I Don't Agree With You, Idiot: Thoughts On Internet Trolls

This morning I got an alert from Google telling me I was mentioned somewhere on the Internet. Naturally, I clicked on the link so I could read what nice or horrifying things were said.

In this case, it was an article posted by my pal Russ Fischer over at /Film discussing first reactions after the Cannes Film Festival world premiere of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may remember that when I first saw the film, I was very conflicted. I had never walked out of a film completely confused by how I thought about it. Drive drove me crazy. After six glasses of chocolate milk and a "Drive Pros and Cons" list, I realized that I did love 85 percent of the movie dearly -- I just had a few somewhat major issues with it. The good outweighed the bad and I gave the film a glowing review.

But, back to the topic: Since everyone turns into some sort of macho man in the very place I write my thoughts about movies -- also known as the Internet -- I decided to read the comments section of Fischer's article. Just to see, you know, how hated I was for providing his only negative reaction for the film.

After scrolling a down past a few I read this: "That is okay Chase is an idiot and a terrible writer."

My first reaction was, "What a dick! I'm not dumb! I write well! How dare he!?" and then remembered two things: 1.) /Film readers are notorious for being cruel in their comments and 2.) Most everyone on the Internet is a dick.

The Internet, especially comment sections, are essentially a safe haven for telling 60 people at once you can kick all of their asses -- and not really having to worry about repercussions. That is until one of the 60 people finds your house via IP address or, as in the aforementioned troll's case, leaves a comment that links to your personal Facebook.

I didn't, and still don't, mind the comment, honestly; my writing and intelligence have been called worse. It simply reminded me of how rabid and irrational Internet trolls can be. You love a movie they hate -- you're stupid. You hate a movie they love -- your review is the worst they've ever read.

It's the Internet equivalent of breaking up with your girlfriend because you weren't happy, only to have her tell the world you have a small penis.* It's sad, hilarious, and completely pointless to fight back.

Yes, arguing with Internet trolls is the steepest of uphill battles. Engaging a troll will never garner a win. It's tempting, sure, but it's a waste of energy. We bloggers and web-based writers just have to embrace the situation and never forget the mantra: You're smart, your writing is admirable at times (while struggling in others), and your penis is larger than a fucking Anaconda.

... At least, that's what I tell myself.

*That definitely never happened to me. No, not once, not ever.

Follow Chase on Twitter: @chasewhale.
Follow the Mixmaster on Twitter: @the_mixmaster.

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