Being a 60s child I grew up with some fabulous toys, no electronics, usually for getting me outside or using my imagination. These little naked, hard plastic dolls with crazy hair who lived on my bedside table, topped the ends of my pencils and rubbed out my mistakes in my story writing are a huge visual of who and what I feel like. Naked, raw, open, wild, colourful, making people smile and with crazy hair.
Trolls I have discovered in the 21st century are quite, quite different. They are a person who “sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response often for the troll’s amusement”.
What kind of amusement can you get bringing someone else down, causing them heartache or destroying their self confidence or belief? But then again, coming away from the Internet type of troll and the toy, what about the human troll in your life? Or are you one in disguise?
How many people do you have in your life that act as your personal troll. Stealing the air you breathe, putting you down, being argumentative just because they can, being rude, taking you for granted, gossiping behind your back. All of this and just for fun!
OMG or is it you? Are you the one in the staff room openly rolling your eyes at what the person next to you just said, is wearing, has done at the weekend? Are you the one putting your friends down because they have something you don’t? Is it you finding a problem with every suggestion someone has just to wind them up or make you feel bigger, better, more important or clever?
So, so easy for us each to become a troll. So easy for us to be having a bad day and to then go out of our way to make someone else feel worse. So very easy to belittle our children when they ask a childlike question because we are having a rough time understanding our own lives. So easy to shout obscenities at another driver in heavy traffic just to get a reaction to vent our own frustration. So easy to start an argument between family and friends that you love to provoke a response that you aren’t getting any other way.
Was that a little too accurate for you and your life?
So, whilst we all hate those internet trolls, if we aren’t careful or mindful of our thoughts and words, we can become them in our own world. Let’s stick with the cute toy creatures with mad hair!!!!