The rise of the internet troll. The bully. Someone intent to stir the pot and cause chaos as others look on. With social media being such a strong component in everyday life, many find themselves feeling free to release their negative inner-dialogue from behind the safe confines of their computers.
I believe many of these so-called internet trolls wouldn’t actually voice their vapid ramblings to a real live person face-to-face. The perceived safety is in the fact they are somewhat anonymous, they think they can say whatever they choose. The keyboard is a shield from reality and accountability. Among billions of users, they feel secure in the numbers and being just one unknown.
Of course we aren’t all going to agree! I personally feel there is a way to disagree and still respect another’s opinion. Psychologically, I don’t think the cyber-bullies and online trolls even want to have an adult conversation, they prefer only to get a reaction. Sadly, this has become more rampant as the internet continues to grow in size and scale.
Social barriers are desinigrating right before our very eyes. Empathy seems to slowly disappear, it can’t be seen, heard, or felt from the keys of a computer. This is not a new concept, bullying. The evil dragon has just grown another head.
Being bullied mercilessly as a young adult, I am strongly against this type of behavior. I know how it feels to be on the receiving end. I was called “skinny” almost from the moment I was born. What originated as a descriptor, quickly gave way to taunts and emotional jabs. Online, users face the same scrutiny and torment but also from the comments section of their social media accounts.
My philosophy: if it isn’t friendly, constructive, or empathetic, I usually don’t share. I don’t gossip, I am fairly open and prefer to tell someone how I feel but in a sensitive matter. If a person upsets me, I tell them why. Just like life, I focus on the positive. This goes for social media too. I will seek out the photos I enjoy, rather than spending any energy focusing on something that doesn’t interest me. Bottom line.
So here’s to spreading positive words, uplifting others, and making a difference – over the internet and beyond! And please remember, “do not feed the trolls.”