Trolling – It’s Actually A Mental Illness

I heard an interesting video today on the subject of internet trolls. You see them all the time and wonder why they would waste time just trying to annoy people. You’re looking at the comments on a site and invariably there’s going to be some of this useless drivel. I’ve wondered why anyone would do something like that. Is their life so boring that they have nothing else to do?

In the video I’ll post below, someone investigating the psychology of people who do things like that have actually concluded that it’s a type of mental illness. They get pleasure out of annoying others. And of course, the fact that their pleasure is in someone else’s pain – is proof positive that they are mentally ill. So what can we do about it? Probably nothing. They are on the low rungs of self-esteem and being able to control people by aggravating them makes them feel powerful. Pretty pathetic.

In something similar, I have some idiot “following” one of my blogs, and this person has absolutely no reason to. I’ve looked at his/her site and the posts they have on there have absolutely no similarity to the genre I post in, or in the kind of posts I post. They come every day, click on my “Follow” button, I remove them and they just keep trying to wear me down by repeatedly clicking that button after I’ve removed them over and over again. Pretty pathetic. Probably like some of the trolls – people of low intelligence acting out in their mental illness, people with nothing else to do. In an odd sort of way it’s propelling me into my own growth in the ability to overcome the hatred I feel when I see them. I guess it’s a good spiritual workout.

So here’s the video. I hope you’ll enjoy it. Maybe it will help us all in our effort to able to just ignore them. 

 

 

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The Creation Of A Life After Failure – A ‘God Thing’

This is going to be way more than just a post, in fact, It might be one of the last chapters in my book. I was listening to a video this morning, it was about the earliest computers and the “beginnings” of the many sites we now use all the time. And it got me to thinking about the development and progression of my own story – truly “a God thing,” from my first computer – a Commodore 64 – to today – to a world we couldn’t have imagined back then. Coming from a world of failure, the Lord took this pretty-much-destroyed-human being and created a life for me – a life uniquely suited to my own DNA. That’s a subject I write about a lot – the notion that each of us is unique on the face of the earth. Since the discovery of DNA, it has been revealed just how unique each of us is. And to me, the most important thing one can do in life is to find out from God what his purpose and plan is for that one distinct personality, the one he created and planned before we even appeared on the scene. This is part of my story – the discovery – initiated by God himself – which has been my fulfillment, the purpose for which I was created.

God foreplanned that my life would find its fulfillment in the context of the computer world, a world I would never have even heard of had it not been for the progressive action of God upon my life. Here’s how it started:

My First Computer
The story begins with my Commodore 64 desktop computer. I had taken a course in computer technology at our local community college, and I loved it. Back then there wasn’t a lot to choose from in the computer marketplace. In the computer technology class, we learned on an Apple IIE. At the time the Apple and the Commodore were pretty much all there was to choose from by way of the home computer. I loved my Commodore, and had no clue whatsoever that someday I’d have a computer with more than 64K of RAM. We had “floppy discs” back then, and storage capacity – well you’d laugh at it today but for us back then it was all new, and we were beyond excited.

Email
The concept of being “online” was unheard of. My introduction to it took place one day when a co-worker sat at her desk quite intimidated, but anxious to learn. The tech guy was talking her through sending an “email.” So …what’s a “email,” I asked? It wasn’t long before I got an email address and started interesting others to get one. I was overseas at the time and the thought of being able to send a letter to the US and family would be able to see it the same day – this was just incredible. As it was, it would take more than a week for a snail mail letter to reach me, and another week or two before my answer would be in the mail. So the letters that took two or three weeks turn-around time – was reduced now to hours. Anyone reading this won’t be able to really appreciate what this meant for us. To send a letter and receive a reply in hours – it was something we were just amazed at. More than amazed. It changed the way we could communicate with family thousands of miles away.

The Internet
A friend came to visit one day, and he was excited! His wife had given him a disk containing the Windows 95 program! As though my imagination hadn’t been stretched to the max, of course I had to ask, “what on earth is Windows 95?” And that was our introduction to something called “the internet,” and pretty soon I bought the Windows 95 program on disk. Now we were really flying! It’s not Kansas anymore, Toto.

Animated smileys
The next step in the development of what I had no idea would someday become a career for me – was the day my cousing Carlene sent me an email with a smiley in it. I just looked at that, stunned, how on earth …??? So I emailed her and asked how she did that. She answered that she really didn’t know – that her tech guy showed her how to do it, but she didn’t understand it at the time. No one did. But of course …I just had to find out. I went onto the “internet” and searched how to make a moving picture. And that was a huge step in my learning. I spent countless hours – actually days, weeks, — months? learning all about this new find. I found sites with several kinds of moving pictures – known as gifs – and many were free to download. I filled a whole floppy disk with animated gifs and began using them in emails.

