To Engage or Not to Engage…that is the question

Just a mini-rant and a question. When do you engage with an insufferable idiot or do you just ignore them?

What do I mean by “engage”? By this I mean, do you confront an individual who is being an ass and when? I find that in this electronic era it is becoming more and more prevalent on blogs or other forums than face to face confrontations.

Let me give you an example. I belong to a few forums and in one of them I challenged members of the forum to participate in a charity drive. It was meant to be all in good fun, but some noses got bent out of joint and the nastiness commenced. Comments were made publicly how they have more important things to do than participate in my challenge and they resent me making them feel pressured to do so. Huh? It was a simple challenge to help out some folks in need. No need to get uppity about it. PMs were sent to moderators complaining about my post, how they come to the group to escape and how I make them feel like they don’t want to belong to the group. They went on to explain how they have other more important charities they give time and money to and they don’t appreciate the pressure I was bringing on in the challenge.

Basically, it was all about this individual taking it personal and their need to be the center of attention. I will also add that this individual caused several other scenes throughout my time in the group with other individuals, always stirring up the hornet’s nest and keeping the drama alive. A simple statement like “what a great idea, wish I could participate but really can’t at this time” would have sufficed. See, no explanations as to why you can’t, that’s your business. You are showing your support to the group as well, without making the poster feel guilty and like they’ve done something wrong.

So, do you engage the idiot or just let it go? When do you engage and when do you decide it’s not worth the effort?

You have seen examples over and over again, you know what I mean. Just the other day I saw a crochet designer on Facebook had asked an opinion about an item. They asked if it was a different color, or some embellishment was left off would you wear it. There were way too many extremely rude replies like “that’s ugly”, I wouldn’t be caught dead in it, etc. There were others who simply suggested a few changes they would make and also stated in a polite way that it wasn’t quite their cup of tea. They provided an honest opinion without being rude about it. Even if the thing was butt ugly why would you be so rude? Seriously, if you met this designer in person would you be that blunt or would you find a more polite way of expressing your opinion?

I have a tendency to censor my posts because, frankly, I don’t want to have to deal with trolls. I understand that I am putting this out there in the ether and it somehow becomes fair game to everyone. I just don’t want to have to deal with people who think everything is a personal affront to them and they feel they have the right to be rude. You can disagree and debate an issue with someone without being rude or start name calling. Really, it can be done.

I guess I could go on and on, as a matter of fact I deleted a few paragraphs that I felt were going slightly off tangent. I think I’ll save those words for another day. 

My question still stands though. When do you decide to engage? Is it worth the effort?