I am about to tell you how to get me to get irrationally emotional. In internet terms it is referred to as getting “trolled”. Trolling is intentionally saying something on the internet in order to provoke an emotional response from someone else.
I’m learning to recognize a troll when I see one, and in many areas I have learned to stay quiet. But these are the quickest way to troll me. Perhaps I am admitting to them for accountability in avoiding trolls. My wife has been helpful in this regard, but sometimes, I still allow myself to be trolled.
Strangely, the area of my life you can troll me most is with sports. I’m not sure if I allow myself to become irrationally emotional with sports because it really doesn’t matter to me, or if it is because I care too much about sports. But here we go:
If you want to get an emotional response from me, propose changes to one of my fantasy football leagues. Thankfully this happens only in the context of the 12 owners in this league, but I have more than once been riled by a friend of mine proposing changes to our league. This is actually the muse for this post, as it recently happened, and as I reflected on why my blood was boiling I realized that I had allowed myself to be trolled whether it was intentional or not.
It is funny, when I get trolled I actually sit in my spot and fume, dwelling on why I am right and the other is not. And the truth is, it is where I feel myself not liking my response and who I am. It is when I feel least Christ like because I am more concerned with being right than I am with the person I am fuming at.
If you want to pick a fight with me, tell me about how much more superior SEC football is to any other conference. I grew up rooting for Pac-12 (10) teams and over the years have known a few guys playing for different universities on the west coast. Needless to say, my favorite team is in that conference. But talk about SEC superiority and I jump into the fight, giving all this evidence I have in my head about why it ain’t so.
So what if I am right? What does it prove? Other than a rooting interest, I really have no skin in the game. I graduated from a small university in California far removed from the Pac whatever and the Southeastern Conference. So why am I so emotionally invested in which conference is better. But I sit in front of my computer and fume anyway, proving my case. And most people could care less about foosball.
But the number one way to troll me? Call USC and Pete Carroll cheaters. So you’ve figured out my rooting interest. The quickest way to get me into an internet fight is to call my team and coach a cheat. You see what I just did there? “My team”. You know, that university I did not attend and football team I never played for in a city I never lived in. Yep, that one. Call them cheaters and I stand up to defend them. I get all emotionally charged and my leg starts bouncing.
Because people I do not know are having their ethics questioned.
I am learning to say no to trolls. But occasionally, especially when my guard is down and I am tired, the trolls drop by and ignite the fire in me and burn me up.
And I am left alone fighting a fight no one really cares about.
What do trolls use to get you emotionally riled up?