What on earth is a “blog?”
Then one day a friend sent me an email with a link in it, and told me to take a look. What’s a link? Well …I clicked on it and was taken to a BLOG. Ok, I’m looking at someone’s “blog.” I spent a lot of time examining this blog and took note of all the elements that made it up. After a longggg time looking that over, suddenly I noticed an orange icon at the top of the page. It said, “Make your own blog.” What???? I could do that??? Oh well, I may as well click on that icon and see what happens. And voila! I was staring at Blogspot, a site that will host the blog you’re going to create! I had no idea how to get started. How to set it up. There was a woman at my church who had a site online and she gave me all the information she knew about. And she referred me to another woman, someone who lived in Texas, and told me this woman knew a lot more. So I contacted my friend in Texas and she talked me through creating my own blog. It was 2005. In 2005 I created my first blog. I still have it to this day!

So …learning about creating a blog was going to be a HUGE undertakning. I had only these two friends to ask questions of, and soon I knew as much as they did — and that wasn’t much! In studying the creation of a blog I realized I had to learn coding, called “HTML.” I had no idea how valuable this was going to be for me, but I also had no idea how incredibly difficult it would be. I was already past my friend’s knowledge base, so I was on my own. Well …not exactly – I didn’t realize at the time that this was all the Lord. But I was to learn over the next few years just how much it WAS the Lord, because I had to turn to him a zillion times as I came across something I needed to do on the blog and he was the ONLY one I could run to. Slowly, slowly, I learned the bare-bones basics of HTML. Briefly, it’s the computer code that enables you to do things in the background of your “template,” such as underlining, or putting something in bold, or spacing a paragraph, or choosing the colors you want for the blog background, etc, etc, there is no limit to what you can do with HTML, but boy, it was incredibly difficult to learn it from scratch and I spent enormous amounts of time experimenting with it. In fact, I created a “test” blog – where I would try out different things to see how they would come out. I didn’t want to take a chance on my main blog – boy, you can mess things up really bad and then good luck trying to fix it. So my test blog was absolutely invaluable to me.

Graphics
The next step in my learning curve was to investigate how to create graphics. On a site online I saw someone offering to make pretty signature graphics to sign your emails with. She offered to make them for anyone interested, so I asked her to make me one, and it came out beautifully. Nice colors, and my name on it. I emailed her and asked how she did it, and she told me she made them with a program called “Paintshop Pro.” I showed the graphic to my daughter and told her about my communication with her, and my daughter and I decided we needed to get the program. We looked online and found it. It was priced at $90.00, so we each paid half because we weren’t sure whether we’d like it once we got into it. Well! The program came and I loaded it into the computer. ……Now what? I just sat there and looked at this blank page with all kinds of icons for different tools one could use. I didn’t have a clue. So I went out and bought the book, “Paintshop Pro For Dummies.” Got it home, and I couldn’t even read the first page. All the concepts were so foreign to anything I had ever known before, that I just got thoroughly overwhelmed and shut the book after one afternoon of trying to make senses of it. I guessed this wasn’t going to be something we could do, it was way too complicated for us. But a few days later, I couldn’t get it out of my mind, (that happens when it’s “a God thing”) so I went back to the bookstore and bought the book, “Paintshop Pro For Idiots.” Brought it home, and again, I couldn’t read the first page. Defeated, I put it away and tried to forget about it. Then one day when I was sitting at the computer, these words came to my mind, “search for Paintshop Pro beginner tutorials.” I didn’t even know what a tutorial was! But I did put that into the search box, and the rest is history. I found tons of beginner tutorials and slowly, slowly, VERY slowly started trying to understand something I had nothing to relate it to, no one to ask, but with those beginner tutorials I started to learn how to make graphics. Every time I learned something, I wrote it down and soon I had a “procedures” folder that became top-heavy, but that I couldn’t ever have lived without.

So what was the end game? What was all this about?

Well ….

I started developing my blog. At the time I was only posting text posts. I learned how to take something from the internet, copy it, and paste it into a post. I played with that a lot, learning how to change text color, or bold it or underline it, and eventually I learned how to put a graphic into it. I think that now – if I were to take all my notes, I could put out an encyclopedia on all I’ve learned then and since.

Facebook
Then one day I was in my prayer time and I told the Lord that I’ve made use of all he’s taught me, I was writing every day, and putting in graphics to make the posts more interesting, and I was thanking him for all he’d enabled me to learn. Feeling pretty good that I had used everything possible to serve him online. He spoke to me that day in my prayer time. He said, “You haven’t used Facebook.” And I almost fell off my chair. FACEBOOK??? I had briefly looked at Facebook and found it to be totally uninteresting. People just posting any old thing, recipes, cute animals, nothing that interested me at all. So. God wants me to use Facebook??? I could hardly believe it. But …of course I went and started a facebook account with no idea what on earth I would ever do with it. It took the Lord having to direct me, having to tell me what I COULD do with it, and he said the word, “Devotional.” I asked, you want me to put out a devotional? Later that day he sent an enormous confirmation my way. So I started. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

And Facebook became far more than I ever would have imagined. I presently have over 3,000 followers and I interact with them daily as much as I can. Every once in awhile someone will message me that the devotional I posted in the morning was just what they needed to hear, and I came to realize how powerful a ministry it could become. And now, long story short, I’m reaching people all over the world with a daily devotional that I hope will impact people and encourage them in their walk with the Lord. And that’s just for starters. I presently have dozens of blogs, all on different topics, all hand-made, and when I look at all that can be done online it just amazes me. I’ve gone from a smiley face to blogs, to world-wide outreach and this is most assuredly a praise testiomony because only I know the myriads of times I’ve gotten stuck on something and had no one to turn to for help. But what the Lord ordains, the Lord sustains and it must boggles my mind how many times I had to turn to him with something I just couldn’t figure out – and later I’d “accidentally” stumble onto the answer while looking for something else. That had happened more times than I could begin to count. That has been my life from the beginning until now. And still I’m learning.

