The emergence of social media has brought advancements to our day to day lives. It is much easier to communicate with friends through social media. Even though they live far away, internet has brought us closer because of its boundless reach.
However, like a double-edged sword, social media has also brought some problems to our day to day lives in the form of cyber-bullying and online trolling. People who are bullied or trolled online may experience emotional or mental discomfort because there is abuse. In some studies, people who are victims of cyber bullying and trolling often experience depression and low self esteem. In some extreme cases these untoward actions result to suicide.
What is Trolling?
Trolling over the internet is viewed as an action over the internet that aims to upset its recipients. An internet troll may post inflammatory remarks for the sole purpose of upsetting the other party. It is indeed unpleasant yet some resort to trolling because they feel empowered when they are able to upset people with their remarks that they think are wise or clever. It can be viewed as dominance too because usually it is the internet trolls who win since victims are often left upset or annoyed.
What is Cyber-bullying?
Cyber-bullying is deliberate and repeated harm inflicted through using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones. Like trolling, people who engage in cyber-bullying feel empowered when they are able to exert dominance to their victims. They usually post mean comments or derogatory remarks to offend, humiliate, or intimidate their victims. Some resort to cyber-bullying as a sort of revenge from being bullied in the past.
Anonymity as the Main Reason why People Bully or Troll over the Internet
The internet allows users certain degree of anonymity. Using alias and avatars, users are able to express themselves without being judged. However, the same privilege is used to inflict harm to other users. People find it easy to bully and troll online because they are able to hide from their true selves. It is much easier for these individuals to throw derogatory remarks because they are anonymous in the cyber world.
How to Handle Cyber Bullies and Internet Trolls
When someone over the internet bullies or trolls you, the correct response is to avoid engagement. Remember, these people are empowered whenever they see their victims react to their actions. Therefore, avoiding these people is the right thing to do. Often times, cyber bullies would often stop when they don’t get any reactions from their victims. In social media we often encounter this warning “Don’t Feed the Trolls.” This warning teaches us not to engage such activities because reacting to the act of trolling or bullying will only encourage these people.
Right now, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter take cyber-bullying and trolling seriously. Users who feel they are victims of such actions could easily report these people and the site admin or moderator impose actions like give warnings or give immediate ban. These sites also provide users the power to end bullying and trolling by deleting the comments or blocking unruly people.