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05 November 2007

Please Do Not Feed Internet Trolls

Who are trolls and don't they have a life? This is a question that is not easily answered, but trolls are curious people. Their reasons are as vast and different as the human psyche. Some lead boring lives and may find enjoyment in playing out the stories they have created. Some suffer from severe depression or other conditions, and have a need to cause trouble to make themselves feel better. Also known as emotional vampires, they will stoop to anything just to have their way.

They're very unbalanced as well as being toxic. Low self-esteem causes many people to hate their lives or feel they are not exciting enough to be liked or loved, so they fabricate stories, conditions, or personalities so that others will pay attention to them and feed that basic psychological need to have people care about them.

Some trolls are deeply disturbed, filled with hate and resentment. They destroy to exhibit power and manipulate others. Some feel they have no control over their own lives, and it gives them pleasure to feel they have control over others. Others actually identify with their online character and feel it more real than themselves, essentially living in a fantasy world. No one can be sure why a particular troll does what he/she does, which is what makes this situation both frustrating and very sad.

The one thing that trolls all have in common is that they want attention. They want people to like them, fear them, revere them, post to them. They want to monopolize a group. You'll often find when their regular posts don't get that much attention, they keep upping their stories, make the drama more dramatic so people will pay attention to them. Sometimes they just resort to getting mean and attacking. Anything to get a rise.

That said, the key phrase and absolute best advice is "don't feed the trolls." The thing that a troll hates the most is to be ignored. They have to create conflict and get attention in order to fill that psychological need. If they are ignored, if they can't cause trouble, if they do not get attention, it's no fun for them and they usually move on elsewhere.

This has worked for me in the past so I guess its sound information and helpful information. Understanding is always the key and Internet trolls are no different.

This article was written by Saboma from Maryannaville. If you are interested in contributing to the thinking process and become a guest writer on The Thinking Blog, find out more information here and be my guest!

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