Speaking + Trolls = ?

I am blessed in many ways, and it has nothing to do with religion. I am blessed because some people took a chance on me and in return I found a career I love. To top it off, it lives in a ecosystem where the community is super supportive.

Within this supportive community it is considered a good idea to share knowledge and experience. After all, this is how I learnt everything I know about web development. In turn, I have started sharing what I know. The only thing is that I am finding the more I share or speak, the more exposed I am becoming to trolls.

Let me point out; I usually know the difference between someone being rude and helpful and someone completely missing the point. Sometimes I get it wrong and I ( hold me to this) like to think that I am guts enough to hold my hand up when I am wrong.

Last night I did my “Being a Git” talk at Manchester WordPress User Group. It went well and afterwards I felt the speaking halo effect – where I wanted to speak more.

Anyone who knows me will testify I talk alot. What I mean by speaking more is talking less about random babbling of what I had for dinner and more about sharing the knowledge I have accumulated in my head.

The more I do this git talk of mine, the more I realise that I actually know things people want to know about and I am pretty decent (correct me if I am wrong again ) at explaining things so everyone can understand the technical concepts. I also realise that as blessed as I was that some super awesome people introduced me to all these concepts a few years back by sharing their knowledge, its also my duty to share that knowledge on. After all, constantly taking and never giving back is only going to dry up the knowledge pool.

What is this mention of trolls?

There are some people who love a good argument and some people that I naturally butt heads with. I haven’t had it bad yet, but I get this hesitant feeling that the more I put myself out there to share knowledge the more likely I will come across the path of a troll.

At no point ever have I ever thought i knew the answer to everything. If I did know the answer to everything well, I would be of some higher power. I retweet because I want to share ideas & opinions; but if speaking more means having to deal with trolls more regularly then where does that put me?

I do not and will not have the energy to butt heads with people more often. I’m usually tired from just general life never mind trolls.

People have said ” walk away from them”, “don’t encourage it” etc. which is very valid solutions but this is me you are talking about, a person who naturally wants to share opinions, discuss and talk.

I find myself drawn into their conversations and then realising that it is a losing battle I just think “Fuck it”.

Is being trolled because you are more exposed a good enough reason to not speak?┬áMaybe they can sense my fear of not knowing how to paraphrase my thoughts into meaningful sentences that they come after me. Maybe I am being too critical of myself and being to judgemental of them. After all, isn’t it better to accept an opinion and gain empathy towards them?

A lot of people suggest that I should submit to call for papers for various conferences and events. Although this is something I would enjoy doing as it means I am contributing to the knowledge pool in a small way, the fear of meeting a troll, the type of nightmares is actually off putting enough for me to say ” Thanks but no thanks”.

I hope this changes someday – sooner rather than later would be grand.

2 thoughts on “Speaking + Trolls = ?

  1. Yo Jenny! Good read this but you are simply playing into ‘trolls’ hands by spending your free time worrying about what they think about you.

    I read somewhere once that if said trolls knew this is how you think about them it will only feed their hunger.

    No risk = no reward

  2. Great read, Jenny.
    I certainly hope you’re able to focus on the benefits of overcoming this fear, both for you and your audiences who would benefit greatly from your share wisdom.
    In all walks of life we will meet folk who are, for whatever reason, he’ll bent on upsetting people. Rather than fear them, we must feel pity for them, as they are like this because their lives are that dull or their minds that disturbed that the only excitement they get is from the tormenting others. This is a sad state of existence, so we should feel for them. I find that since I realised this, they have lost all their power over me & my fears.

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