreed with him too.
The best advice I have for Internet trolls is to laugh about it. My take is if they disagree with you, you still win because you actually went out and wrote about it. All they did was make a quick comment without much effort. For the outright nasty people, imagine them with penises for fingers living an awful, lonely life. Anybody who is going to be rude to you on the Internet doesn’t deserve your time anyway or to see you cry from their hurtful words, even if they’re honest.
Most of the time I don’t read comments people leave me anymore. On Innings Eaters, where I don’t get too many anyway, I will since they need to be approved. I do the same here on The Cleat Report. If ever I do write somewhere with dozens of comments I’ll avoid reading them. Writing sports means you’re going to have people disagree with you often and usually they have awful things to say about your mother in the process.
Just remember, their mother gave birth to a child with penises for fingers. Don’t feel bad when they disagree with your opinion on who should bat leadoff for the New York Mets.