[This is a satirical piece and based on my experience and observation in dealing with nasty, hate-filled people online.]
How to be a great online neighbor in 11 easy steps:
1) Make sure you comment on every single post, article, or thread that you disagree with and comment with as much vim and vigor as you’d need if your very life depended on the defense of your position. There’s no such thing as scrolling past an article, post or comment that you disagree with! Go into every conversation with the intention of stirring things up. How else will you stay entertained?
2) Never allow anyone to have a different opinion than you do. You are 100% right all the time, and no one is allowed to have an alternate opinion –not even on their own group, wall, blog, webpage, or social media page. Make sure they know you are the final authority on every topic –especially topics you know nothing about. This is vital. The true test is how you respond when someone has a different opinion, so respond a lot and with extreme force!
3) Refuse to acknowledge anyones personal experience or let them tell their story in their own space. Your experience is the only valid experience. If they have a different experience then obviously they’re lying. Make sure you call them out on it. No one’s experience is valid except yours, and everyone needs to know they’re wrong about what they think happened. You are the final authority on what’s truth no matter where it’s posted. If is this not true for you, there’s no way it could possibly true for anyone else! Never choose to post your alternate opinion in your online space: they need to know how wrong they are! You need to confront them in their space so they know just how wrong they are.
4) Send nasty and threatening private messages on social media if anyone dares have an alternate opinion on their own page, wall, or blog. This is especially important if they have removed you from a group or blocked you, because they have obviously directed your attention to this avenue of communication by blocking the other methods you were previously using. They obviously want you to message them or they would have allowed you to continue to comment on the original post. Make sure you get angry and call names if they don’t answer your private message within two minutes, because they don’t have a real life or anything better to do than to pay 100% attention to you.
5) Get angry when your unkind and confrontational comments are deleted or not approved on an post or article. You have a right to spew hateful free speech anywhere you want to spew it, and no one should be able to stop you from regurgitation your hate in their space. That’s so unreasonable! That’s unconstitutional –don’t they know that? It’s unconstitutional to even give the owner of the page the ability to remove comments! Make sure you threaten to get a lawyer involved and sue them. Never acknowledge any rights other than your own. Then, refer to number 4. Don’t use number 4 sparingly. It’s so very useful!
6) Make sure you stoop low when your ideas aren’t affirmed in someone else’s space. Tell them they’re unfit to write or lead –whatever is needed to undermine their position of authority and confidence. Use mocking, passive aggressive behavior, sarcasm, and projection –like accuse them of being close minded for not allowing you to be nasty in their online spaces when you know it’s actually you who can’t handle alternate ideas, or accuse them of being arrogant when it’s actually you who are a hothead and think you know everything. Call them irrational if they find your behavior offensive, but make sure you get offended at everything even if it was intended as a compliment. This is how you control the conversation and get all the attention. It helps to tap into the darker side of yourself. You have been gifted with the ability to make other people feel crazy when you’re the one behaving in an extremely inappropriate way, so use that gift! Check out the character traits of narcissism and machiavellianism for additional ideas.
7) If you really need to get their attention, call them names. Sanctimonious is one of my favorites. Calling someone a Democrat or Republican (whichever would be more inciteful) seems to have a huge impact. When in doubt, accuse someone of being racist –especially if the topic has nothing to do with race. Nazi is a useful accusation too and is especially useful when it’s completely out of context. Any four letter words you can fit in should be helpful, too. Whatever you need to do to get a reaction. Ignore suggestions that you’re seeking attention and by all means don’t go buy a puppy because that might make you less angry and attention-seeking. This will not work if you find a way to be happy by any method other than making other people’s lives miserable for your own enjoyment.
8) Attack their character and prey on the weak. This is really important if the author seems like a nice, sweet person. If the other person is just as obnoxious, self-assured, and mentally unstable as you are, they won’t care about your attack on their character. So keep your eyes out for people who seem like they might care –kind, compassionate, honest, decent people– you know, weak people– and attack those ones. Your actions will go a lot farther with these people who are easily preyed upon than with those who have the same lack of boundaries that you have.
9) Refuse to acknowledge any boundaries. Anything goes. Stalk them, verbally abused them, spam them with messages, emails, and comments for hours or even days on end. Look them up online, find their phone number, and call them personally to tell them off. (This is especially useful if they have a landline.) Try to manipulate them by saying that if they don’t agree with you or answer your questions to your satisfaction then you’re going to unfriend them, unfollow them, leave their group, or block them –as if somehow they’re actually going to want you around after how you’re behaving. Figure out who their friends are and send their friends nasty messages about them. Try to get mutual friends to unfriend them by gossiping and slandering. Accost them on mutual friend’s Facebook walls to attack them for something they said months ago on a different social media site or personal blog. Give them bad reviews on web pages because they refuse to listen to your hatred. Join new social media sites just so you can find them and spam them with your hatred in new places. There really is no limit to how far you can take this if you’re willing to ignore all propriety, decency, and social expectations. When all else fails, threaten bodily harm. This always gets their attention. They need to know how wrong they are! You’re the only one who can tell them. Consider it your personal mission to make their lives miserable, and don’t give up until they capitulate and admit how very wrong they were for daring to think anything different than you do.
10) Act like there’s no person on the other side of the screen. In your mind, refuse to see a person’s face. Never consider that this person may have a real life with real feelings. They don’t have a family or problems. They couldn’t be sick, or grieving, or hurting. Shut off all avenues of compassion. You can’t do this if you allow any empathy in your being. Only wimps think of other people: don’t be a wimp! Look up sociopathic behavior for more ideas. Stay strong!
11) Refuse to acknowledge that there could be something wrong with you. Ignore research that suggests that this is antisocial behavior and reflects mental instability and possibly even one of the Dark Triad personality disorders. Assume that your behavior is completely reasonable even if there are signs and indications everywhere that something’s not quite right with you. Vehemently attack anyone who voices concern about you –especially if they’re concerned about your mental health and psychological stability.
There you have it: How to be a great online neighbor!
Or, as I like to call it: “How to be a Horrible Person Online.”
I have written previously about how we behave online and how important it is that we regulate ourselves online even if there are no social expectations. I’m not the only one who has posted about this topic of online haters. I found this video very insightful and amusing.
I thank God for these difficult people He brings into my life. They’re teaching me patience and grace. But for God grace that could be me. All I good that is in me is Christ.