Where Are My Trolls?!
Beware! Establishing an online presence can get you trolled! As I have recently found out!
In the digital landscape of business and communication, an online presence can attract the attention of a troll. A troll is an online persona who tries to stir fear, anger, negative reaction, upset and or discord by being insulting, threatening or harassing. No provocation needed. Keep in mind that trolling isn’t the same as debating in a forum, or a thread that is open to discussion.
Trolls tend to strike at random. Go about your every day online life, and boom, out of the woodwork a troll comes at you with a snide comment, insult, even a threat.
Don’t think getting hit up by a troll will never happen to you, either. Just pursuing your dreams and doing good things with your life, or having a life at all, may be enough to send a troll over the edge.
I’ve had strangers insult and lecture me on what I post on my own pages. I’ve had an individual tweet a lie about an “article” he claims to have read about me losing my “anal virgin” (this person never posted the link because no such article exists) and a stranger tell me that the cover on one of my books looks like it was taken by “some deviant lurking in some corner it’s creepy.”
What was I doing when this nonsense popped into my feed? I was minding my own business. Doing my own thing. On one occasion I was in bed, asleep. I’d not had any interaction with these individuals, yet they thought I deserved their malice.
Trolls think they can push boundaries and hide behind a computer screen. No doubt the sock puppets who’ve had their identities recently exposed thought they could get away with it, too. Things they would never have the guts to say to someone in person come easily to them online. This type of behavior can cause emotional distress to others.
Children especially have no defenses and can suffer strong emotional reactions to online trolling and bullying with catastrophic results.
If you have been troll-zoned online, feel free to block or unfriend the individual. The time you spend on social media page is precious, so why waste it engaging with disrespectful people and/or allowing them access to you? (Especially if we have to deal with nonsense and negativity real time, away from the PC, tablet or smartphone?)
*Do not hesitate to report someone’s threats or threatening behavior toward you. Be sure any written activity is documented and forwarded to someone you know as well. In case something happens, that troll or stalker has left a paper trail.
As always, use your good judgement as tools to navigate your way around social media, and trolls and haters, in a way that is satisfactory to YOU.