Sunday, October 31, 2010

When Enough is Enough

Remember those Formspring trolls that I blogged about a few weeks ago? Well, they won't be getting to me anymore. Today, after much consideration, I set my Formspring to protected. This means that only people who follow me on Formspring can view my page and/or ask me questions. If you wish to follow me, I must first approve your request. My followers still have the opportunity to ask me anonymous questions, but it's likely I will guess their identities anyway. I know what you're thinking - this is an extreme measure, and it defeats the purpose of and sucks the fun out of Formspring. Well, my last day with a public Formspring wasn't fun at all. I was bombarded with comments from a guy who attacked me over various opinions I had made in this blog. Some of his points were valid, but he was abusing the privilege of anonymity. Here's an example of something I received:

I am going to start a blog soon, possibly after HSC. It's main objective will be to critique the shit out of you, be warned. Your days on the internet are numbered buddy.

Also, I received a bunch of comments that were downright stupid, such as: 

 i'm feeling so fly like a g6, like a g6, like a g6. Do you feel like a g6?

I mean, why would someone ask the above question? What does he/she get out of it? In fact, I received a lot of song lyrics today. Some lyrics were intended to comfort me, while others just had no relevance to me at all. It was becoming evident that my Formspring was no longer a place where I could go to answer genuine questions about myself. It had transformed into a cesspit of nonsensical statements and insults. The anonymity pissed me off the most. The trolls would be nothing without their guise of anonymity. Whenever I asked a troll to reveal him/herself, they wouldn't do it. Fucking cowards. What is more astonishing is that even the nice people, the ones who complimented me, wouldn't reveal themselves. I mean, is contemporary society that fake? All of this crap made me feel like shit, and I started to doubt if I was even a good person. I just don't get it. I've always been a nice guy. If I show disrespect to someone, it's only because they show me disrespect first. I couldn't help but think "Why me?"
My Formspring is undoubtedly the most popular one amongst my circle of friends and acquaintances. I receive and answer at least 80 questions/comments a day, on average. I believe I receive so many questions because I respond quickly. I practically spend my whole day on the computer (that's no exaggeration, sadly), and receive an email notification whenever a new question is asked. I think I appeal to trolls because I fight back. If a troll posts something that insults me, I won't simply make a joke about having sex with the troll's mother, but I will defend myself and make it clear to the troll that he/she has offended me. It would often tire me out having to answer up to twelve questions at a time, especially when the questions were of little substance, or if they were merely insults.

So I decided that enough was enough. I couldn't take it anymore. It wasn't enough for me to simply delete the posts by the trolls, because I would still read over their comments regardless. Also, I wasn't so sure if blocking their IP addresses would be effective. So, after responding to 2127 questions/comments on my Formspring, I decided that I had to alter my privacy settings. The trolls can no longer have their fun, and I will get some peace. Sure, my Formspring may now become barren, but I couldn't handle any more emotional pain. Yes, the trolls were getting to me. I'm very sorry to those who used my Formspring properly, and asked me insightful questions. I am extremely grateful for your support and participation, but you must understand the toll that this was taking on me. I am also sorry to those who enjoyed reading my responses in general. 

Moments after I had set my profile to private, I checked to see if I had received any new questions, to no avail. You see, answering so many questions made me develop an addiction to Formspring. It became a daily routine for constantly check my Formspring and respond to questions/comments by the minute. It sounds like a pathetic addiction, but then again, I live the life of a hermit, and don't have much better to do. I'm confident that I'll adapt to my new settings in a short while, and will be able to fight my impulses to check my Formspring. What I'm thinking of doing is to have one day of the week where I open my Formspring to anyone, just to make things more exciting. What do you guys think? Could you perhaps suggest any alternative to making my profile protected? What is the best way to make Formspring an enjoyable website without having to put up with trolls? All suggestions will be appreciated.



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  3. Who are you? Do you even know me? Your 'blog' tells me nothing about you. How do I know that you're not the troll?