Jake’s Wallet Test

by Jake Block

We’ve all seen a lot of rants on the web about this or that and how incensed some infraction against their sensibilities makes the writer.  They will move from web page to web page, stoking the coals of outrage to get as many as they can to back them and become just as outraged as they, and the orgy of spleen venting continues for days.  The words on a screen they don’t agree with have done what their writers intended, and they now have “X number” of people inflamed with anger and hatred over what some stranger… words on a screen… says.
Now, they’ll tell you… “It really doesn’t matter to me,” but they’ll continue their rants against their target du jour and their blood will boil and their anger will flow.  What, beside some ersatz catharsis can they gain by their impotent rage against those damnable words on a screen?  What can they expect to gain in carrying their campaign from forum to forum?  I suppose that if they can get one person to agree with them, it could give them some form of validation, but in the end, it’s all clouds in coffee… nothing to really be concerned about.  They have simply chosen to respond in the manner they have, and in that response, played into the hands of those they shower their rage upon.
Most of us learned long ago that what happens on the web simply happens on the web.  We don’t know these clowns, and what they do in their lives affects us only so far as the on/off switch of our computers or the ignore features on our web pages.  But there are those for whom the web is too real… they think this is life.  Perhaps they need to think about WHY these disembodied words on a screen mean so much to them and what, if anything, they take away from their quality of life.
I developed a little exercise many moons ago to put things in perspective when I am tempted to be suckered in by either the words on a screen or those who are suckered in my them and wish me to accompany them down the rabbit hole of internet rage.  I call it Jake’s Wallet Test.
When I read something on the web that I don’t like, and I am tempted to lose my temper over it and let my fingers do the talking, bypassing my brain in the process, I simply pull out my wallet and open it up.  Then, I look in side.  I can tell how much this current “tempest in a teapot” affects me by how much money is missing, and adjust my rage levels accordingly.  You’ll be surprised how seldom any conflict on the web will take money out of your wallet.
If it’s not taking money out of my wallet, food off of my table, or comfort from my environment, it’s just not important enough for me to get bent out of shape over.  So I just don’t respond in the way that is expected of me, or not at all.
And when the idiot posting doesn’t get the responses they hope for, they seldom stick around.  That’s a WIN/WIN situation in my book.

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