As we live in an age where the internet connects us to all 4 corners of the globe in milliseconds allowing families, businesses and gamers to communicate with one another in real time. However, a growing phenomenon threatens the harmony of such experiences, something that is done in mostly anonymous fashion allowing people to say the most shocking & vile things all while they are doing it from the comfort of their living rooms, basements, offices & bedrooms from behind a keyboard and a fake profile. This trend is called Trolling, and this has affected the lives of many people in a variety of factors, some have even turned serious.
What is Trolling?
Trolling is the “art” of bringing discord in an online community, game, forum or social media by deliberately posting inflammatory content, using voice communication tools to annoy others or play in such a way it hinders progress. This is all to get a reaction out of people to satisfy an inner urge or to simply show off to friends. Scrolling through Facebook comments on posts referring to political issues can be an absolute minefield of abuse and comments designed to start quarrels and aim hate at a particular group or person. As we’ve advanced technologically in the past decade, so has various avenues of ways and means people can troll others.
In most cases, Trolling is eradicated by a simple click of a mute button. In more serious cases, it has devastating consequences such as self-harm, depression and even driving victims to attempt or contemplate suicide leaving friends and families to deal with the consequences. People who have suffered unimaginable experiences & abuse are subject to online hate and trolling causing them to spiral even further into the pits of despair. One young lady for instance, was told to go ‘kill herself’ on the streaming app Live.me, had her address shared on twitter as a house to burgle and more disturbingly, had her face superimposed on pornographic pictures and shared all over social media.
Don’t Feed the troll
The best way to deal with trolls? Don’t respond and click the block and report button. If it starts going from the online world and affecting your life, seeking support from the authorities is the best way. Having a network of friends helping you do this by openly calling this out and also reporting the abuse to various platforms. It’s easy to say “don’t let it affect you” I know, but the main thing trolls feed off of is the reactions, the retorts. Trolling isn’t big, isn’t funny, it’s cruel, thoughtless and harmful. If you troll, think about what you are doing, even if it’s ‘for a joke’, actions affect people differently, the person on the end of that joke may be already in deep despair and depression and it may tip them over the edge. The internet is designed to be a good place, a highway of information, and a resource for people to live out their dreams, not to be a tool of hate, prejudice & life-changing consequences. In conclusion, Don’t be an idiot & just be nice to people. Don’t be mad and stay motivated