Of Internet Trolls, Their Toxic Behavior, and Ultimately Regarding Them as Nothing More Than Inconsequential Members of a Virtual Peanut Gallery
The article below is dated, but definitely worth revisiting. Particularly in this current viscous social climate engendered by the cruel people in positions of power who have taken a toll on the mental health of many people.
I blogged for a number of years (and was published by many political e-zines) in the 2000s. I now write pieces for my mental health blog, for this page, and for publication on websites. In those writings, I share my experience, strength, and hope that was granted by grace, and fought for, along my harrowing recovery journey that began in 1993.
Therefore, I have encountered many a troll in my day. And they are indeed horrible people filled with hatred and vitriol which they delight in spewing upon others.
It continues to blow my mind that fellow sufferers and/or self proclaimed supporters of those of us with a mental illness and/or addiction attack heartfelt and sometimes vulnerable efforts to help others by sharing messages of inspiration, compassion, and education based on personal experience. Despite no insistence on the reader adopting the approach/viewpoint presented.
Yet I see it happen all too frequently, to others and to me. On pages dedicated to advocacy for people with a mental illness!
This Teddy Roosevelt quote referenced so aptly by Brene Brown in her book Daring Greatly puts a powerful perspective on this cowardly, nasty behavior, reminding us that trolls can ultimately be regarded as nothing more than inconsequential members of a virtual peanut gallery:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Meanwhile, I plan to continue ignoring the trolls/critics, praying for them (as I learned to do in recovery), and to “Keep fucking going,” as I also learned to do in recovery.
Peace and read on!
Internet Trolls Are Narcissists, Psychopaths, and Sadists
“Let’s start by getting our definitions straight: An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.