I started off with a different start to this blog. My intention was to have a foray into the world of Internet trolling and then damn it completely. I was gonna call those that do it sad, lonely and a bit pathetic. This I shall not do. I realised that it does have a useful place in the world. It’s a bit like those who write books and those who review them. If you have a good book then you get praise and you feel good about it, similar to those in the Internet world who put up websites and opinions that have a place in the world and are a force for good. If you write a stinker of a book, fill it with unchecked nonsense or insight any kind of hatred, violence, sexism or racism than you have every right to have it critiqued and challenged, just like idiots on the net. I believe that trolling can be a used as a mirror for those who don’t really know what they’re on about and as a gentle reminder that it’s ok to challenge opinions.
Anyway, here’s how it all started…
I have recently been watching the new Aaron Sorkin show The Newsroom. On it was a young and ambitious reporter who wanted to write a story on trolling. This really interested me as I had heard the term before but didn’t really know what it was. The idea behind it is to find a chat room, chat board or open forum on the Internet and play devils advocate until someone bites. Hopefully, if one person bites then more will follow. The ideal way is to write one or two comments and then let it run. The longer it runs, plus the more people get involved equals the indicator of success. This was my challenge. I decided that I would steer clear of anything overly political and stay instead in the areas I know.
First attempt. I suck at this. I’ve tried to elicit a response from a football forum of a team I don’t like. I was quite inflammatory but was very much ignored. My suspicion is that the fans of this club get it all the time and know what I am up to. Maybe I need a slightly more subtle approach.
Second attempt. Ditched the subtle approach idea in favour of aiming at a different group. On the advice of some of the kids at school I’m gonna troll 1 direction fans. Mean? Yes. Childish? You bet. Wanna see how it went? Course you do. I picked the best few but I had about 30 replies. My screen name was Jim Bond.
Jimbond- 14 hours ago – how come all one direction fans are either ugly, stupid or both?
1direction fan • 14 hours ago −
I absolutley love one direction. The first time i heard their song “what makes you beautiful” i cried because i want people( guys) to like me for my my personality not for looks and their song showed me that not all guys care about looks. I’m not ugly though.
Directioner•14 hours ago – my friends all love 1D and we are all HOT.
1Dsoinlove•14 hours ago – what u talking about. You dont know wot we r and you dont understand what 1D are and stand for. They are all about fun and music and having fun. I love Harry and he doesn’t care bout looks.
Although this was a success I felt very mean. I don’t think I’m cut out for this kinda stuff. Picking on poor girls with bad music taste, shame on me. I did notice that none of the comments took offense to being called stupid though.
Attempt 3. Couldn’t bring myself to do any today. Feel kinda guilty that some 1D fan might lose sleep over something I have written. It’s like one of those arguments when you go to bed and think back on what you should have said. Maybe a rethink.
Attempt 4. I’ve decided to play it from the other side. To look for people who have already expressed an opinion and be the devils advocate. Where better to look that Facebook! I had a few goes at commenting on people’s status and then managed to get myself in an argument. This is much more fun and a completely harmless way to waste a bit of time. Have a peak.
So I’ve decided that trolling is not for me. There are a couple of reasons for this.
1) My job (the planning, marking and management stuff), my son, my very pregnant wife and my blog leave me with precious little time.
2) Some people create and others critique. I find myself firmly in the first camp.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend. I’m off to drop my son at my parents then take the wife out for dinner. If I can get all my work done that is!
Couldn’t resist the last picture! Maybe it will open a debate.
I used to love Christmas TV. It used to be so amazing. The anticipation of getting the Christmas edition of the TV guide, planning what channel to watch, I think one year I even drew up my own little time table. Christmas TV meant new films (maybe 3 years old), it meant star wars, Indiana jones, James Bond and so much more.
Was it that good? Or has my memory gone all rose tinted? I think it was that good. My most vivid memory was new years eve and all the kids coming over to ours to watch our massive 20″ TV. We were treated to ewoks, Jedi and a death star. It was awesome. Being born in 1979 I can only assume it must have been the first time that it, return of the Jedi, had been shown on tv, I must have been about nine, and the build up to that evening was immense. All my friends talking about it for weeks before and weeks after. I felt like Luke, I was a Jedi legend.
So what has happened to Christmas TV? Her comes the list…
1) more films being released. The big, stand out blockbusters are no more. I for one have heard ‘the biggest film of the year’ used in January, February and so on. So many films, none of them as amazing. Or it could be that…
2) I have got old. It is a sad fact that I do not even know what is on in the cinema at the moment. That’s either getting old or having kids. Both equate to the same thing really.
3) CGI. Anyone can make a slick looking film these days, with more special effects in the opening sequence than star wars had in the entire trilogy. This for me though makes it less real somehow.
4) satellite TV. Or cable. Whatever you want to call it, they have the money to buy all the big films and show them first. They are the Empire. The BBC are the rebel alliance.
5) cheap DVD sales. The big films on BBC and ITV this year are available at most supermarkets for about £3. I can’t imagine anyone seeing it for the first time over Christmas.
I now have satellite TV. I am part of the empire. Instead of joining the rebel alliance I have turned to the dark side. Today, Yoda, and my 9 year old self, would be very disappointed.