My newfound hobby of engaging on facebook, much more than I used to, and probably much more than I 'should.' (but hey, desperate times...) has reached a new level today.
While I was peacefully (yes, peacefully and even kindly!) commenting on a video post of a friend, one that proposed some of the same conspiracies in regards to the Corona Virus Pandemic that have been circling for a while, I have encountered a top level TROLL.
And by 'top level' I mean he has brought up outlandish claims about the 'Deep State', that I am a 'sheep', a 'Hollywood elitist' and so on.... he even mentioned I should say 'hey' to my 'fellow pedophiles' (Yup. For real. Where's the disgusted Emoji when ya need it!?)
Obviously, I saw that as outrageous and disgusting, and it was probably meant to rile me up and get me to engage... so now, as I process the avalanche of name-calling from this conspiracy minded person I have never actually met, DO I engage?
Or do I leave the troll alone and go along with my day and do something more beneficial with my time? (Like, writing this daily blog, for instance.)
Do I, as my friend put it, 'troll the troll' so he can get 'owned' and I can have a little mark of victory and keep my chin up for a minute, or do I let his last hateful comment stay up on the wild web, vacant of a response, for everyone to see and make their own conclusions?
How bad do I really want to cave into the temptation of my ego, the one that makes me want to WIN this debate and be RIGHT, even though I know full well there is no potential for real winning when the person is completely convinced at his outlandish claims?
I think of slogans like 'haters gonna hate' and 'don't feed the trolls' and 'when they go low, we go high' and I wonder: If we resign, and not look at the other as one with a potential to change, are we unknowingly contributing to the problem of ignorance and division?
Or, if there is a tiny possibility that engagement can lead to some change (for both participants), shouldn't we give the maximum of our ability to debate, to inspire thought, to turn the hater into a lover?
Or perhaps we may want to put our time on affecting change in different ways - ways that are within our boundaries of safety than engaging in a public debate with, for lack of better words, A TROLL?
I was contemplating all that, and decided NOT to engage with that toxic troll today.
Not engaging IS a form of engagement.
Saying 'Nah, I'm not gonna do that' has a message of its own.
And it's loud . And it's clear.
Hope he gets the message. And if not... he'll probably go find another 'sheep 'to feed him.
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman