Don't Feed The Trolls - Sam Stecher

I totally abandoned one of my hard and fast personal policies.  

Do not feed the trolls.

In case this notion of not feeding the trolls isn’t part of your lexicon I will toss out a quick primer. Trolls are people who make comments on your social media posts with the primary intent of inciting conflict. Feeding the trolls would be engaging the trolls by commenting back. In doing so you don’t win. You don’t develop a meaningful dialog. You don’t change hearts and minds. When you feed the trolls the trolls just gain the fuel to do more trolling. When you feed the trolls the trolls multiply.

The issue I was trolled on was the role of addressing mental health needs as a part of the mission public schools. The state senator who serves as the chair of our education committee in Nebraska expressed a philosophy decidedly different from my own. I decided to comment on twitter about it. Really it was a pretty grand social media interaction with some people I really respect contributing to the conversation.  Then a troll showed up. And I fed him. I’m not going to going any further into the specifics. If you are inclined to look at the unproductive mess it won’t take you long to find it at @samMMstecher. But I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m only mentioning its location for transparency of my own errors.

The reason why I wouldn’t recommend reading back through it is because it won’t help you make a difference. I doubt that you will even find it amusing.

What I would like you to do instead?

I guarantee someone you know needs some help. Someone is in it up to their ears and and is just short of the support they need. Reach out to that person. Give them a hand. Give them a second chance. Give them a thank you note. Give them a goal. Give them access to a resource. Give them what worked for you.

Give them any of the ideas we’ve suggested here at

Don’t feed the trolls. Feed someone’s soul.

You can read more of what Mark and Sam have to say in their book It Happens In The Hallway. Just click here. 

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