This scribbler came LATE to the Interweb – it having been FORCED upon him, by a spell of extreme unreliability in the domains of “snail mail” and texting. He finally succumbed around three years ago.
Self-taught – with a little help from “Windows Vista For Dummies” – he is today somewhat short of being a “wizard” – but knows all he NEEDS to know about the science (I’m writing THIS, aren’t I?)
And thankfully, his experience of flamers and trolls has been minimal – thus far. However, he feels what he HAS learned might be of use to others also new to this medium. So here we go…
Flamers are those who, hidden behind the anonymity of an electronic medium, feel free to REMOVE the filter between their brains and their mouths and say ANYTHING they like.
We have all WANTED to tell our bosses that they are towering arseholes with small dicks – but it usually came out as “Yes sir, I’ll correct that right away, sir.”
Trolls, however, are FAR are more poisonous. They hide behind the obscurity of the Interweb and pour their vileness into the World with evil glee. Their racist, sexist, hateful bile is a cancer in the new medium.
So what do you DO about these excrescences?
Well, firstly, do not BE one. Never say anything to anyone electronically – that you would not be happy to say to a REASONABLE person, FACE TO FACE.
The fact that you are NOT face to face with them is NO excuse to allow the normal decencies of interpersonal communication to be dispensed with.
And as for “sensitive” issues, remember that while you might discuss the finer points of say, genetics or religion with a friend – the person at the other end of this medium might not be as intellectually gifted as you and your friend.
Secondly, do not ENGAGE a flamer or troll. You know what they say – “An intelligent person should never argue with an idiot, since observers might not be able to tell which is which.”
And this is TRUE: an intelligent person will NEVER be able to pull an idiot UP to their level – however, it is all too easy for an idiot to drag an intelligent person DOWN to theirs.
Also, it is unnecessary: all decent services (including THIS one) have the facility to BLOCK a flamer or troll. Once you see where their words are leading, STOP READING them – or their sick mind will pollute YOURS.
And remember, while most of these morons are COWARDS who would not say boo to a goose, if said goose was stood in front of them – a small minority of them are DANGEROUS. The sort of people who should have been drowned at birth.
You do NOT want to piss one of THEM off.
So forget about trying to teach them a lesson. Most lack the grey matter to REALISE they were just outwitted by a keener mind. Pearls before swine and all that.
This medium has plenty of people who are decent, honourable and just plain NICE. Life is too SHORT to waste your time on those cretins. Instead, cultivate people who USE this tool for COMMUNICATION.
Not those who ARE tools…