The Internet is a scary place. It’s filled with trolls and jerks and unhappy people looking to spread their unhappiness by commenting cruel things anonymously on other people’s work. I don’t think I’m popular enough on the Internet to feel the true brute force of the troll community, but I do get my fair share of mean people on my YouTube channel.
It’s a funny thing too because the point of my channel is to be a place of positivity and support for people trying to accept themselves as they are. So to seek me out and then say such nasty things seems rather contradictory, don’t you think? One series of comments hit me hard recently because I was already in a not-so-happy place. As you can see below, two separate people decided to publicly tell me that I basically needed to die. Thanks guys!
I posted the screenshot on my personal facebook page and I received an outpouring of love and support from friends. Which despite what it might have seemed, wasn’t the reason I posted it. I wasn’t searching for reassurance or attention. I wasn’t trying to drum up pity from friends or get more views on my videos. It’s just hard for me to read those things alone in my room and move on from them. I want more of the world to be witness to the cruelty that people dole out. And if anyone ever thinks about posting a nasty comment on someone else’s video or blog or online contribution to think twice.
I got a lot of Taylor Swift-esque “haters gonna hate so shake it off” advice which I did do eventually. But the sting took a little longer to wear off this time. These comments were specifically reminiscent of the shooting that happened at WDBJ7 in my area only a few days prior. I was already upset about the entire situation and loss of life, especially of a young woman of 24—so close to my own age and aspirations—that the suggestion that I should die in a similar fashion (and because of the videos I make, at that!) was rather traumatizing.
Why do people write such horrific things?
I don’t know.
How could someone sleep at night knowing they’re possibly saying something that could give someone the final nudge off the edge toward ending their life?
I don’t think they realize the seriousness of what they’re doing.
When will the trolls stop?
Probably never. But we can at least all individually stop being trolls. There are always going to be unhappy people filling the world with unhappiness, but we don’t have to participate. I like to publicly post the hurtful things trolls say because it’s a form of healing for me. It takes away their power when I’m the one posting it and framing it in the ridiculous manner that it really should be viewed in and when the audience reading it knows that nothing in it is true because that audience knows me personally not just through the internet.
So don’t be trolls.
And help someone else “shake it off” if they are ever a victim of Internet trolling.
Because the haters are gonna hate. But we can fight back with positivity!