Internet Anonymity: A Shield Like No Other
If you have every taken a moment to read through the comments on a popular Youtube video or posted anything to a forum online, you’ve undoubtedly experienced this. That’s right, folks, I’m talking about the troll flammers who get off insulting other people and putting down other people’s work under the guise of the internet.
In our daily lives, there is a certain expectation that we will generally be met with at least a minimal level of civility. I’m not suggesting that no one will be mean to anyone, but it will be more tame most of the time and far less frequent. There are several reasons for this, primarily centered around the aggressors survival instincts and fear. If you walk up to someone and harass them in person, there is the potential for both verbal and physical repercussions. If it becomes severe enough, they might even get the police involved to have you taken away from them.
This fear of ramifications leads a lot of people to act in a socially acceptable manner when they otherwise wouldn’t. No one likes getting hit in the face and there is always someone stronger, faster or capable of socking you a good one. The problem blooms when we take away that fear and give people a medium that allows them the potential to tear another person apart mentally and emotionally.
Welcome to the internet.
People can create fake personas, give next to no personal information or even be brazen enough to use their own name. Then it is just a matter of finding something or someone that you feel will make you look “cool” to insult. You can swear and type in all-caps troll speak and there is next to nothing anyone can really do about it. Get banned from that forum? Make a new user name. Object of your hostility stops blogging? Pat yourself on the back and find a new target.
The internet has become a hunting ground with a nigh-infinite number of vulnerable and exposed targets. These are people who are trying to express themselves or share something they put time and effort into creating with the world. The internet is the greatest medium imaginable for wide-spread communication and conversation. These troll-flammers make it into a barren junk yard.
Just because you don’t feel good about yourself doesn’t mean you should take it out on other people! I’m not about to start preaching that we should all only compliment each other and say nice things. However, if you don’t have anything constructive or helpful to say to a person, don’t bother. You aren’t accomplishing anything by insulting them or their work. Just because it doesn’t interest you, doesn’t mean it has no value.
You useless pieces of scum are not the center of the universe. You don’t decide what has value. You don’t decide who has value. You are insignificant the moment you decide to de-value another person.
Internet trolls, you suck!