I farted around on the Twitters too much yesterday, a state of goofing off that was a result of my feeling giddy as the semester winds down, and my feeling arrogantly that I had something to add.
The universe does not reward arrogance — at least, it doesn’t in my neighborhood. I tweeted a link to the post about terrorism having no religion, which yielded me this:
Terrorism has no religion” Yes it DOES. It’s called ‘Islam’. You blind stupid pig-headed liberal scum.
Because that retort was out of the blue from someone I’ve not met yet, I wasn’t hurt or even all that angry, save for the part about Islam. I figure if someone starts with name-calling, they are not a worthy opponent. I retorted something arch and snotty which I typed with one hand because I was holding my lunch sandwich in the other, and then I blocked him forever and ever. Easy-peasy. I never broke a sweat.
But you know what? For a brief moment, I was back in the newsroom where over the years I attracted my share of feeder fish who refused to recognize my genius no matter how hard I tried. A few of those trolls followed me over here. Dealing with the lil’ band of trolls drove me to distraction. It was like swatting flies from in front of your face. Flies don’t have the good sense to leave where they’re not wanted, and neither do trolls.
The difference today is that I no longer get emotionally engaged. That was my downfall with the earlier trolls. I actually, on some level, cared about what they said. I’d try to reason with them. I’d try to humor them. I stayed in conversations with them far too long because on some sad level, I thought we could come to some agreement and be friends.
Well, shit on that noise.
I’m older now. Life’s too short. I haven’t lost my compassion. I haven’t lost my empathy, but I have precisely zero fucks to give if someone is willfully stupid. I shake the dust from my feet (that’s in the Bible!) and I move on. And I’m grateful I’ve learned that lesson.