Possibly the greatest blessing of my childhood is that I was bullied almost non-stop for its duration.
How could that be a blessing? It prepared me for a lifelong career on the Internet, that’s how.
If you expect other people to make fun of you, regardless of what you say, you’ll do fine on the web. Because they will. No matter who you are.
How about a riddle?
Name something, anything, that someone could state about themselves on social media which no one could joke about.
Anything. Any one thing!
A wasting disease? Murdered loved ones? Disfigured offspring? Ministering to the poor? Personal sacrifice?
If you guessed any of the above, or guessed anything, please enjoy your first time “surfing” the “net”.
There is nothing you can say about yourself on-line that someone else won’t ridicule. Nothing.
There is nothing you can accomplish in your lifetime that someone else won’t make fun of on-line. Nothing.
Walk on the moon. Cure cancer. Found a company that makes you a billionaire. Build a vehicle that you can drive remotely on another planet. It doesn’t matter what you do. Someone will laugh and call you a fag.
The precedent was set in the early days of computing; one sees that another user is better at computing than they are, and so the world must know that user is a total fag. Every computer user was a hateful, resentful nerd in a stifling basement, because that’s the quality of life they were afforded. There were no easily-offended mommies and nannies, because computers were not user-friendly. You had to know what you were doing to even own one. You had to have a legitimate reason to own one. Otherwise, it was all just a huge waste of money.
Computer users and “regular people” didn’t mix. You could distinguish them on sight. If a regular family owned a computer, it was kept inside a piece of antique furniture, so it could be hidden away. Or, it was kept in a “computer room”, with the door closed. Like it was a source of shame. Not because of porn; because a neighbor might see it, and make assumptions. How much did they spend on that thing? What on Earth would anyone need that for? Is that the best they could get?
A computer is a machine, which, depending on its quality and brand, costs several hundred dollars to own and operate. Computer companies have, for decades, relied on the ignorance and stupidity of the buying public to sell the least durable, most stripped-down products. They program planned obsolescence into their wares, so you’ll have no choice but to purchase a new computer every four or five years.
So you can do what? Shame other people on social media, because they have a different opinion than you do?
That’s not what you use a computer for, is it? I hope not, that’s a real waste of resources. So… what do you use it for? Checking e-mails?
Watching other people fail, so you can feel good about accomplishing nothing?
Sooner or later, someone out there will do that to you. You’ll come close to killing yourself seeing a task through to completion, tell the world about it, beaming with pride, and someone will call you a fag.
Because it’s the Internet. The opportunity exists to call anyone, no matter how sainted or powerful, a big fag. Meaning it’ll never stop happening. Ever.
It’s not even worth the time to rebut, or track down and reprimand the fag-caller. Literally none of it matters. It’s not even worth the most infinitesimal rise in blood pressure. It’s like getting angry at wind.
If you think you bear even the slightest responsibility for those who troll, harass, or torment you, you are not cut out for the World Wide Web. It’s on them, 100%. Unless they clearly threaten to harm or kill you, any attention or energy directed at them is wasted. Like their own lives. You could have been picking your nose when they trolled you, and you’d still have contributed more to human life on this Earth than they do in a year. People lash out at one another for no reason on the web when they have empty, pointless lives. That’s it. And there are businesses out there that are so incompetent when it comes to their customer base, they look at these assholes like a free focus group.
“The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Do you like being greasy? I don’t. It makes me feel like a bad Italian stereotype. You know what works better than the squeaky wheel? The fucking other wheels, that don’t squeak, and do what they were manufactured to do. They don’t need grease. Grease is for fried bologna and anal rapists.
Let’s say someone “got to you” on social media. What are they really going to do? Write more insulting stabs-in-the-dark about you, until their own friends (should they actually exist) leave in embarrassment? Probably. This isn’t Talk Radio. Rockets Redglare isn’t going to surprise you with a bullet in the parking lot. The more someone jabs at you via text on a screen, the less likely they are to approach you in reality. If lightning strikes, and someone does shoot you, that’s their fault. Murder is illegal. Conspiracy to commit murder is illegal. Acting like a little pussy quisling on social media is not.
One last riddle. Name a publicly-known person who has never been made fun of on-line.
If, somehow, you manage to come up with one, I guarantee it’s a person who isn’t on the Internet in the first place.
Everyone else gets it. Everyone.
That’s why literally none of it matters, and literally none of it ever will.