Saturday, August 18, 2018
When You Have Power Over Other People's Time
It started so innocently, so spontaneously. I am being trolled and harassed for a comment on Facebook. Oh, yes, this has happened many times with so-called “friends”, so I put a stop to all that. But this time, for the first time, I commented on a national post. I never do because I think who will read it and who will care? Apparently many people care about the opinion of total strangers and have the time to harass mercilessly, all day, maybe for two or three days.
Was what I wrote offensive, political, critical—nope. I was praising my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Horrible, right? How dare I! There was a clip from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I LOVE Stephen Colbert and watch him every night. I had no problem with the clip or the joke, but it was about Cleveland. I’ve noticed that Colbert often uses Cleveland in his jokes as somewhere you’d never want to go. I get it, but the river burned about 50 years ago so it’s an old joke.
I was naive enough to think, “Oh, what the heck, I’ll write something positive about Cleveland.” So I wrote that even though I love Colbert, here are some facts about Cleveland: The world class orchestra and museums, beautiful parks and amazing restaurants and the theater district that is second only to New York City.
Here are some of the things I was accused of: I have no sense of humor, can’t take a joke, I need to get over it, I”m ridiculous and, here’s the best one: Another Clevelander says he’s lived in Cleveland longer than me so what do I know? So I asked how he knew how old I was, and he’d gone on my page and looked at photos of me! Creepy! Then I got unsolicited advice about changing my settings, (which I have done). Another stranger even said I look good for my age, so at least something pleasant came out of this huge waste of time.
Then I was challenged and made fun of for saying we had the largest theater district after NYC. I have to say I got a lot of support on this one. A whole crowd of people validated my claim. This is going on and on, people! Whenever I went on Facebook I was praying there were no more related comments to read, but they continued and my original comment has 259 reactions so far.
As the days went on more and more people defended how wonderful our city is. Several people had visited and mentioned how impressed they were. I mean, this was a major issue! With one comment I somehow have gained access to the time and concerns of complete strangers. It’s amazing! The person who said I was ridiculous required a response from me: “I’m getting trolled for saying something nice about my city. Now THAT’s ridiculous!”