Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Trolls & Molls. Are They One and the Same?

Over the weekend I instagrammed one of my husband's paintings. He's working on this beautiful show at the moment, and I was excited to share one of the works. 

My caption neatly stated: Jonathan Livingston Seagull I presume. Cutting an arc into the distance, ink on paper. 

It wasn't long before someone I'd never come across on IG commented along the lines of:

I saw this caption and it made me think of you @somebody(obviouslynottherealhandle). Yawn!

A little gobsmacked, I left it there. 

I left it there thinking that that person would come back and apologise, or at least try and justify what that comment actually meant. Maybe I misinterpreted it?! I actually waited for a couple of hours and then one of my friends stood in and questioned what was so 'yawn'.

I still waited a little, then a few more friends mentioned it. And then the person who was being shouted out to in the first comment came over and confirmed that they were indeed two complete and utter, totally and absolute asshats. She replied: @thefirstasshat double yawn!

I didn't get punk'd. I got trolled. 

It made me think. Who are these dorks that go around spreading mean vibes? Who does that shiz? And why? And what did I ever do? And what? Huh? Wha? 

I hate being bullied. So I asked a few of my friends for their take on online trolls/molls. Over this week I'll share the insightful and awesome responses that arrived in my inbox. I was going to do one post - but they're all too good to edit down. 

Chantelle from Fat Mum Slim
Ah, trolls... those who hide so bravely behind their screens leaving nastiness for fun. What a life that must be. Joy {not!}. I get trolled all the time. It's a daily thing for me, and I've had to just get tough skin to not let it get me down, but unfortunately it still does. There are days when I just want to escape the online world and leave it all behind, and admit defeat. It's exhausting.
But then I have to think about all the good stuff that I get from having an online presence. The friendships, the enjoyment, the community... I wouldn't want to be without it. I've been called names, I constantly have people critiquing my photos, my life, things I say/do/eat/breathe. Most of the time I let the comments stay, but others I quickly delete {especially if I'm not feeling armed for a battle}.
Why do people troll? Because they don't have anything good in their lives, surely? I can't think of any other reason.
What can we do about it collectively? Not react. They want us to get up in arms. The currency is human attention, and if we give it to them... they win. We have to remain not affected. We have to let them be, sadly. Otherwise we're going to spending precious time every day fighting battles not worth fighting.
And we have to remember, how sad it must be to be them.

Jayde from Little Paper Lane

Trolls come in so many forms on the inter webs and I really think each case has to be dealt with individually!

I am hopeless at blogging, I don't spend enough time on my blog to get stalked or trolled (touch wood) so I haven't had to deal with anyone there yet, but there has be a few times on Facebook where I've felt attacked, and I am WAY too sensitive to deal with them as I usually take it personally. 

But in the few times it's happened, I have always had a few other internet and real life friends backing me up. I think when people attack you online, you feel very alone to begin with, especially when others start to gang up on you.  I usually try and find out 'why' the person feels like they need to attack me, just in case it was a misunderstanding, which has happened a lot because you can't hear tone or sarcasm or jokes through typing. 

If they keep coming back at me, if its on another page that I am not an admin on, I try very hard to not come back and read because they are usually just bored and trying to get a rise. But if it's on my own pages, and the person is being unreasonable and nasty, I will remove their comments and block them from the page, or the entire conversation if it's all too lethal and horrible. 

I have come across many horrible people on Instagram (not on my own page so much) and I try and deal with them gently at first, and usually with humour…there is nothing worse for a troll than a person being funny and lovely to them, and if they don't stop, again I ignore and don't go back to the conversation thread. 

For the most part if someone is horrible for no reason on your own photo on Instagram, majority of your followers who actually like you will jump in and ask the troll why they are being this way. It does add fuel but it can also stop the troll in their tracks…most of the time the person has a private account so they can "hide" but all we can do is try and make sure their words are not hurting ourself or others too much. You just have to judge each situation as it comes.

If anyone was to say anything nasty about my children or family, I'd instantly delete and block them. If by chance they had some contact information about themselves on their own page I would contact them personally via email and confront them about what they had said and why they felt they needed to say it. I feel like trolls are cowards are bored though and obviously not nice people, so we must try not to give them too much of our energy. its just not worth it.

BIG thanks to my lady friends who have shared their thoughts on the subject of trolls. Stay tuned, I've got more up my sleeve to share on this subject. 

Have you been trolled? How do you deal with trolls? 

image via Pinterest


jodie said...

trolls seem to be part of the deal these days - sadly.

Danimezza said...

Too much to say on this topic so just imagine me sitting here and nodding. Asshats.

missfoxslane said...

I think this is such an interesting topic. My immediate reaction is to delete and block. To not give them air. After all who the fuck are they to have any say at all in the goings on in my world. But sometimes I do leave the icky comments and just ignore them. Sometimes if I'm feeling strong enough I think that gives a more powerful message. They're not worth my time and energy. Boring...

Toni Brockliss said...

It all comes down to this simple statement - they are just jealous.
I can hear the trolls scoffing now! "Me! No way!"
But it's true.
They could be jealous of your good hair day, your new shoes, your man, your house, the way you look at the world, and they want to zing you and deflate you and hurt you.
They are jealous. Block and delete and keep being awesome.

Catherine Alekna said...

I enjoy the power of the delete and block buttons and use them when it is appropriate. I haven't been bullied online and i hope i never do. But in real life i deal with asshats by ignoring them. give them no mind and their pathetic little jibe will have been for nothing. It might be hurtful at first but my friends are usually pretty good at making me feel better!

Sam Stone said...

No I haven't. I am sure I would react badly to it.
I am sad that you were. I love your husbands paintings and I love you.
I also have to say that I love Jayde's glasses and hair - she is gorgeous!

Jayde~Little Paper Lane said...

awwww you are SO just made my day…like a lot!

Sarah-Jane Kurtini said...

I'm always in complete awe of the fabulous bloggers and Instagrammers who keep on sharing their ideas, thoughts and inspiration in the face of what is meanness at best, and bullying at worst.

I feel angry and sad that they've had to develop thick skins but grateful that they have, so that I get to keep following them.