6 Things You Learn Getting Paid To Troll People Online
So apparently my first column at Cracked really rustled some jimmies. That's cool. I've been rustling jimmies for a long time, and I'm pretty good at it. That I'm saying "rustling jimmies" is probably rustling a few jimmies right now, in fact. And while I never thought I would earn a handsome living at it, that's just what I've been doing for going on six years now. Not much amazes me anymore, but I'm still always a bit shocked at people who don't understand how the Internet operates. So out of sheer graciousness, I decided to give you all some insight into how trolling the Internet for fun and profit actually works. Hopefully this will help you to craft better indignant comments in the future.
I Always Tell the Truth, Even When I Troll
Yes, I'm trolling you. No, that doesn't mean that I don't more or less mean every word that I say in my writing. But I punch up my style and put it in the way most likely to irritate people who deserve to be irritated. And if I'm irritating you, that probably means you're an uptight square just begging to be fucked with. When I'm writing, I literally take time to determine how I can phrase something in a way that will provoke the greatest amount of butthurt from sea to shining sea.
Sorry, there aren't a lot of stock image options for "butthurt."
On the other hand, irritating the hell out of the easily irritated also allows me to sift through the chaff of the Internet for the wheat who actually get the joke. That mostly seems to be other people who like to be irritating, or people who like watching handsome men such as myself irritate people. It's kind of hilarious for all of us, and kind of a bummer that you're not in on the joke.
Negative Feedback And Hate Reading Gets You Paid
I've never done a pay-per-click gig, but I have had a few gigs that paid me extra for reaching a certain page view threshold. Either way, at this point in my career I am now a known quantity. Editors know they can rely on me to produce a stream of punters giving them the sweet page views and click-throughs they need to pitch to potential advertisers. So basically every time you read my article, comment on it, and/or share it with your friends while telling them what a dick I am, you're helping me buy another pair of $400 jeans. Thanks for that!
Keep on hating, haters.
Oh, what's that? You're unfollowing because of my article? Congratulations. No one gives a shit, because 20 other people just followed and you'll be back the second the website runs a picture of cleavage again. Unfollowing a page on Facebook is like voting Libertarian; it might make you feel better at night, but at the end of the day, you've accomplished precisely nothing.
I Have Vast Experience Being A Dick
I don't know what you and your friends were like in high school and college, but mine were constantly cutting up and busting balls. We fucked with each other unmercifully. So in addition to being a huge dick by nature (guilty) and growing up in a place where everyone is kind of a dick (New England), I also had to hold my own against some of the biggest jackoffs of their generation. Truth told, being a dick is one of the few things I'm good at. And if you know anything about economics, you know that society benefits most from people doing what they do best. You keep making my lattes, and I'll keep being a jerk on the Internet and wearing outfits that cost more than your car.
It's Not Journalism, So Stop Asking If This Is Journalism
I hope you're sitting down: Journalism doesn't exist anymore. It hasn't for at least ten years now. The closest thing we have to journalism now is agenda-driven propaganda dressed up as "objective, hard-hitting news." Yes, this includes your favorite muckraking work over at Mother Jones or whatever. Journalism died a pretty sad death, and yeah, we're all kind of bummed about it.
Unless you get paid to write on the Internet, obviously.
But don't hate the player; hate the game. I didn't kill journalism. Or at least, I didn't kill it any more than you did. If you're terribly concerned about the death of journalism, get out there and do some. I'm sure you will get literally scores of page views while the rest of the world is getting mad at me, sharing rare Pepe memes and looking at GIFs of rhythmically bouncing breasts.
I Don't Really Read Books Much; I Just Watch A Lot Of Wrestling
Writers are supposed to read a lot. I don't. I got enough of that in college. I'm currently slogging through Steven Adler's memoir. Sometimes I pick up a Hubert Selby novel or read Bukowski's poetry. I really liked Robert Heinlein when I smoked way more pot. Norman Mailer makes me laugh my ass off whenever I bother to pick up something he wrote. Put simply, my reading tastes when I actually bother to pick up a book are pretty pedestrian and predictable.
Mostly what I do is look at pictures of jeans and cars on Instagram and watch wrestling on the WWE Network. So if you're looking to make sense of whatever the hell it is that I'm doing, it probably helps to know that I owe way more to Rick Rude than I do to ... I dunno, Lester Bangs? Like I said, I'm not much of a reader.
No, I Am Not Going To Stop Writing
First of all, I'm pretty sure that whatever I wrote that put a bee in your bonnet is not "literally the worst thing ever written." It's not even figuratively the worst thing you've ever read. I didn't stop writing when I woke up to find every Pearl Jam fan in the world wanted to kill me, so the chances of me quitting writing because you write "OMG Y U WRITER QUIT NAO" on my Facebook page are slim to none.
For the last six years, I've supported myself in one of the nation's most expensive cities doing nothing but writing.
Reminder: It's always fucking beautiful here.
For the last three or so, I've basically had money coming out of my ass. Seriously. I just bought a $500 leather fanny pack from Japan. I am that fucking out of shit to spend money on. This is de facto proof that I am literally (yes, literally) better at writing than approximately 95 percent of people in the history of the universe who have called themselves writers.
Oh, money doesn't matter? Say, that's what I call a pretty cool story, bro. No whip on that Frappuccino, please.
For more on trolling, check out 5 Ways To Stop Trolls From Killing The Internet and The Evolution of the Troll: From Internet Tough Guy to 'Meh'.
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