Negativity on the internet
Negativity on the internet is growing. The internet is becoming a convenient and easy way to let off steam and inner aggression. Just look at the rise of internet trolls. Wikipedia describes a troll as “a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,by posting inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion”
From a psychological perspective, if the world was a happier place, there would be less trolls in existence. Trolling is a way of projecting inner misery and anger, a way to channel negative energy somewhere else. It’s stupid strategy because the shift is short lived and due to the way a troll thinks, the misery is reinforced and continues. Many trolls see the external world as 100% responsible for all their troubles in life.
This attitude resolves the issue of personal responsibility. If misery is created by others and has nothing to do with the person experiencing it, then the ‘victim’ cannot make any changes.
Negativity on the internet is a by-product of widespread misery. I have come across many examples of bitter and unhappy people whom, on the surface, would never be suspected as engaging in negativity on the internet.
Real-life trolls that I have encountered:
Housewives who feel bored and frustrated ( yes, even the well-to-do ones who seem to have it all).
Older people who feel disappointed with their lives and feel they haven’t achieved enough.
Teenagers who live in homes with excessively demanding parents who offer conditional love. For example: parents who only show love and acceptance when their children achieve.
Inhibited people who find it hard to be assertive and speak up for themselves. These types are masters at acting as if everything is fine but underneath there is huge animosity lurking.
This is only a small list of the types of trolls that exist. There is no stereotype. One thing that all trolls have in common is that they are unhappy people. They may deny this (as they have become adept at fooling themselves) but if they are really honest with themselves, they will realise that their lives are a let down and that they experience mostly negative emotions about the world and others. Mistrust, anger and a sense of injustice are rife amongst trolls.
Trolls can help themselves by refusing to be a victim. Everyone of us has the power to make changes for ourselves without relying on others. Shifting focus from all that is wrong in the world to the good things (at times you might have to really look hard) makes a huge difference too.
Negative filtering, where someone only sees all the negative stuff in the world is unlikely to be a very happy person. Choose positivity, choose your attitude and we can all share more positive energy between us.
Photo by FixersUK