Psychology of Social Media Trolling!
What is Social Media Trolling?
When a member of the online community, purposely tries to attack, disrupt or offend within the community by posting offensive comments, photos, videos, GIFs or any other form of online content is called Social Media Trolling.
One can find online trolling all over the internet, like Youtube videos, emails, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, blog comment section, or any other open area where people can freely post to express their opinions and again visible to the whole online community.
We all too must have experienced trolling in the various group, we joined in WhatsApp and Facebook.
Who are these Trollers?
(from here on, they will be referred to as an idiot)
Wait... In order to answer this question, we need to answer 15 relevant questions first:-
1. What is the background of these idiots? Qualification? Social Status? Bank Balance? God knows!
2. Are they expert on that particular issue, on account of which a person is being trolled? No!
3. Are they having a complete picture of the situation? No!
4. Are these idiots aware of the situation or correct background? No!
5. Do they personally know the person they troll? Have they met the victim in person? No!
6. Who all are responsible for that situation and leading circumstances? No clue!
7. What will be the impact of their troll on social media? Least bothered!
8. What will they gain out by trolling? Nothing!
9. What will social media communities gain by their trolling (or opinion)? Nothing!
10. In case person being trolled take extreme step like self-injury or on extreme cases suicide, who will be responsible for consequences? No idea!
11. If we find that extreme step like suicide was the consequence of online trolling, then is there a law, which can ensure catching of each troller and punishing them personally? No!
12. Is there any laid down the procedure to deal with extreme consequences of troll? No! (There had been incidents of self-harm or suicide in past.)
13. Who will be responsible to look after the victim's loved ones, post consequential extreme step? No one!
14. Is there any way parents of teens to check if their kids are victims of online trolling? No!
15. If parents, do find out about such trolling, then how to handle the situation? Ahem ahem... This will be first termed as an invasion of privacy by parents.
Before jumping into that million dollars descriptions of these idiots, we need to first understand some other surrounding circumstances, which helps trollers to flourish online.
Cheap Internet Services & Smartphones
Smartphones. Now, most of the Indian population have smartphones, be it cheaper handset (Thanks to global cutthroat competitions in the sale of smartphones!). Mi smartphones have revolutionized the Indian Smartphone market, by successfully penetrating into deep suburbs towns and villages. We may not find electricity in these places, but will definitely find smartphones ringing in top volumes.
Internet. With Reliance Jio penetrating deep into Indian mobile internet market in mid-2016 and resultant cut-throat competition in the telecom sector. Now every soul, who can pay Rs. 300, gets 1 GB of mobile data, every day, for 84 days!!! Can you beat that price?
So, now nothing stops every soul to have the account in all social media platforms like Facebook, Google, Twitter and Instagram. So that means more brain, which results in more opinions. Most of them are negatives one. With 1 GB data every day, a person can troll the whole world! Everyday!
With cheap smartphone and mobile internet services, the life of a human being is just got addicted to internet data topped up smartphones.
In early old days, we used to have some events, done throughout the day, where some personal time was ensured. Like Morning routine of potty and bathing, eating food, sleeping and resting.
As a result, nowadays due to the addiction of smartphones, human beings have invented various ways and means to stay connected on social media 24x7. We have just crossed all possible limits of being online updated about who is doing what, when and where.
With the development of artificial intelligence, automation, and digitization, most of the jobs previously handled by humans have been taken over by computers, AI and automated machines.
Examples of Banking and Taxis:-
1. Banking. Banks are the best examples. Everything is now being done on the internet or mobile banking, thus removing the requirement of human to do various jobs. Now by just hovering your fingertip over the mobile screen, one can just successfully transfer any amount of money, anywhere, whenever required! Thanks to various banking websites and mobile apps.
2. Ola, Uber. Right now we are into times, where just by using mobile apps like Ola and Uber, we can get taxis at our doorsteps, whenever we want. This has ensured jobs to many unemployed youths, who can manage to own or rent a car, have a driving license and know how to use mobile apps like google maps.
Whereas, with self-driven cars and drones, which are presently undergoing type testing, the day is not far when millions of Ola, Uber and Lyft drivers will be unemployed. Moreover, with self-driven cars, ongoing issues like rape or harassment by drivers will also be solved. Now just imagine what will happen to these drivers, when self-driven cars will start commuting Ola, Uber and Lyft Taxis? What will they do? Maybe nothing.
