Anyone who has spent any time on twitter, and many other forms of social media, will know that trolls have become common place. How often you see them depends largely on how much and on what topics you interact and probably how much of a public profile you have as well. I have found some topics of conversations invite more trolls than others, but atheism is one of the big ones, as is feminism & Islam.

For those who haven’t come across trolls, and yes, many haven’t had the dubious pleasure, trolls spend their time on social media aiming to get a rise out of people purely for the ‘enjoyment’.  Their entire aim is to make you mad or sad and in many cases, any reaction at all will do.

Sheldon Troll Spray

Many people don’t block trolls because they feel that trolls then think they have won. I totally get that perspective. For me however, there are just so many of those time wasting fools that, it is just easier to block. I don’t always block right away, because I want to be sure they are a troll, and it isn’t always obvious. Joe Cienkowski is a classic example of that.. Some of them sound so crazy or just plain stupid that it is hard to imagine that anyone could possibly be that stupid but Joe is a classic example of the fact that they can indeed be that stupid. Sadly!

I really don’t care if the troll is so stupid that he or she thinks they have won. In my view, they are foolish time wasters. I have a family, I want my time on social media and away from my family to involve real conversations with real people. If I am wasting time with a troll, I get less of those real conversations. Blocking the troll is the easiest and most expedient way of removing their voice from my timeline. Some say they mute because that way they aren’t on your timeline, and the troll doesn’t know they have been blocked, but it is pretty easy to work out that if someone stops responding, you have been muted. Plus, when you mute someone, they still appear in conversations you click on amongst the posts you actually want to see, and that is just plain annoying.

Trolls don’t deserve a voice. They want attention because for whatever reason, they are incapable of normal interactions with people, so they use trolling as a way to obtain gratification and attention any way they can get it. How annoying people could ever be gratifying I will never know. How they can ignore that they might just push the wrong persons buttons at the wrong time, to devastating consequences I will never know. Sadly they have way more attention and power on social media than they ever deserve. If more of us blocked them, it would mean trolling would be less satisfying to them. As difficult as it may be for some, ignoring attention seekers in my view is the best way to remove their power.

Several people I know troll, trolls. I get why they feel the need for payback, but to me it seems a pointless exercise. I admit I have tried doing so on occasion but it just makes me feel pathetic for stooping to their level. I don’t get joy out of getting a rise out of people and many of these trolls do so because they they feel inadequate in other areas of life. I don’t find it satisfying to prey on that inadequacy. I would rather rise above and let them know by way of ignoring that belittling others isn’t a way to feel better about yourself. It doesn’t work. If someone is making you angry on social media, for me is far better to block and step away.

Feeling better about yourself happens by doing things that truly satisfy you, things that help others, and interacting with people face to face at a real level and that is how I choose to live my life. Social media for me is very much a hobby, and I won’t give trolls the power to dictate how I spend my time, they don’t deserve my time.