Why are we Trolls on the Internet/Social Media?

Which is the biggest empire in the world right now? The United States of America? Nay. Russia with all of its military strength and invasive stratagem? Nay.

Then which one? Surely not the UK? Of course not.

Here’s a hint: It’s a place where transmission is instantaneous, almost akin to teleportation, you can talk to your friends, or communicate with people from all over the world in a matter of seconds, where you can see the wonders of the world and all the grandeur of Earth without needing a passport of a visa.


Confused? Well, don’t blame yourself, the question was more of a riddle than a simple question with an obvious answer.

The largest empire in the world, my dear Watson, is of course, the Internet. A place where you can communicate with people from all walks of life on the numerous social media sites, have healthy discussions, debate world politics and the nature of humanity, and talk with our near and dear ones who reside far away from us, in another corner of the globe. The Internet, an Empire unrivalled in its power, with vast potential, a lot of which is still to be tapped.

And most of us use it to watch cat videos (not that there’s anything wrong with that), or troll others online (there’s a lot wrong with this!).

So why are we trolls on the Internet? Hiding under bridges, clubbing unsuspecting visitors on their head and then feasting on their self-esteem, their mental health, and their emotional well-being?

A part of the answer lies in human psychology. The internet provides a physically safe outlet for people to vent their frustrations and release all of their negative swath of energy on unknowns, knowing all the while that no one will be able to get back to them physically. The safety of anonymity when people are online, aided with the help of fake screen names on numerous social media sites means that people can vent their aggressions on innocents without having to worry about repercussions. Thus, the Internet becomes a haven for those folk who have to hide their true, ugly faces in real life, but don’t have to do so online. These trolls do not have to worry about consequences of their actions on the Internet, and thus a lot of them act with impunity, letting the primitive part of their brain take control and bash those who disagree with them.

Like that popular meme says, ‘On the Internet, no one knows you are a dog’. (Though equating trolls to dogs is an insult to those loyal canines).

Over a period of time, even the victims become desensitized to the chaos of the Internet – and in some cases, they even end up adding to it, becoming trolls themselves in the process. In a lot of cases, these outspoken trolls find support in their ideologies and hate speech from others who share a similar mind-set – if you want an example you, just look at the behaviour of the majority of the people who are supporting ‘Donald Drumpf’ for the US presidency. They find safety in numbers and feel that their points are validated and right, and this crowd soon becomes a horde. A horde of trolls lacking sensitivity and empathy, only caring about inflicting hurt on others, on venting out their frustrations and the helplessness that they feel in real life on these hapless denizens of the Internet, carrying their metaphorical clubs and bashing others over the head as they spread a culture of hate-speech, racism and subjugation online.

So remembers peeps, if you encounter one, ignore them. Nothing hurts them more than being deemed inconsequential and unworthy of attention.

But never feed the trolls.

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Pritesh is a writer, reader, photographer stricken with wanderlust, Football aficionado, Demon-slayer, Monster-hunter, entrepreneur supreme. He creates worlds with words and he is currently working on three novels and a collection of short stories. When he isn't writing, he can be seen inhaling copious amounts of coffee and arguing with the many voices in his head.


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