Cheap (Internet+Smartphones) + Unemployment + Frustration = Trollers
Now we should be able to relate how cheap smartphones and internet services supplemented with unemployment gives birth to Social Media Trollers.
Unemployment leads to frustration and that has to be vented out somewhere. In reality, if a person physically tries to troll a person bigger size or more powerful, that too in person, then we don't need to imagine about the consequences.
So the best way to vent out one's frustration is, just log on to social media account using cheap internet services, set one target, ready, steady and shoot! Even though, they just don't have any clue about anything.
Nowadays, in order to survive the race of 24x7 masala news, the reference point of news reporting has changed. Instead of running around the countryside for news, it's the best strategy is to just sit with laptop or smartphone, connected to very high-speed internet and keep searching for such online trolls happening around.
If they find one such incident, worth reporting, then just load your mike and shoot, without ever thinking about the victim's plight or future consequences. More than actual news in on ground reality, media houses prefer to report about "WHO IS TROLLING WHOME!" This scenario is very much relevant in the case of Bollywood celebrities or Politics.
Now no one is bothered to think about the fact that whether, the reported troll is even worth reporting or not! News factory should keep running. Whether the news is good or trash..... Just no mercy at all! What will be the impact of such a troll advertisement? Not bothered!
Politics. Special mention to Indian Politics, where during Lok Sabha Elections in 2014, trolling just increased to the whole new level. Social media had successfully derived one equation. Rahul = Pappu. Now whether this equation is right or wrong? God Knows!
Fake Social Projection
Image Filtering. With lots of filter options available on social media platform, now we just can apply any number of changes in our pictures, posts videos etc. So, if anyone is not filtering their pictures, the particular person will be a good entertainment source for troller.
Cut, Copy & Paste. With the option of the customized post, pics freely available on the internet, we all feel extremely comfortable in pasting them on our social media accounts, as if we also feel the same way. But do we actually practice the life same way as we project in our social media platforms? The answer is No! Now, if someone actually posts a true opinion about any issue, then sometime, such souls find themselves flowing against the social media current. Hence, trolling starts!
When any person logs into personal social media account and finds some unwanted comments regarding any of your pics, post, blog, profile etc, depending upon the seriousness of the troll, a sudden surge in victim's blood pressure is experienced. Panic kicks in. Emotional shell of victim cracks. The victim starts creating an invisible defensive cover around. Thought process about ways and means to counter that unwanted comment commences. Why?
Because, due that one unwanted comment, which is visible to the whole world and every other troller sitting online on the different part of the globe. Therefore, initial stress will slowly convert into the panic attack as the trollers' strength increases.
This issue is very much relevant in case of WhatsApp and Facebook groups. A minor joke on one member in the group of 200 souls, will never be taken in a lighter mood and may take an ugly turn. People have even killed each other over Social Media Trolling.
Now every troller is different. One just cannot predict the of low level any particular troller can stoop to. The last troll becomes the reference for other trollers to starts from. This becomes a basic time pass for every idiot sitting online social media at that particular moment.
In the same manner, every victim is also different. One can never predict how a troll is affection victim's life since a victim just doesn't know the identification of the troller, the level of panic just escalates.
With corporate cut-throat competition and survival instinct in the Indian market, smartphones and the internet will be cheaper. Automation will lead to more unemployment. Therefore, more frustration and the proportional increase in the strength of Trollers Army!
Five years from now survival on social media without any trolling will become a distant dream.
What to do?
After reading this article to this point, we are sure that the reader should be able to relate the actual scenario behind the social media trolling.
1. JUST IGNORE THE TROLL! There is no requirement for an investment of any sort of emotion and time in thinking about the troll in every relevant scenario mentioned above. The troll once ignored will die on it own death. Trollers are IRRELEVANT in your life.
2. Punch Back. But still, in case you are a sensitive person and panics with minor trolls, then it is very also strongly recommended to hit back troller accordingly. Just give a solid punch back, as it is. Let is go murky. Let remaining trollers also learn the consequence of touching your soft side. Because, If the situation is not contained then and there, then be prepared for more trolling getting out of control in a phenomenal way, with the last troll as the reference point.
3. Be Realistic. Don't project a fake lifestyle on the internet. At the same time, don't feel afraid or shy in putting across your true self.
4. Quit. Although we appreciate that this option is better said than done, we have seen many people living a very peaceful life, with ZERO PRESENCE IN SOCIAL MEDIA! One just needs to see the 180 degrees turn in one own personal and family life. Their kids are also not at all addicted to 24x7 social media connectivity and they can live life like never before.
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