When it used to be about ‘catching’ dinner
This is a topic that came up a couple of times over the last few days. So — apparently The Universe wants me to write about it. That’s how my muse works.
To begin, I need to give you a bit of background — from The Ancient Days — before the internet and cyberspace.
I was married to an avid fisherman. And trolling is a method many fishermen employ to catch fish. It wasn’t his favorite way to fish because its passive and he was an active sort of fisherman. A sportsman and an athlete at his craft. So — even in fishing terms — trolling had ‘lazy’ as a connotation.
Enter the internet. Truthfully, it’s the same process.
Someone who is otherwise rather lazy baits his hook and then goes about throwing it out there. Dragging it across various social media posts they find until someone takes the bait. They attempt to draw the unsuspecting Human out of their neatly constructed emotionally fortified structure. Once the bait is taken, said troller will drag their prey out into open water and reel hard. The fight (for the prey) and the game (for the troller) is on!
Because just like fishing in real life — trolling on the internet is a sport. Every time a troller attempts to bait me, I envision a middle-aged white guy on a bass boat. He’s lazily sitting in his chair — not doing the real work of fishing — disdained and shunned by his own tribe of true fishermen. He’s wearing a fluorescent green fishing shirt and a MAGA hat. He has let his bait drop to the bottom of the lake and it’s sitting right there — in front of me.
I smile. I didn’t get to be sixty years old and the trophy bass I am by taking the bait. I recognize the game for what it is. And I let his lazy ass just troll on by.
I know in my heart, my ex-husband would be proud of me for using the lessons he taught me so well. He was an excellent fisherman. He never trolled and he won many fishing tournaments in his day. He was a good Human and a good sportsman.
And that is the final lesson. The trolls on the internet are bad sports. Who wants to play with a bad sport? Ever. In any game?