ricky gervais

There is a very valuable lesson for all those who use social media: Don’t Feed The Trolls.

The concept is easy to understand. There are many anonymous keyboard courage fueled people who will say terrible, awful, nasty things online that no person would ever say to another’s face. It’s tough to ignore them, but you must.

I was frustrated in a poker game once against wild, inexperienced players. Poker Pro, Brad Booth, told me “If you can’t put someone on a thought, you can’t put them on a hand.” This is that. Don’t engage people who have no predictable path of reaction other than being unpredictable.

This morning, Ricky Gervais delivered a series of Tweets that gives a deeper explanation of the idea and an understanding of why Twitter doesn’t really matter.

Four successive tweets that basically say “Don’t Feed The Trolls.”

I’ve been in many heated Twitter debates and, at the end of the day, I let it roll off. I let the anonymous face I was debating disappear. That person’s opinion doesn’t matter in my world. They’re not a friend, they’re pixels on my screen.

If someone just continues to jab, jab, jab at me in a debate, I have no problem blocking them.

My family matters. My real life friends and colleagues matter. People on Twitter who I’ve never seen, met, talked to before? Not so much.

Earlier this week I got into a heated twitter exchange with a fellow Dad blogger during the US / Canada soccer match. I was intense in the midst of the game, said some hard trash talking things, but when it was over, I had already moved on.

It was harder for my colleague to let it go, when he continued passive aggressive jabs long after it was gone.

I often block people who continuously disagree with me, or who try to get into heated Twitter debates with me. I do that so I don’t see their tweets in my stream. It’s not that I’m trying to stifle them from seeing me, I just don’t want to see their garbage.

Don’t feed/see the trolls is my motto. Ricky Gervais’ explanation of it in 4 tweets is simple genius.

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