Insults, cursing, slurs, sexist remarks or faith-shaming comments are trolls’ favorite things to say.
Many times in the past, I was excited to join in conversations or hashtags calling out misogynistic traditions. I was eager to interact with people from all over the world who shared similar views, or simply learn from their experiences.
But in the world of Twitter, if the topic is a hot button one, meant to gain attention and input, there’s always someone lurking. Trolls make it their business to find a way into conversations and do their best to ruin them.
Far too often on Twitter, someone mentions me in a comment which is ignorant and senseless – yet this egg tries to speak to me from some perverse position of authority, which they, of course, lack.
I try my best to ignore it but other people in the conversation don’t. Then someone has to waste a tweet telling them to go away, get off their mentions or threaten to block them.
When the trolls eventually leave after they’ve created an uproar, it’s hard for things to go back to normal and the dialogue to resume. Trolls leave a trail behind them. A sludge-filled, sticky trail that was never productive to begin with.
They don’t need a lot of tweets to put a damper on things, either.
Trolling is cyberbullying. It feels uncomfortable, like you’re pushed in a corner and someone is screaming at you. I want to get out as fast as I can. My Twitter is my personal space in cyberspace and you have invaded it with your negativity and cruelty. Trolls are literally trying to push me out of my space.
I’ve realized that it takes a conscious effort to tell yourself to shrug off what the trolls say. It can be overwhelming to read hate-filled tweets and not care what they say. To not be affected by trolls requires self-confidence. It means being able to stand up for yourself and your views, even if other people disagree – even if they disagree in the most malicious way possible.
But when the topic is pertinent or considered taboo by some individuals, it needs to be talked about. If it concerns you, talk about it. If it concerns the community, get the dialogue started. Don’t pay any regard the haters.
There will always be people who disagree with what you have to say and cannot respectfully express their disagreement. The ironic thing about trolls, is that if you keep silent on the issues that they’re so vocal about and set against, they’ll continue in their ignorance and never be educated on the issue.
I’m determined to not let the poor decorum of a troll affect me, even though they try. I think the only way to deal with it is to let trolls be trolls.