I attract trolls. They love me. Or I suppose they love to hate me. No matter where I work or where I publish my blogs, they always find me. And truth be told, I welcome their attention. It’s refreshing to be reminded every single day that I’m a horrible person with horrible writing skills. Also I’m a retard. If three trolls say it on three different sites, it must be true. Which actually makes my current career quite the triumph. Except for the day that a troll told me I forgot to take my retard pills. That wasn’t a triumph, that was an incredible oversight on my part.
While I enjoy the comments from my trolls, my mother hates them. She doesn’t understand what trolls are and remains determined to believe they’re all cold-blooded murderers using minute details from my blogs to track me down and kill me. And even though I told her that I should be so lucky to inspire my readers to take such drastic action, she lives in fear.
This is the same mother who thinks I’m going to be murdered every single day I walk out of my apartment in NYC. Sometimes before I even walk out of my apartment. After all, I’m only on the third story in my building and that’s hardly a challenge for a committed psychopath who decides to scale the outer walls, enter through my window and strangle me with the laptop charger I haphazardly left on my floor. Or so my mother reminds me via text message while also explaining that’s why a young woman should always close the curtain before changing into pajamas.
When I published an article this month about the many ways my favorite troll wanted me to die, she reacted like I posted my address online as well as directions to the closest axe-murderer shop. She texted me to let me know that while she knew I found this extremely entertaining, she did not. She recommend I start writing under a pen name while wearing a bullet proof vest. Also I should consider getting massive facial reconstructive surgery to throw him off the trail. And that’s just to start. By the time she fully explained her plan to me I came to understand that I would be moving to Argentina with the help of the Witness Protection Program to live underground as a poor cattle farmer.
So before I committed to her plan, I tried once again to explain the concept of a troll to her. And you know what? It’s actually harder than explaining your job to your parents’ friends who smile and nod and shake their heads as you explain you work for the internet.
But I’m not one to give up when it comes to explaining Internet culture to the older generation, after all I once successfully showed my grandfather the darker depths of Craigslist. So I pushed myself to my explaining limits and tried my hardest.
Mother: I’ve been thinking a lot about that article and I think you should start writing another a different name.
Me: I’m building my entire career on my name so I don’t think that’s a good idea.
Mother: You have no idea how mentally unstable some of these people might be. You have no idea what could set them off.
Me: Eh, I’m not worried.
Mother: Jenni, do you know how easily they could follow you home from work and find out where you live!
Me: First they have to figure out what I look like and then figure out how to differentiate me from all the other Jewish brunette twenty-somethings leaving my office building at the end of the day. As frat boys learned at Syracuse, that’s a lot harder to accomplish than you think.
Mother: I just think you’re not being cautious enough.
Me: MOOOMMMMMM these people are middle-aged men who are sitting in their cubicles at work harassing people through the Internet. They get off on creating online fights. Keyword: online. These are not people who usually start fights offline.
Mother: I just think about this from a different perspective, you never know who is stable and who is unstable.
Me: Exactly! My boss could end up being the unstable one who murders me.
Mother: Do you think she’s unstable?
Me: NOOOOOO MOOOOMMMM. I’m just saying.
Mother: Will you think about what I said?
Me: Mmmhmm. I have to go. A delivery man’s knocking on my door even though I didn’t order delivery!
Me: Kidding. It’s not a delivery man, he has a gun.
Me: LOLSIES. No one’s at the door. I know because I leave it wide open…
And that’s how you explain to your mother how an internet troll works. I’m sure she left the conversation completely understanding that I’m in no immediate danger. Until I start posting my new series called “Where I Live and What’s My Phone Number and Where Is My Spare Key.”