Rise of the Trolls: Why the Internet Fosters So Many Haters
When you blog, Facebook or tweet you open yourself up to a vast network of potential contacts, new friends or maybe even romance. But be careful not to have too much success, too much happiness and too much uncommon sense and you might as well put a sign on your backside that says, “Kick me.” And boy, they do. They spew the most horrid and vile word vomit, cloaked behind the glass shield of the computer screen. These are the Trolls, from the land of Trollpania, and they walk amongst us, cowards that they are, because what the write online they would be too yellow-spined to say to your face.
Khadija Nassif, founder of the ground-breaking Black Women’s Empowerment blog, Sojourner’s Passport, called these folks internet Ike Turners, if they’re men and “Ikettes” if they’re women. These trollpanians/Ikes/Ikettes feed off of throwing salt, extinguishing any hopes and dreams you have, poo-pooing on your success and want you to be as miserable as they are.
Here’s a few reasons why trollpanians like to sling e-turds online.
Control and Fear
It seems silly to try to control someone you don’t know with no skin in the game, yet they try. And try. And try. Perhaps you stand for a cause that threatens them and upsets their entire worldview. Could you imagine if the internet was around when Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Earth was round, and then blogged about it? Just picture all those Flat Earth people hurling f-bombs and threatening to burn ole’ Ferdi at the stake. Some people would rather seek to destroy what they fear rather than expend the brain cells necessary to think critically. Flat Earth folks would rather Google and cut and paste something–ANYTHING–that supports their point of view, no matter how wrong it is.
Envy and Jealousy
I see a lot of this on You Tube, when some happy couple publicly announces an engagement, eager and giddy to share their happiness with the world. They’ll be absolutely no reason to “dislike” a couple with plans to pledge their lives to one another, so why do I keep seeing “thumb’s down” on videos as tame as Bambi in a field full of flowers?
“It’s jealousy. These people think they are entitled to have what you have,” says psychologist, relationships expert and author, Dr. Gilda Carle. “They are mad at themselves because they have not succeeded as much as they would like,” and hate to see you doing what they aren’t doing.
Perhaps if the trollpanians spent a bit more time on their personal development and less time tearing others down, they might be able to celebrate the good fortune of others. Could we all be so lucky?
Christelyn D. Karazin is the co-author of “Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed” (to be released May 2012), and runs a blog, www.beyondblackwhite.com, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.
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