The greatest part of this testimony is that I came to the Lord as a total failure in life. I had failed at everything I had done. I developed PTSD as I lived out those stories, and that has caused me many limitations. But the Lord has taken those limitations and the free time I have because of them – and he has developed this ministry from the get go. When I remember back at the mountains of times he has had to lead me to answers – it’s almost overwhelming to realize just how personal he has been in the development of this story. And today – I’m only interested in what I can do FOR HIM. I pray about what I write, the devotionals, the articles, even the pictures, because I have an understanding of WHO I am serving with it, and I know that if I forget to pray, it’s evident in the outcome. But when I pray before working, I just look at the product and praise his Name, because only God could have done it.

So God took a total failure, and by a series of steps supernaturally guided – I’ve ended up preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ all around the world. Daily. I can say  with the apostle Paul, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me” 2 Corinthians 12:9

If you feel that you have nothing to offer, especially if you’re a broken person, set those attitudes aside and ask the Lord what he would have from you. Only he knows your makeup, your history, all about you – and he will establish you in HIS plan for your life, and believe me, it will be totally personalized to meet exactly the way he had made you. Just get started. Just ask.

“If you could see what I once was
If you could go with me
Back to where I started from,
Then I know you would see
A miracle of love
that took me in its sweet embrace
And made me what I am today,
Just an old sinner saved by grace.”
-Sinner Saved by Grace

Danger On Facebook

I posted this on Facebook this morning:

* * * Something weird

I have Facebook “friends” whom I don’t know. This morning, one of them posted something in terrible English and hardly a word spelled correctly. I questioned “her” and she came back with comments in even worse English. I went to her site and all the posts there were in correct English, so I messaged her asking if she had posted the post in question which I gave her the link to. She answered that she did. And her answer was in terrible English.

Still scratching my head about this – I went back to her site and looked at her friends and family members. I clicked on a couple family members and their sites are bogus. So I unfriended “her.”

The name on her site was a very traditional American name, and that’s what threw me off.

Don’t ever accept a friend request without checking the person’s site. When it’s bogus, there won’t be many posts, and most of the posts will be pictures of the person and not much else.

I don’t know the purpose of people who create fake sites. Why would they do that? What’s in it for them? I get friend requests from people like that every single day.

UPDATE:
Some of my friends who responded to this suggested that I block her. I hadn’t thought of that so I went back to her site to do so ….. and found that IT’S BEEN TAKEN DOWN!!!

NOW WHAT DO I DO?

Now I’m wondering if I have other fake “friends” on my Facebook account. I have more than 3,700 “friends,” it would be a nightmare to go to each one to find the bogus ones. I did vet each and every one before accepting their friend request, that’s why I was so shocked when this fake one became apparent.

MORE:

I want to add here one more thing. I have several blogs, this being one of them, and I sometimes find that someone has “followed” my blog with purposes other than interest in what I post. I go to their blog and find it’s all about marketing and sales. I remove them, and they come back – every single day. I’ve researched trying to find out if there’s a way to block them, but on WordPress blogs there isn’t. I can block them from commenting but not from  following my blog. And again I ask, what is their purpose?

 

Oh No, Not Again – I Need To Learn A New WordPress???

Here comes a rant. You don’t have to read all this, but I HAVE to write it. That’s how I vent.

I mean…..

I took a look at the new one – they call it “Gutenberg” – and I hate it. Why oh why can’t they just leave well enough alone???

It looks dreadful. I tried playing around with the “Blocks” and all I can say is groannnnn…..

Right now I’m typing this in the old WordPress, the one that took me all of two whole weeks before I was comfortable with it. Learning WordPress was a real chore because it’s so different from Blogger which I had used for about 10 years. But for reasons I won’t go into here, I had to leave Blogger. That meant learning a whole new blogging setup. So I went to WordPress and had to plod my way through with tutorials groaning and screaming all the way because it was SO different from Blogger. Ok, I got it now. Leave me alone for goodness sakes. I do NOT want another change!

In the new one – WordPress’s “Gutenberg”- instead of seeing a flat text area like the one I’m using right now – you get these boxes that are jumping all over the place. Each paragraph is a separate box. Is that insane or what? I’m looking at my text here in the old WordPress. Everything is right in front of me. There’s a formatting toolbar above with the usual formatting icons. Why is this not good enough??? Why split up every paragraph into boxes that appear and disappear as you try to use them? What a nightmare!

It will be awhile before I go back and take another look. After just one hour looking at the new one I’m just overwhelmed. I don’t want to see it again until I recover from this shock. Until then I’ll just use this one that I’m used to – until they force the new one on me. Groannnnn……