trollSteve Mass – Staff Worship Leader

The word “Trolling” has become a term being used more frequently regarding the social media craze. It’s not necessarily a new concept but has become something that has drawn more attention lately in the online community.

Let me define it for you.

Troll: to make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.

You see this a lot on websites like YouTube and blogging sites. The people that do this aren’t really looking to debate, they more just want to cut people down. In my opinion it’s a cry for attention from the online community who can easily click like to support these mean comments, like the crowd supporting the school bully. Everyone else doesn’t really want to say anything mean, but will jump on the bandwagon of mudslinging because all they have to do is click “Like” or “Thumbs Up”.

Why do we allow this to happen? And what should our response be to this?

I think that culture is all about being provocative. Whatever shocks and ruffles feathers is far more entertaining than saying something nice. Everyone has an opinion but, the question needs to be asked, “Is this something worth posting, and what is my intent behind it?” Do you want to comment on someone’s status just to be mean or are you trying to be constructive to a conversation?

I once had someone leave me a comment on my post about my grammar that I used on a blog I posted. It was something along the lines of me not knowing how to use grammar correctly. (WARNING: sarcastic comment) Apparently my whole point was moot because of a misuse of grammar. Seriously? Out of everything I wrote they wanted to point THAT out? Now in this situation I don’t think they were trying to fish for attention or be rude, but that fact was they didn’t have anything to say about the topic I wrote on.

I could have come back with something sarcastic but I restrained the urge to type something snarky back. But the reality is that people want to respond at a surface level instead of saying something productive. Luckily the web designers of these websites created a great feature called “Delete Post” that can completely remove the person’s comment.

There is an old adage you may have heard that says, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all.”

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” -Ephesians 4:29 

If you are trolling sites just to stir up a fight, you need to find a better use of your time, because really, your posts reflect your character. The social media platforms aren’t created to break down community they are there to build them. If these people offend you, here are a few things to consider. You need to understand who’s leaving the comment. If it’s someone you don’t know, you probably shouldn’t give them a lot of weight to hurt your feelings because, well… THEY DON’T KNOW YOU! If it is someone you know, these conversations are better handled over private messaging or emailing rather than airing your dirty laundry for all to see.

You also need to know that you have your own thoughts that, guess what?…, everyone may not agree with. That’s ok. That’s why they are your thoughts. If you’re not comfortable getting commentary on your thoughts, maybe reconsider posting things online.

Moral of the story: Be a contributor or an encouragement to someone, and don’t waste your time cutting people down over the internet, because its really easy to type something online rather than say it to their face.



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