I have ADHD, I haven’t hidden this in life. It has its struggles, but also has its benefits. I embrace all of it. I mention this because, for me, it’s specifically related to trolling people on the internet.
Having ADHD, in my case, means I have a wicked quick wit. Couple that with a decent amount of brains and sarcasm, and, well, I can do asshole pretty well. Like, scary well.
What does that have to do with trolling though? Accountability.
When I first “got online” I was somewhat anonymous. Both my blog and social media “branding” was a play on Martha Stewart, albeit, the more lazy one. At some point when your kids teacher says “Hey, thenextmartha” you know that gig is up.
A while back, I had something happen that was somewhat remarkable on the internet. I had an anonymous account coming after me a decent amount who ended up emailing me their extensive reasoning. Something they said struck me. It was that I was unaware of my “following influence.” I have to admit, I had to sit on that one a few days because as my friend Melisa W. knows, I never even installed detailed analytics on my blog. We exchanged a few emails in a non attacking manner and then went our separate ways. No, in the end we didn’t agree with each other, but we did come to the conclusion that we are actual people who live in our community.
In the last year or 2, there have been many, many anonymous online accounts created. I’m not against people who chose to present themselves online in an anonymous manner, it’s just not for me. But in a twist of fate, what has been for me is a fairly consistent direction of anger, spite, and mix ups from, seemingly, people from within my own community. My own community has trolled me more than being on the internet for the past 13 years. Worse than mommy bloggers and even GOMI, you guys.
It doesn’t bother me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t care.
Because I do.
Leaning towards the analytical side of life, I have a hard time understanding how these anonymous accounts call me irrelevant at the same time as “coming at me” online.
I don’t understand how having people who follow me causes division, but their hate spewed towards me does not.
I don’t understand how they can troll people like they do and then be ok with their life choices.
I am absolutely accountable for my online presence, and even more so after it affected someone and they called me out for that. I’m aware that I have multiple platforms people “follow” me on for various reasons; gardening, halloween, gifted education, advocacy, smart ass, sarcasm and yeah, sometimes for being an asshole. But I don’t do any of it anonymously.
The difference is, I own my asshole moments and failures.
Sometimes I’m out of line.
Sometimes I’m even wrong.
But you? The “anonymous” trolls who come after me with your hot takes and insults*? You lack integrity, and that’s something you need to own as your contribution to our community.
*thanks for the tag lines tho.