When I joined Twitter, I did not know who was who or what was what when it came to writers and columnists. I did not just immediately know who had reliable opinions and information or who the “troll” types of writers were. It took me a long time to discern who the good writers and troll-ish writers were out there and I’m still doing so with regard to various topics and issues. Many of us who have been around for a little while travel in small circles on social media and through experience have come to have a pretty good handle on who the writers are who will likely make us angry with their opinions.
Sometimes, when the issue is something close to our hearts, it is difficult to just ignore or hold back on voicing our frustrations with these troll-ish writers, their articles or their opinions. When this happens, occasionally, others in our circles get annoyed with what seems to be another round of outrage. I know it may be frustrating for those who have heard it before, but please consider a few things when you feel fed up with another episode of “Twitter gets angry” and want people to just ignore the troll-ish writers.
First, you can always just mute the person who is angry or the key words involved in the issue so you do not have to see it again. Second, think of an issue that is very personal to you. Think also of someone you often disagree with whether that is a politician, writer, or some other person with a voice that carries far and wide. Now imagine that this person you so often find yourself in disagreement with and frankly, probably have a pretty poor opinion of, has decided to unleash a particularly bothersome writing in regard to the issue important to you. Now try to imagine staying completely silent about it. That is a pretty tough task.
Every day new people join social media. Every day someone happens to see the reaction of someone they like and/or respect to these troll-ish writers. After seeing an opinion they may not have heard or thought about before, they may be moved to rethink the positions these writers take and their own positions on the issues addressed. Every day is a new opportunity for someone new to understand that thinking critically or outside of the accepted norms with which they are familiar on certain issues can be a healthy exercise.
Sure, it may seem boring or annoying to you that people you know are talking about issues you’ve seen them discuss before, but that does not mean those people should stop. The issues and the troll-ish writers are still present, but so are the people who have never heard these arguments before.
*reposted to correct a bug in the sharing button **originally posted on July 12, 2014