Internet Trolling and Lessons Behind it

Things you need to know to become a better internet user.

With the rapid growth of technology in the past two decades, you’ve come to realise that platforms of interaction through technology are popping up here and there. The growing nature of these platforms encourages more people now to interact virtually, instead of face-to-face and naturally the behaviours projected online are different to how they really are in real life.

In most cases, their behaviours can be deemed ‘negative’ or as they say ‘trolling’ due to the type of comments they post and the reactions they give to certain topics. To a point, they may even be considered as cyberbullying, depending on the extend of their interactions.

Let’s take a look as to why virtual interaction creates these types of projections for certain groups of the population and how it can be managed.


It’s Easier to Interact Virtually

Studies have been executed where interaction with humans and computers are conducted and suggests that interacting with human partners will require more emotional involvement – resulting in more cognitive efforts (Rilling, Sanfey, Aronson, Nystrom, & Cohen, 2004).

To some that detests the need to be socially interactive with another human being, technology has helped them vastly in their efforts of reaching out to other people virtually. Your physical state (tired, drained, sick) will also have a play in this matter, as interaction with a computer does not require a certain level of emotional or cognitive involvement, therefore making it easier to communicate.

The ease that comes with interacting virtually minus the involvement, allows users to detach themselves from their real personality and therefore can be ‘anyone’. This creates a barrier for them, giving them the impression that they can say whatever they want without filter.

Upon your scrolling through Instagram or Facebook, you may notice that instead of using this in a positive notion, they tend to use this negatively. Again, this is due to less emotional and cognitive involvement on their behalf.


Creates a ‘Status’ in the Online World

When a ‘troll’ posts or comments something contradictory or sparking anger and debates, this gives a sense of achievement for them. Perhaps it’s their way of trying to make a mark on the world, as it may be more difficult for them to do this in real life. Due to this, they are attempting to balance out their feeling of incompetence by becoming a troll in the online world.

You’ll need to be aware at all times and not become one of the contributors to their actions, as this will encourage their narcissistic tendencies that craves attention. To further prove this, a study have been conducted to show that online trolls have different levels of psychological tendencies, the worst being the ‘sadist’ of the population and that trolling should be regarded as online sadism. With the actions they take online, this fuels to their psychological need of being approved.


How do We Manage Them?

When you see a post or a comment, how you want to react to it will show who you are. So before typing and entering any responses, just take a step back and see if this is a troll’s way of trying to get the attention they want.

If you respond how they want you to, you’re feeding into their ego-driven scheme of trying to gain status in the online world. In addition to defusing their goal, it’s a good way of finding out more about yourself and how you would respond in these types of situations – luckily this can be applied not only virtually, but face-to-face as well.

[easy-tweet tweet=”If you respond how they want you to, you’re feeding into their ego-driven scheme” template=”light”]


Finally, there’s an old saying – ignorance is bliss. It truly is in this case of cyber-trolling; if it doesn’t concern you or bother you in any way, scroll along and ignore them altogether.



Written by Ryan Sael

Main author at Sael.net. He believes a good product driven by high quality content and great user experience.