Bridges and those who dwell under them.
Bridges are strange little things, when you stop and take a moment to consider them. Bridges force you to take a narrow path, over some (usually man-made) inconvienence to get to that special place you need to go. The route is direct, quick and utterly devoid of character outside of their concrete and steel design. All this to keep you from what’s under that bridge.
Bridges provide “safe” passage over deep and smelly things. They give us “relief” from coming in contact with all the alligators in the swamps, and worse. In the heady days of pre-technology, we were able to get to our Happy Place without the threat of being eaten alive, soiling our hands with the unwashed masses, or encountering the trolls under the bridge. But when Al Gore invented the Internet, he brought the trolls to us.
The World Wide Web of Wackos is a cesspool brimming with fetid political rants, religious propaganda of various stripe, and kitty porn. Granted, there are islands of hidden treasure out there, but most of us are floating along on our rafts trying to cross the vast wasteland without catching anything (viruses, spam, spyware, or Real Housewives of Little Rock commercials). If only, we had a way to cross. Like a — bridge.
The trolls who used to hide under the bridges are floating around with us in their leaky row boats, splashing about with stubby little oars. And, yes, the toxic spew gets on you and it burns. It burns because you didn’t ask for their mean-spirited interruption, their approval, or their permission to express your own opinion on something. When you dare to mention one of the troll triggers, brace for an earful. The cesspool become a splash zone.
Troll triggers trip when issues of race, religion, abortion, policing, abuse, crime, death penalty, liberalism, conservatism, the confederate flag, immigration, welfare reform, feminism, mansplaining, occupy rallies, personal freedoms, same sex marriage, the vatican, drug abuse, dog breeding, gun control, postage rates, polygamy, E.L. James, Honey-Boo-Boo reruns, or parallel parking rules are posted online. Whichever way you lean on these issues I can guarandamntee there will be a troll who takes the opposition view, in fact it’s a mirror opposite view.
You notice in a mirror, how everything’s, the same, only backwards? The letters are all reversed, the guy in the mirror waves his right hand when you move your left. A mirror opposite. Could it actually be that the trolls are our own mirror opposites? If I’m extreme in my opinion about something, let’s say opposition to door-to-door sales, there will be those who are just as extreme in the rights of small children to slave for a large corporation, slinging thin mints.
So, am I responsible for these trolls? Maybe. If I’m floating along in my little rowboat looking for something to rant about, something that I know will provoke a reaction from the opposite crowd out there, then who is the troll? Everyone has a right to speak their peace, support their cause and beliefs. Others feel obligated to tell you how wrong and defective you are in that belief. Who’s the troll?
Take a look at your social media feeds. If everything you post is charged with negative click bait, you might be a troll. If you post, like, pin, or retweet just to hear your own complaints about somebody else, you could be a troll. Do you have to respond to everything that crosses your hot zone? Get that mirror out and look for the troll. Who lives under your bridge?
The waters get a bit choppy sometimes out here in the cesspool, so mind the current and watch where you splash. And Be kind to one another…
And don’t be this guy: