In the world of the internet, a troll is a person who deliberately causes trouble and distress to others by posting inflammatory and provocative messages in online communities such as newsgroups, forums, chat rooms, or blogs.
Trolling can be done for various reasons, including amusement or specific gain, but it is important to remember that it can have devastating consequences for the victim.
The Forms of Trolling
Trolling can take shape in many forms, but the most common form is people commenting on other’s Instagram photos, Facebook posts, and also using Twitter. Some forms of trolling are designed to make clever statements about topical issues (for example, political debates), while others can be much more harmful on a personal level. It is important to understand the different forms of trolling to know how to react to them appropriately.
The Impact of Cyberbullying
Studies have shown that social media posts are the most damaging form of cyberbullying and can have devastating mental health consequences. Victims of cyberbullying can suffer from depression, anger, and feelings of vulnerability and powerlessness. They may feel overwhelmed, exposed, and humiliated, and can even become dissatisfied with their own lives.
The Effects of Cyberbullying
Trolling is a form of cyberbullying and can lead to serious mental health problems, including suicidal thoughts and attempts. Cyberbullying can affect the victim’s everyday life and can be a constant source of distress and worry. With mobile technology being so freely available it is an ongoing issue and one that is relentless.
Victims of cyberbullying are more depressed, irritable, and angry and are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide. Some of the feelings that negative comments over the internet can cause include; feeling overwhelmed, vulnerable, powerless, exposed and even humiliated. Trolling can also cause a person to feel dissatisfied with who they are, create feelings of anger and even give the person disinterest in life.
Taking Trolling Seriously
Internet trolling is now being taken seriously by law and can have serious consequences. In the United Kingdom, internet trolls could face up to two years in jail for their actions. It is important for everyone to remember that the internet can be used as a platform to lift others or knock them down, and we all have a choice.
A difference of opinion can be worded in kind and friendly ways and can open up healthy debates and great discussions, rather than online arguments, abuse, and upset. It is better to get in touch privately and discuss any issues or opinions directly instead of shaming someone publicly.
The Positive Side of the Internet
The internet is a great place for online community, support, and love. It has brought people all over the world closer together and holds messages of hope and inspiration. It is important to remember that the internet can be used positively to create communities that support and uplift one another.
The Importance of Support
If you or someone you know is a victim of cyberbullying, there are resources available to help. Mental health support lines are available for those who need help and guidance. It is important to seek support when you are feeling overwhelmed or distressed by trolling or any other form of cyberbullying. Remember, there is no shame in asking for help.
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- UK Ministry of Justice (20 October 2014). “Internet trolls to face 2 years in prison”. Retrieved 15 February 2015.
- Science Explains Why Internet Trolling Is a Real Mental Health Threat. Thrive Global. https://thriveglobal.com/stories/science-explains-why-internet-trolling-is-a-real-mental-health-threat/.
- Effects of Cyberbullying. Bullying UK. https://www.bullying.co.uk/cyberbullying/effects-of-cyberbullying/.
- What Are the Effects of Cyberbullying? Verywell Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/what-are-the-effects-of-cyberbullying-460558.
- Mental Health Support Lines. Get Self Help. https://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/helplines.htm.