I have CRAP Disease, a malady that stands for Compulsive Reader of Angry Posts. I know that certain messages on social media will cause sniveling trolls to wake from their burrow in the basement to slobber over their keyboards, grunt with excitement, and feverishly hurl illiterate, nasty and incoherent comments. I start to read them anyway, even though I'll regret seeing proof that colossal fools live among us and threaten to rot the fragile fabric of civilization.
CRAP disease can infest your soul and leave you a cynical, bitter wretch full of CRAP. Be careful, or you also could become a victim.
Here's how to determine if you're susceptible to becoming a Compulsive Reader of Angry Posts.
1. You read comments that others leave on online news articles. Big mistake. Trolls think they know more than elected officials, trained media personnel, and educated professionals. Facts aren't necessary. They will write just to infect you because they love being full of CRAP and want to share.
2. You are uncontrollably attracted to comments that include multiple exclamation points!!! Yes, the writer really, really, really wants to shout at strangers. Fight the urge to debate or you'll end up with CRAP.
3. You are fascinated with public display of ignorance. We've all chuckled at the vitriolic comment that says, "Your an idiot!" Proper grammar and maturity aren't priorities to people full of CRAP.
4. You feel a need to help stupid people. Sometimes you'll gently correct a grammatical or factual error written by someone with limited understanding of basic communication skills. That is another mistake. They will turn on you like a pack of rabid dogs and not let go until you are forced to destroy all your social media accounts, set fire to all your computers and Internet devices, move to a foreign country, and hang a CRAP quarantine sign on your door. If you have a door.
5. You are a blogger. Beware of the inherent dangers if you post a saucy, 600-word essay on a popular website. The trolls will foam at the mouth and you can almost feel the spray of spit as they pound out snarky remarks besmirching your character, your talent, and your ancestors. Reacting to these comments only will propel you onto the slippery slope toward the cesspool of CRAP.
If you need a CRAP fix, you can dabble in the occasional comment, but be ready to take some vomit-inducing drugs to purge your mind and body of the offensive swill. For example, recently a local television news station posted a Facebook message about a tragic accident where a bicyclist had been hit and killed in traffic. Here is an excerpt from one of the prolific commenters:
"This is the worst state in the united stares...i have been driving sense i was 17...man you people are dumb as a bag rocks were did you get your licenses again bahahahahahaha"
I shouldn't be so critical, but it's remarkable to have that many errors in such a short comment. And, as usual, the troll snorted that the rest of us were as "dumb as a bag rocks." Obviously, my CRAP sensor intensified after reading this and I needed medication to recover. I shut down the computer, poured a glass of wine, and enjoyed a quiet evening free from trolls. Bahahahahahaha.