With my first Vlog I'm going to look at the most common challenge us online folks face … the internet troll. The site Urban dictionary attempted to put a positive spin on trolling, suggesting it is the art of deliberately, cleverly and secretly pissing people off. Someone might need to take another look at his definition of art but the suggestion is trolling has standards and not every malcontent on the internet can claim the moniker troll. Most sites were not as flattering to the troll's ego as UD. Other top hits included words like narcissists, psychopaths and sadists and my favourite online trolls really are horrible people. Ouch … Well, I have a friend who confessed to me that he used to troll and I know him to also have a very kind side, which led me to question the psychology going on between the two polar ideas that trolls are just so clever that they need to spread that clever around by making others feel less or that they are throwaway villains.
Did that make me a troll? From my perspective … of course not.
Believe it or not the troll isn't just looking to make you upset but to emotionally bond with you and the only way he may know how is through eliciting a negative emotional response. My friend had been horribly bullied throughout school and intimacy was something that he readily admitted to struggling with. That's right trolls are suffering just like you and me.
We see it all the time don't feed the trolls and most of the time this is the best advice, especially if you are awash in anger and sadness … so delete and block at will. But if you do encounter a troll and you find yourself invulnerable to his words feed him with good-natured humour and empathy. Laugh with him. Teach him there is another way to communicate and relate. Because we are all on this journey through space and time together and there is no throwing anyone overboard, not even the trolls.