Had another “first” in the author-realm—my first comment from an internet troll. Never heard of the person, the comment was malicious and not even related to the article. Deleted it.
MAN, that felt good.
I’ve wanted to do that OH SO MANY times when reading an article online then, afterwards, the trolls come out of the walls like cockroaches to do their damage and scuttle back into the shadows—on to another venue to spread their feces.
I found this description of folklore trolls on trollmother.com:
“Trolls are described as being of any size, great or small, and of having one characteristic in common, they are very ugly, with small, beady eyes and large, bumpy noses. Their appearance is usually on the sloppy side with bits and pieces of last week’s meals stuck to their stringy hair and clothes. Their ears are mostly large and floppy and dirty enough to grow rutabagas in!! They are also not too careful about brushing their snaggley teeth, which is not very obvious as they do not smile that much anyhow. (Maybe they don’t brush them because their mouths are so very large.) They are also ugly and sloppy in their behavior, which is of more importance than their appearance.”
I have to admit, a picture something like that comes to mind when I read the nasty, gutter-minded drivel that’s rampant in the internet world. A good friend stated it so well once: “And we wonder why the rest of the world hates us. They think we’re ALL like that.”
And the troll phenomenon is spreading like an epidemic… think Bubonic Plague. What used to be the occasional nasty person spouting their venom has now become, seemingly, a nation of vicious, critical, narcissistic, keyboard guerrillas.
It’s got me thinking. What kind of unhappy, frustrated, cowardly person sits at a computer looking for targets like a brat with a BB gun? (looked up the proper spelling of “BB” online—impressed?)
A number of definitive words come to mind: bored, angry, frustrated, the already-mentioned cowardly, self-centered, desperate to feel powerful (“impotent” might appear troll-esque–a word that should be in Webster’s new edition.)
I’m no psychologist, never professed to be, but logic tells me a person exhibiting the aforementioned traits has some issues—they feel helpless, insecure, lost and lack purpose. More than likely, they despair of fixing “real” relationships so they vent their anger at strangers. Even worse, they keep flinging feces on everyone else because it distracts from the black hole of need inside that threatens to swallow them whole.
My prayer for the internet-hate-mongers is that the thrill would ring so hollow they would drop the keyboard uzzy (looked up that one too) and look for real answers.
I know I’m not the answer, but I know the One Who is.
Therefore, trolls are welcome here. Read it all. Fire your venom. Spout your feces. Come back again and again.
I’ll shine the light on God, pray for you… and scour the walls after.
Chana Keefer is the sister, daughter, and granddaughter of pastors.
Her fresh perspective stems from a background in journalism,
missions, acting, and writing for print and live theater. Her favorite
things are God, family, and the written word but she also brakes for
chocolate, old barns, and people who live passionately. She and her family reside in southern California.
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