Mack?

Jedi?

King?

If you answered any of the above I'm sorry you receive zero points.

The correct answer is RETURN OF THE "frivolous, wholesome and light hearted entertainment based email".

With the UK spiralling towards a nationwide lockdown amidst rising covid numbers and an overcrowded national health system it seems pertinent to return to the core message of these emails.

On Friday we took a deep dive into the psyche of achievement relating to Irish people born in the 80s. Whilst that's a worthwhile intellectual pursuit it's not as much bants so today we are going to revert to a more relatable and light hearted subject matter...

Internet Trolls

Traditional Trolls lived under bridges, had a weird obsession with goats and would rip you limb from limb for a bit of craic.

So in many ways if you are a goat farmer, enjoy stand up paddle boarding on rivers or are generally fond of your limbs being currently attached, Internet Trolls are to be feared much less than traditional folk lore Trolls.

Give me a mean comment or a thumbs down over dismemberment any day of the week I always say.

However the lack of facility for being able to goat farm online means more and more of us are encountering Internet Trolls in greater number than we would the traditional cave or bridge dwelling kind.

Keyboard Warriors

My mind blows that Internet trolls can create such a profound and stifling effect on us. It really is a strange notion. This person that I've never met, would never go to for advice and in many ways does not affect my life can cause a significant effect on my emotional well being through an app that I choose to have on my phone!

(Did I just use both "effect" and "affect" within a couple of words of each other just to demonstrate I know the difference and give myself a weird little english vocabulary serotonin hit... yes... yes i did)

When ya think about it it's completely bonkers. And if you don't deal with Internet Trolls in a sensible manner they can have quite a considerable impact.

If you're a creator this impact can extend beyond the commonly recognised areas of your mental health, self esteem and general mood.

This impact can also stifle creativity, cause paralysis of artistic expression, cause doubt where there shouldn't be any.

All of which are shite. So here's some tips

My Top Tips for dealing with bad vibes on the internet

  • It's about them and it happens to everyone. Get your head around this. There are people online who (takes deep breath) Don't. Like. Hozier.

    That's right. You heard correctly. Magical wizard fairy 6"5 poet and voice from the gods Hozier has internet trolls. I'd believe it more if you told me Hozier encountered actual traditional trolls as he wandered the frozen riverbanks of Ireland during the bleak mid winter solstice plucking melodies from the gurgling stream.

    But no, Hozier has internet trolls. So if people can hate him online they can hate anyone which really means. IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU - IT'S ABOUT THEM!!!

    And it happens to everyone

  • Accept that it's part of life online. Linked to the above - the unfortunate fact is the anonymity of online presence means people can expose the worst of themselves (sometimes literally) and if you enter the online space you're probably going to encounter it.

  • Balance the negative with the benefits. You can watch the Polish folk dancing championship on Youtube at 2 am in your pyjamas in Hull whilst eating a tub of ice cream - you might read some mean comments. Balance

  • Don't read the comments

  • If you ever find yourself fighting with someone online throw your phone in a bush. If they were someone who mattered to you you'd call them (in which case you'd have to go into the bush and rescue your phone but the metaphor stands)

Have a great week and be careful around bridges, caves and the facebook comments section

2021 let's be having you

Stephen

P.S. I'm continually and eternally blow away by the incredible support from this community! From coffees to emails and everything in between I count myself very lucky. Worth any amount of trolling from a few randoms to have the vast majority be such wonderful people x