No one can deny that the internet has changed lives from the way people think to the way they act. Letters no longer take months to cross the ocean, and people living on opposite side of the globe can see each other’s faces on a daily basis with the help of video conference.
In other words, internet has redefined connection. With Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, acquaintances are only a touch — or a click — away. However, when your friends and family can easily get to you, haters can do so just as easily.
In the darkest corners of the Internet lurks a dangerous problem: the internet troll. Internet trolls invaded nearly every online platform, spewing hatred for everyone and everything through multiple accounts that guarantee to completely overwhelm their victims.
A casual scroll into a comment section of any online post, whether it be personal blogs or magazine articles, reveals how these trolls set out to attack other users. Their comments are off topic, their language is either clownish or vulgar, but their goal is clear: they simply wish to create anger and discourse for the sake of it.
Internet trolls are commenters who seek to spark outrage in a person, sometimes for no reason at all (remember that time when you saw a derogatory comment on your Instagram whose author you didn’t even know?). Instinctively, you take to defend yourself without knowing that you are feeding those trolls what they crave the most: a battle. Unfortunately, an internet troll cannot be reasoned with; they cannot be understood and anything you say or do will only ensure that they can continue to harm you.
Frustration can easily set in as websites do not always have proper tools to remove such trolls. This frustration can be overwhelming and infuriating, even to the point that you vow to leave the internet all together. Here are some ways to beat a troll at their own game.
1. Don’t Instigate
A super effective way to beat these harmful trolls is not to instigate. Leaving comments online can put you at risk of trolls; therefore, the less comments you leave, the fewer trolls you will have to face.
Now, this does not mean you should refrain totally from responding to others online. Rather, you should be on the lookout for the comment sections that are known breeding grounds for trolls, such as that of a political story. These trolls write various awful things in order to get people to interact. The best way to beat them is to not respond to their nonsense.
Another great way to beat an internet troll is to hide them from your sight. Platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr have great blocking features, which mainly function as a blinder or filter to those trolls — they hide your content from those you don’t want to see. All one has to do is click on the appropriate button and the internet troll is gone from your life.
This is especially helpful if you find yourself overly upset at the trolling comments from certain persons. Out of sight, out of mind. Once the troll comments are gone from your sight, you will have an online experience with more peace and clarity.
It also beats the troll as well, since what a troll loves the most is to continue the fight and feed off of your anger and aggression towards them. When you cut this off, they tend to move on to their next victim and leave you in peace.
3. Turn off Messages/Set Account to Private
Another way to fight back is to either turn your messages off or set your account to private so that only a few accounts of your choice will be able to see your content and contact you through that medium. This tool is available in most popular social media, including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and is very easy to use. Toggle with your account setting and you will be able to turn your account to private within seconds.
This step should be preceded with caution though and only done if one is being utterly infested with internet trolls. If you are quick to turn your account on private, you may miss out on the online fun. But if you need a nuclear option for a drastic problem with trolls, this is the one to go with. Once the trolls see they can no longer bother you, they will leave you alone.
4. Don’t Scroll Down
This one is tricky and requires proper judgment to avoid missing out on any interesting and helpful conversations. If the social media content you are viewing is controversial in any way, it might be best to skip the comments. But since trolls seek a fight for absolute no reasons at all, even less controversial topics may turn out to be filled with trolling comments.
After trolls hook you into a fight, there is no end in sight. So if you are the type of person that knows they are easily upset with these types of troll comments, you may want to skip the comments section on certain sites.
And finally, and the most obvious and important one, ignore the internet trolls. This seems to be a simple method, but its practice takes true willpower. Internet trolls feed on one thing: your involvement.
If you ignore them, they will eventually disappear, and you win by default. When you see a comment from a troll, don’t respond. The troll will eventually figure out that you are not someone easily tricked into getting emotional.