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An online troll is basically somebody who hides behind their computer screen being mean to others. Often intentionally trying to provoke people for a reaction. Recently there seems to be an increase in the amount of online trolls.
I think this may be partly down to partaking in more social media viewing. It may be partly that I am socialising in more forums and visiting more websites. Generally I spend a lot more time online than I did 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago when I first wrote this post.
Firstly I want to say that I find most forums and blogging groups fantastic. I’ve met some wonderful people in groups.
These groups are usually jam packed full of supportive bloggers who will share tips, comfort you during sad times and praise you when you’ve hit a milestone. Even if they don’t think it is the biggest achievement themselves.
These are the sort of people I want to be surrounded by in my online life. Those that bring one another up. Even if they have their own problems going on.
Sadly there always has to be one troll doesn’t there – usually someone who is hiding behind an alias or using a 10 minute email address! Someone waiting in the wings to comment on your blog post, tweet or Instagram photo.
This is often someone who is jealous of your success, someone who is ultra picky or someone who knows-it-all. Here are 5 types of online troll you are likely to encounter as a blogger.
If you’ve not encountered them yet then fear not, your time will come. Probably as your blog is becoming successful and you’re feeling really proud of yourself!
5 types of troll you are likely to encounter as a blogger
Online trolls: The preacher
We’ve all met these, and probably been one of these at some point. A preacher is a troll whose opinion is ALWAYS the right one. Even if there are no facts to back them up.
When you’re passionate about a subject it can be easy to be a preacher. I’m sure at times I’ve been guilty of doing this, however, these days I find myself drafting a post, usually on social media, and then thinking why bother?!
Will the person listen? Probably not. Will they change their opinion? Definitely not. WHY WASTE MY ENERGY.
How to deal with this type of troll: Don’t blog, ever. Avoid expressing any opinions, NEVER share your thoughts on ANY topic and don’t you dare Instagram a photograph of your child drinking from a sippy cup.
Online trolls: The perpetually offended
You know the ones. You write a post, about how you’re happy that you’ve fed your child and they’ve kept food down for the first time in 3 days, or that you’re happy that you having a holiday coming up soon.
Whatever you’re posting about they are offended. Your lifestyle choices are offending a stranger. Then again some people really are easily offended!
How to deal with this type of troll: Just ride it out. They’ll get bored and find another photo, post or news article to be offended by in around five minutes time.
Online trolls: The conspiracy theorist
These ones are my favourite. You share a post, offering your own opinion on something. You even make a point of saying something nice like ‘If X isn’t working for your child it doesn’t mean that you’re doing anything wrong, babies just sleep through the night based on luck’ then before you know it you’ve got 10 posts in your comments section. Each one is dispelling your opinion, and niceties.
They are telling you how your child doesn’t sleep through the night because you ate a runny egg yolk when you were pregnant. Or maybe it is because you like underwire in your bra. Or how if you let your child eat from a plastic plate, with metal cutlery, that your whole family will die of a terrible disease.
How to deal with this type of troll: Have a good chuckle. They’ll soon be back in a forum discussing how man didn’t land on the moon and Tupac and Elvis aren’t dead.
Online trolls: The freebie blogger
These ones are probably the most frequently encountered troll for a blogger to deal with. You’ll get a message asking you how you received something for free. When you respond that nothing is free in life, and that the items you receive at ‘no cost’ actually require a blog post, social media posts, photographs and TIME out of your life you get a snotty response.
Usually it’ll be a response about how your blog is rubbish anyway. Or they’ll just email the brand themselves for some freebies for the free WordPress blog that they just set up five minutes ago.
Even explaining how you’ve worked for many years now to get to the level where brands contact you, and want to work with you, doesn’t deter them. On the odd occasion that you take pity on them, and share a contact that anyone can find on Google, they don’t even say thanks!
How to deal with this type of troll: Just wait a few days. When the novelty of being an amazing blogger has worn off, and the actual work is evident they’ll soon fade away. Usually to their next amazing project. Or perhaps they’ll buy some fake Instagram followers and pretend they’re the next overnight success. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen that..!
Online trolls: The jealous
These are the original and best trolls really. I’m sure that these are encountered by ALL people online, not just bloggers. However, when you choose to share your life, or parts of it, with people, you are always going to get someone who is jealous of you.
Sometimes this manifests itself in a way where someone constantly attacks you online. Sometimes it manifests itself in them blocking you from all social media and spreading lies about you.
Either way, hold your head up high and know that you’re doing your own thing in life. If you’ve worked hard for something, whether it is a blog, or whether it is a nice possession, these people will HATE you for it. Actually hate you.
Sometimes to the point where they will drive to your home, or track down your address to send you a nasty letter. They might even get your phone number from a PR contact and then bombard you with telephone calls about how you invented your child to become more popular.
How to deal with this type of troll: Continue to ROCK at your life. Don’t let the bitchiness of one person, or a group of people, bring you down. Eventually the jealous will move on to someone else. They’ll never quite realise that they’ll won’t emulate your success with all the time they waste online being toxic. Don’t let comparison syndrome impact you and you’ll avoid being this person!
Personally I’m not one who is easily influenced by the opinions of the minority. I choose to walk down my own path in life. For the most part I find it easy to block out people that I dislike, or whom dislike me, whether for a valid reason or not.
If you’re encountering trolls online then I would firmly suggest you delete their comments, block their email address, use comment filters to remove comments on your website for specific keywords they may use regularly and learn to rise above it.
These people are always going to exist. Such is the anonymous nature of the internet. You’ll feel like the better person for ignoring them completely. Alternatively, just write a ranting blog post, like me, that may also help!
My final thought:
I feel I should finish this post by adding that not everyone who is rude online is jealous, vindictive or even necessarily unkind. Sometimes people have a valid point and you just don’t want to hear it.
I’ve had multiple times where I’ve read a comment on Instagram, in particular, that isn’t very nice. I’ve realised that the person has a point though. I can choose to take that on board, and thank them for their feedback, OR I can just choose to block instead. I have done both at times, I won’t lie. But I just felt the need to add that it can be VERY easy to tell yourself everyone who has negative or rude feedback to provide is jealous, but perhaps they are just DESPERATE to give your their opinion. It doesn’t mean you have to listen to it.