Sunday 5 February 2023

Nerd Church - The Best and Worst of Humanity

Warning: this post talks trolls and bigots, but mostly in the abstract sense

Title: The Best and Worst of Humanity

The internet is an interesting cesspit.

The best and the worst of humanity in one place.

(Thank God it's not still 2016 - for graphic imagery and threats, that year has thankfully yet to be beaten for me.)

And if you're a Queer Welsh woman with mental health problems and her own opinions about any number of topics, trolls will find you.

As they will for any number of other marginalised identities. 

Or anyone simply sticking up for those identities.

...Or someone just making sense about global warming or vaccinations. Conspiracy theorists are... I don't know how they keep getting internet access, but we need to figure it out. And possibly introduce them to the concept of critical thinking.

It always surprises me how much the anti-Welsh stuff stings.

Maybe it's because it's ethnic-based, maybe it's just that I haven't become as numb to it as I am to a lot of the other stuff - I honestly don't know. But it's... pretty awful, when it happens.

Luckily, we're such a small country that most people aren't in a position to actively hate us. Small mercies.

But anyway, there's a couple of things I've learnt about dealing with trolls and online people in general over the years, dearest nerdlets, and I thought I'd impart some of said wisdom. 😅

Obviously, this is all based on my experience, and entirely an 'if it works for you' scenario.

Also some of it works IRL, too. #MultiTasking.

  • Don't be a jerk - simple advice, rarely taken.

  • You don't owe anyone anything.


  • Cultural differences are 100% a thing - try not to let it get to you, especially when people in the USA assume theirs is the only country on earth.

  • Likewise, if someone from another English-speaking country is saying something you don't even slightly understand, either ask for a clarification or push 'like' and move on. Because some people seem to be living in an alternate universe - be polite but get your butt out of the situation if it's too confusing.

  • Bigots and conspiracy theorists really don't like it when you wish them well, or tell them to have a nice day - but beware, sometimes they don't like it to the extent of... writing a whole-a** blogpost about how you're working for Facebook against Trump in Kazakhstan. Or something. I still don't get that one, tbh.

  • Some trolls will impersonate other people - or make up characters that they think typify the people they're villifying. Yes, they really need better hobbies. It's a running theme with bigots.

  • Certain celebrities will form and/or join pile-ons because they are desparate, lonely, and bitter. These are the same people who will search their own names like you've accidentally summoned an evil wizard (which, feels familiar, but I can't quite place it...)

  • People you liked turning out to be a**holes still hurts - sorry. If you considered them a friend, it's even worse. If anyone finds out how to deal with that one, let me know.

  • Use block, ignore, unfollow, report, etc. as suits you - whenever it suits you. You don't owe anyone anything.

  • Sometimes your opinion really isn't required or helpful. Think before you speak, even and especially online.

  • Using prejudiced or bigotted language towards someone from a marginalised group is NOT OK. It's STILL not OK if you don't like them.

  • Never give up on compassion - even when talking to jerks.

  • You will make mistakes in how you deal with people - approach everything from a genuine place, and you won't go far wrong. Go easy on yourself when you do.

  • Log off from time to time - it's good for you, I promise.

And my favourite:

Respond to bigots with GIFs. 

Don't try to be clever. 

It's actually funnier, and way more calming imho, if the GIFs don't directly relate to the conversation. Pick something specific that you'll always choose from, like a celebrity or TV show.

I personally use Taylor Swift and Brendon Urie, because I'm Gay, and have recently moved on to incorporating Gerard Way. 

You'd be surprised how many trolls I've vanquished this way - some of them even part on a mellow and well-wishing basis. I know, it surprises me too.

The internet is an interesting cesspit. Take care out there!

Did you find any of this helpful?
Any tips of your own?
Talk to me! 😊💬

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  1. I've noticed a lot of the trolls on your Twitter, Cee! I hope you're okay! I love the Gif's you use to respond to them. As T Swift says: sometimes you just have to shake it off.

    1. I'm good, Em, thanks. A lot of them I honestly feel sorry for - like, do you honestly not get tired by this?! Plus I've found selecting the gifs is actually quite a fun process ;)

  2. "Respond to bigots with GIFs."
    😂 I wouldn't have thought that non-related gifs could work! But I suppose that, if they expect a flame war, receiving a Taylor Swift gif or whatever else may be a bit destabilising LOL.

    Hang on!

    1. Lol, it works surprisingly well - I highly recommend the method ;)


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