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We're Listening As Long As You're Talking

By Lori Garcia |

Illustration credit: My artsy husband

Most bloggers have been left floundering in the wake of a troll. This breed of reader goes way beyond communicating a difference of opinion, they’re out to shred into every facet of a blogger’s motherhood reality for sport. They do it because it’s easy. It’s easy for a virtual bully to sit in the comfort of their own home and preach (IN CAPS, natch) that our parental choices are wrong, that we are undeserving, idiotic or worthy of name-calling.

I wrote this post, Dear Know-It-All People Without Kids, Shut the %$#@ Up here on Babble where I got ripped a new one. I even had a parenting website write an article in response to the post where they got me and my “special” brand of humor all wrong.

The experience just reaffirmed what I already knew. Trolls often presume to know everything from what non-organic meal we fed our kids last night to the kind of man we’ve chosen to procreate with. They make radical personal assumptions that reach far beyond a 300 word blog post on TV viewing or potty training.

As a certified blog junkie, I can honestly say the few times I’ve vehemently disagreed with a post, I’ve made every personal attempt to attack the idea rather than the writer. Then again, I’m not the type to spew venom over things like co-sleeping and natural childbirth. But even if I was, virtual bullying due to a difference of opinion is nothing short of a cheap shot begging for attention.

And so I say this to the internet troll:

Calm down. Seriously. It was a disposable diaper. Nobody died.

By nature of our subject matter it’s easy for bloggers to open up and share that which is most personal to us. As much as we love it when you agree or relate to a post, we’re equally eager to hear your difference of opinion. In fact, we welcome it. We want to keep the conversation going. We’re listening as long as you’re talking.

Love us, hate us, whatever. Just be human to us because we deserve that much.

Everyone deserves that much.

How do you respond to trolls?

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About Lori Garcia

mommyfriend

Lori Garcia

Lori Garcia is a writer and mother of two living and loving in Southern California. When she's not fussing with her bangs, you can find her shaking her groove thing on her personal blog, Mommyfriend where she almost never combines true tales of motherhood and mayhem with her degree in child development. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lori's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “We're Listening As Long As You're Talking

  1. Monica says:

    So many people have such a different definition of troll I think. For example I watched this weekend while a lot of people were making a helpful suggestion to a laboring woman to go to the hospital. Even the word hospital being uttered made people instantly scream troll. They did not say you stupid ignoramus get your butt to the hospital stat! Simply told her it was okay to go. Is that troll behavior? I certainly don’t think so. But anything that wasn’t telling her how awesome she was to these people meant troll. If you say something and continue to rationally defend your stance that doesn’t make you a troll. And so many times bloggers ban people for taking a different stance and mark people as trolls.

  2. bethanne says:

    “Love us, hate us, whatever. Just be human to us because we deserve that much.”

    This is exactly what I’ve been trying to find the words to say for over a year. Thank you.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    It is a very complicated issue. And to me, it goes both ways. For those of us who put ourselves out there, we do have to be open to different opinions. And allow people to disagree with us. Personally, I enjoy having discussions about issues, as long as everyone is respectful. Just had a great one about Barbie on my blog. Not everyone agreed w/my opinion, and that is fine. I really enjoyed reading their perspectives. It made me think.

    Even when someone is not respectful, I try to give her the benefit of the doubt. That is just my nature. Maybe she is having a bad day, or is so emotional about the issue she wasn’t able to think her words through carefully. It happens.

    When someone curses and name calls, however, that is crossing a line. When she comes back again and again to do those things, that person, in my opinion, is a troll. When she attacks every commenter who does agree with the writer (or comes to the writer’s defense), she’s gone way past that line. And when she not only leaves hate filled comments, she also writes about the person on her own blog and says nasty things on social media sites, I absolutely view her as a troll. Whether or not I am her target.

  4. Benoit says:

    Great post Nicki. I also wrote about this recently bsaucee I was having problems with a particularly persistent troll who kept making personal comments (I didn’t publish any of the comments, or respond to them). I also block persistent troublemakers from my blog, bsaucee it is my blog and I’m not interested in anything they have to say. Unfortunately I have also been called all sorts on other people’s blogs by persistent troublemakers; I’ve learned that the best way to deal with that is to ignore them completely. I’m not interested in their backstory; they are inconsequential to me and have no impact on my life.xxx

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