Don’t Feed The Trolls

Written by Jenn Sadai

Anyone who spends a significant amount of time voicing their opinions on social media knows how it feels to be confronted by an angry internet troll. You innocently share your thoughts with the world only to have a stranger persistently argue or insult you without any direct provocation. Most often, it leads to personal attacks on your character or appearance, and the only way to get it to stop is by blocking the person.

Internet trolls are becoming quite common and increasingly aggressive. It’s easy for someone to rattle off a verbal attack on their keyboard without giving any consideration to the person they are attacking. They can hide behind their computer, oblivious to the damage their online bullying may be causing.

It can be exceptionally hard to handle if you’re an advocate who speaks out against bullying and/or domestic violence. Most advocates experienced some form of abuse or bullying, which inspired them to speak up. If you’ve been a victim in the past, you’re more likely to be sensitive to all forms of verbal abuse. Encountering an aggressive troll could damage your self-esteem and may even prevent you from voicing your opinion the next time you’re fighting against an injustice.

Rules of Online Engagement

  1. Don’t belittle or attack other people’s posts or respond to trolls with the same hostility they’ve chosen. If you want the right to post your opinions without criticism, you must give others that same freedom.
  2. Don’t let trolls get inside your head. Always remember that they don’t know you personally and they have no basis for judging you.
  3. It’s better to block trolls than try to debate them. It’s not worth your sanity, even if you have the facts to prove your opinion is right.
  4. Use privacy options whenever possible. Facebook and Twitter give you the ability to control who sees your social media posts. If you want to avoid trolls completely, change your accounts to private.
  5. Never let the trolls win. Don’t let some stranger clicking away on his keyboard scare you away from what you want to post. Always stay true to your purpose.

There’s nothing wrong with being publicly opinionated, especially if you’re fighting for the rights and freedoms of the disenfranchised. Everyone has the right to their opinion and shouldn’t be verbally attacked because they choose to share it on social media. The world would be a better place if everyone used the internet to inform and inspire rather than emitting hate or harsh judgement. Until the trolls get bored with this game, online advocates must stay true to their convictions and not let the trolls get the better of them.

 

Jenn Sadai is a Canadian author and advocate who’s just crazy enough to think she can change the world. Jenn shares her stories of surviving domestic violence, depression, and workplace bullying in hopes that it will help others cope and heal. She is the author of Dark Confession of an Extraordinary, Ordinary Woman, Dirty Secrets of the World’s Worst Employee, and Cottage Cheese Thighs. Website

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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