When the Internet swept the landscape twenty years ago, few imagined the chatting, Facebook, and other instantaneous social media that has resulted in breathtaking changes in communication structure. These changes have occurred faster than any manmade changes in the history of humankind.
Some of this has resulted in tremendous increases in productivity, and the ability to stay in contact with other people. Some people enjoy hearing other viewpoints and widening horizons or simply just learning more.
But it definitely has its downsides, and technology can increase the distance between people. With the anonymity of the Internet, it is easy to say things without thinking or things that one wouldn’t say face-to-face.
Read the comments on nearly any news thread on any story on the Internet, and if you’re lucky, there are 20 or 30 reasonable comments before the conversation degenerates into name calling, unpleasantness, or profanity.
These types of people who make an art of personal attacks are called Internet trolls. They are people who create arguments with the purpose of upsetting people with inflammatory, extraneous or off-topic comments.
There has now been research done on these people, and it shows that they are psychologically people who enjoy cruelty to others. Many aren’t criminal, but gain benefit from inflicting suffering on others.
One can’t take it personally. Trolls have no specific target.
The best response is no response at all.
There is no reasoning with these types of people. Don’t try.
Karen La Pierre