Anyone who knows me also knows there are certain topics which will lead me to some pretty impressive rants, whether it’s a comment regarding my addiction to Diet Coke (it’s not just a drink, it’s a lifestyle), the fact that my Arts degree is useless (look who has a job now suckers!) or that Glee and musicals are a drain on society in general (lies!). I will admit that my short temper and potentially over the top reactions are a flaw and my friends will admit they bring these topics up on purpose in a game they like to call “poke the bear,” (obviously I am the Bear, and I can get pretty beastly) but you may know this game as “trolling.”
The world is full of nasty little trolls and all they want is a reaction. The law of trolling is very similar to Newton’s third law, “that for every action there is an equal and positive opposite reaction,” however, this law states “that for every negative action, there is an increased negative reaction,” ie. You say something mean to someone and they will get their Hulk on.
Of course the troll HQ is located in the most anonymous and viral of all places, the internet. Trolls lurk in message boards, Twitter, YouTube, basically anywhere that has a comment feature. From here, they “poke the bear.” The reactions are highly predictable.
The question is, how should you deal with a troll?
Issues are arising in relation to cyber bullying and the potential for legal action against the seemingly anonymous.
It is an interesting prospect and I think it is especially important in relation to cyber bulling in schools, where students text, email and tweet nasty and cruel messages to their peers, which can lead to the most extreme of reactions, suicide.
However, in relation to the derogatory messages about Neill Liam and Zayn on the One Direction message board or the hate tweets sent to celebrities, I suggest one thing: NO REACTION. The troll operates under one objective – to get a reaction. The rest seems obvious. Grow a thicker skin One Directioners and maybe don’t take the lives of your favourite celebrity so seriously. They’re not going to date you, no matter how defensive you get.