If you’re a blogger, at some point you’ve probably gone toe-to-toe with an Internet troll — “a person whose sole purpose in life is to seek out people to argue with….over extremely trivial issues.”
If you haven’t had this delightful experience yet, you will sooner or later. Technology is maturing faster than we are, so Internet trolls have become a fact of life.
When my first article was published at xoJane, e-gremlins called me a jobless, spoiled, trust-fund baby. I was pegged as a psychotic, shitty writer, who’s only ever written sub-par, self-published novels and articles.
The comments made my stomach knot like a mall pretzel. I sobbed. One minute, I wanted to crawl back into my mother’s uterus. The next, I wanted to fight — to scratch my way out of the trolls’ black and white pit of negativity. I read the soul-sucking comments over and over for six hours.
I decided I wasn’t prepared for a war with faceless, nameless, word-wielding trolls, who relentlessly stalked me on my social media profiles. So I decided to play nice, which resulted in some of the trolls feeling bad for their comments and one admitting that her reading comprehension was poor.
But Stephen King says, “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered.”
We all know that trolls aren’t polite. They spew smoke and hurl fire. Their words leave you blistered, red, and peeling, but as you slowly heal, your skin becomes tougher and your scars fade.
My cyber-bullying experience taught me valuable coping skills. Now I can mentally clobber any troll that comes my way, and you can too. [Read more…]