It never fails. You’re online reading the comment thread of some article when boom! an internet troll strikes. They always have some snarky, ugly, negative comment about whatever you were just reading. some people respond with various defenses or go away commentary. Most people read the comments and move on.
The problem is this…
Does it seem to you, as it does to me, that the trolls have become more vocal? Less fearless in their trolling? More numerous, maybe? I don’t just mean on the internet either!
I’ve read, and even agreed with, the thought that “It’s the internet, of course there are trolls” ideology. However, one must consider the “we are our friends” theory.
This is the theory that we adapt ourselves to be more like those we hang out with. If your friends are lying, cheating, alcoholics then you too will become a lying, cheating, alcoholic. If your friends are charity giving, gospel saying, pillars of the community etc.. This theory isn’t 100% foolproof, there are always anomalies, but is accurate enough to have weight.
So with this theory in mind I wonder if the growth of the troll community could be directly attributed to the fact that many people read their comments All. The .Time. Whether those people started out as trolls or not… did they become trolls due to the exposure to preexisting trolls? Or are the trolls merely more comfortable speaking out because it has, apparently, become the norm to do so publicly? (see: any Republican debate this year, or reality television)
The online medium has always facilitated an easier way to speak up for those who struggle to do so publicly. Has the erosion of polite barriers enabled trolling clubs to expand membership? Or is it that the “polite” online community is speaking less? Either way it has become an out of control problem. More and more people look to the past and long for the classiness that is missing today. We are surrounded by too much junk… be it food, television, literature, or debates.
I might be sliding off topic….
The purpose of this post was to wonder, question, and discuss how long one should turn away from such horrible and negative commentary. Should the positive be articulated better? Should the trolls be “shot down,” so to speak. Would it do any good? And if not, then how does one suggest going about re-energizing the country with positivity, class, politeness, and empathy? How do we move forward instead of back? How are we Still a country that struggles to accept differences?