Imagine this… you’re reading a blog post or an article or a comment on Facebook – and then you see it. Somebody left a comment that’s rude, inappropriate, or otherwise just mean.
Congratulations: you just found an internet TROLL.
Far from being those ugly-cute little things with fake gems for belly buttons from my childhood, nowadays (ugh I feel all old typing that!) a troll is something else.
TROLL: a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement. – Wikipedia
Trolling (verb): to troll someone
For trolls, I guess it’s easy, fun, and entertaining to see what kind of muck you can stir up by trolling.
Trolls happen. Rude comments happen. And sometimes they’re the hardest ones to let slide off your back, no matter how thick your skin has become since joining the online world. Because those are the comments that are written and designed to get noticed – and not just by you, but by everyone else, too.
And while it’s sometimes impossible to ignore every troll out there, sometimes it’s nice to blast some Taylor Swift, cry it off, and Shake it Off.
‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play
And the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, hate
Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake
I shake it off, I shake it off.
So trollers gonna troll, troll, troll, troll, troll
No matter what happens, there’s going to be trolls. The anonymity and accessibility of the Internet practically guarantees that. In fact, I don’t think that the trolls are going to get any nicer or less fierce. If anything, I think that this trend of trolling is here to stay.
Trollers are going to keep trolling.
For the rest of us, though… those of us who try to ignore trolls, those of us who are targeted by trolls, and those who are hurt by a troll’s attempt at finding some cheap entertainment at others’ expense, the struggle is real and painful.
A friend of mine writes a wonderful blog – one where she regularly helps other people. She gets emails about it on a regular basis. And I’m one of those people who’s been touched by what she writes. And yet, trolls still stop by her blog to leave pointless comments.
It makes me wish I could put a pop up question (that’d have to be answered) on some sites. It’d ask,
Are you a troll?
No? Great! Welcome!
Yes? Welcome! All commenting capabilities have been suspended. Read away!
Yeah, not gonna happen, I know.
Trolls, bullies, and meanie-heads (my kids’ term) are here to stay, if we’ll let them. So let’s just shake them off, ‘mkay?
Let’s send a clear message: let’s remind trolls and bullies that purposefully rude behavior and comments aren’t acceptable in real life OR online. Be sure to share if you agree.