I initially told myself that I wasn’t going to do this: entertain an online community who’s sole mission is to promote ignorance. But after seeing the continued backlash that gymnast Gabby Douglas received at this year’s Olympics, the Nate Parker case that has added another flame to the gender war between men & women, and the response from Donald Trump’s recent comments about the African American community, I would be remiss not to call out these soldiers of buffoonery…Social Media Trolls.
Some of you may need to take notes, so go ahead and grab your pen and paper while I finish up my tea.
Ok, what is a troll?
- A member of an Internet community who posts offensive, divisive and controversial comments. Often, a troll will make obvious and inflammatory statements that are meant to bait new users (newbies) into reacting.
I’m convinced that some folks might not know that they’re trolling on their perspective social media accounts. If that’s the case, I hope that the following examples will help you connect the dots.
- If you post statuses, comments, videos and etc with the intent to start a debate…you’re a troll.
- If you post all of your personal issues (arguments with your spouse, your children’s medical problems, or bereavement updates) yet you still complain about not having any privacy…you’re a troll.
- If you purposely go to another person’s page (particularly celebrities) and demean their character, appearance, personal life, and etc…you’re a troll.
- If you name call or use obscene language within a debate to compensate for the lack of knowledge and/or two syllable words that you can’t think of in order to win…you’re a troll.
- If you are a gossip blogger/columnists who uses independent journalism skills to promote ignorance, start drama, or just to trend…you’re a troll.
- If you are a social media model (one who isn’t signed to an authentic agency) who’s brand consists of semi-naked photos but you still get offended when you receive the wrong kind of attention from the wrong people…you’re a troll.
- If you are/were a political science major who hasn’t had an opportunity to debate with the pundits on CNN so you choose to berate your followers with obnoxious, political rhetoric…you’re a troll.
- If you are an obsessed stan (this one’s for you #Beehive) who overtly defends any and everything that your beloved idol does by attacking folks on the Internet who may not like your King/Queen…you’re a troll.
- If you are a member of a social group and/or organization (supremacist, religious, feminist, #BlackLivesMatter/#AllLivesMatter) who uses your arrogance veiled with “pride” for your organization to argue with folks online who don’t understand and couldn’t care less…you’re a troll.
- And if you are someone who uses a fake name and a fake profile picture to hide behind while you spout obscenities to folks online that you’d never have the BALLS to say to your elementary school bully let alone them…you, simple one, are the biggest troll of them all.
Now, I could bring up some stats about the effects of online trolling or cyberbullying but I doubt that the majority of you trolls would even care. I mean, I could mention that cyberbullying victims are almost twice as likely to commit suicide than those who haven’t experience cyberbullying; I could mention that 20% of middle-schoolers within the most populous school districts in the United States seriously considered suicide due to online harassment; I could mention that adolescent girls are more likely to experience cyberbullying from trolls on the Internet (40.6% compared to 28.2% for boys); I could mention that 43% of all students will experience cyberbullying in their lifetime; I could even mention that adult trolls who take pleasure in online harassment and inflicting pain on others are being investigated for behavior patterns that are relative to sadism. But would you care? No, you’re a troll and that means that you care about no one but yourself.
In that case, keep trolling. You motivate me to be kind, to use discernment, to read more, to be patient, to use intelligence & not emotion, and to give my future children as much love & attention as possible because it’s clear that you didn’t get much of that growing up. And if you happen to cross my social media path again—which I’m sure you will—don’t worry about me barking back at your noise. Not my style. I’ll just continue to laugh and read your comments like I always do.
Until Next Time…
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Cyberbullying and Suicide. Retrieved August 24, 2016, from http://cyberbullying.org/cyberbullying_and_suicide_research_fact_sheet.pdf
Adult Cyber Bullying — Harassment in the Information Age. (2016, July 25). Retrieved August 24, 2016, from https://nobullying.com/adult-cyber-bullying/
Cyberbullying and Social Media. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2016, from http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/cyberbullying-social-media.html