Monday, January 12, 2009

I made the mistake of reading some blogs this past week I shouldn't have read and I'm afraid that put me off writing for a while. Sort of like getting the taste of sour milk in your mouth and then not being able to eat anything 'cause it all tastes bad. I won't link to the blogs I read as I don't want to perpetuate the flaming and overall bad manners on display.

But it did get me to thinking about professional behavior, blogging and trolls. Trolls by their very nature are "gotcha" kind of people. For whatever reasons, they get their jollies from poking and prodding and finding one's sensitivities, then blowing them wide open. While I don't understand their motives, their actions are clear, as are their results. Far too often they succeed in making someone show their vulnerable side so they can then rip it apart. Paparazzi and blog trolls are cut from the same cloth.

Professionals, of course, rise above the fray and don't get involved. Ha! Easy to type, not so easy to do. I pride myself on my professionalism in my day job and like to think I bring a lot of that to my writing career as well. Was I sore tempted to jump in and make a soothing comment or two this past week? Of course I was. But I didn't. My cooler, professional side prevailed and I closed the window I'd opened before I could post a reply.

There's no point, you see. The trolls will circle and taunt and wait for one to break from the herd, then pounce. So any sane and sensible words I might have offered would only have succeeded in giving them more opportunity to try and lure someone out. Maybe even me.

Do I sound snobbish with this post? I suppose so. Because while I firmly believe in everyone's right to their own opinion, I also believe that where their civility ends, my rights begin. No one should have to put up with rudeness, no matter how much I might disagree with their comments. So I will be polite to the trolls, not because I think I'll change their behavior, but because I will not sink to their level of vicious behavior.

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