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My daughter claims to be an expert at trolling. She laughingly asks me if I know what that means.

I don’t, but I play hip and say that I do.

Trolling in my mind is either dragging a line behind the boat while fishing, or old crusty gay men out cruising for young bucks too inexperienced or too gay to capture the attention of cougars. Fine I’m old. I get it.

So I’m avoiding that paper I have to write this morning and checking out the forum at WWU and find people, primarily young men posting items that are intended to incite a response. Posts intended to elicit a raging emotional response.

The most recent addition was a post that began ” are yoga pants even pants” and ended with ” Come on. They aren’t pants. They’re excuses to look slutty. Who’s with me?”

The conversation explodes in all sorts of directions.

Some are indignant.

Some are offended.

Some agree, or point out that he clearly meant jeggings, leggings or whatever fashion statement is currently in vogue that displays women’s buttocks.

Many point out the inequities between genders, or how stupid guys look with their pants hanging off their knee caps with their underwear hanging out.

One phenomenal reply attributes yoga pants to global warming. This in my opinion was truly inspired and twisted.

All interesting counterpoints; until you realize that this fool is dragging you around by your closely held beliefs for fun. The original post was intended to hook you into participating, and pushing your buttons so that you expose something real about you and your beliefs for the amusement of the person trolling.

It’s sick.

We take a medium designed to expand communication between people and we twist it into a sick play on words to incite violent emotions for amusement.

My first thought was ” he’s really young” excusing the behavior as juvenile. Then a more parental voice thinksĀ  “do your parents know what a dick you are?” Then I had visions of the kid getting cut off from daddy’s trust fund for being an ass. I must admit that last image felt really good, like justice being served steaming hot. Laugh at that you little f bomb!

Then I find myself wondering where does fun become abuse. Where’s the line between stupid kids playing word games, and actual harm?

If the kids of today are intentionally inciting anger and rage for the sheer thrill of it, instead of participating in debate with honest ideas and a sense of integrity, what else might they do?

This has the look and feel of bear bating. Capture a bear, put it in a cage, and poke it until it becomes enraged for entertainment.

Except the bears in the cage are human beings. I’m disgusted.

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