I love Twitter, I really do. The football banter. Tweeps discussing tv shows, the endless jokes, the funny videos, the memes oh gosh the memes are always funny. The constructive conversations where we all actually learn something new. I love it. However there’s a side to Twitter I absolutely loathe and that’s the constant trolling, twaring and not forgetting the mob psychology mentality that is ever so prevalent on the Twitter streets.
Last week this side of Twitter was working overtime. Every single day there seemed to be one twar after another or someone being trolled. There was one particular conversation that caught my eye. I logged onto Twitter on Friday morning and quite a lot of people on my timeline were talking about this one girl. She was called all sorts of names which I shall not repeat. I didn’t pay much attention to it because I don’t know the girl so I just scrolled past. It was only much later in the evening when this girl returned to my timeline and this time I paid attention.
A Twimbo I follow retweeted some this girl’s tweets. Bottom line a picture of this girl with no make-up was posted on Twitter and tweeps went crazy trolling her. My heart broke as I read her timeline especially some of the mentions she retweeted. Tweeps were really nasty. One particular tweet caught my attention when she spoke about how the week before one Twitter user wished this girl would get raped. She then stated how tweeps laughed at this tweet and some even shared the same sentiments. Now I don’t know this girl, had never heard of her before this incident but one thing I do know without a shadow of doubt is she is a real person with real feelings.
If there’s one thing I would like this side of Twitter is there’s a real person behind a Twitter handle. That’s right, there’s a real person behind that Twitter handle you troll, a real person with real emotions, a real person who hurts just like you do. You see before you jump onto that mob psychology bus and troll someone just because the whole TL is doing it, ask yourself how would I feel if the tables were turned? Ask yourself how would I feel if the entire timeline was trolling me and calling me all sorts of names and wishing me harm? Imagine yourself being the victim. It would hurt right, hurt a whole lot and hurt real deep too. Imagine tweeps who don’t know you, who don’t know what you’ve been through, who don’t know what you go through daily trolling you and making nasty comments about you simply because they can or that’s what everyone else is doing on the TL. That stuff would mess with someone’s emotions. Contrary to sticks and bones may break my bones but bones will never hurt me, words DO actually hurt.
Before you troll someone, remember there’s a real person behind that Twitter handle.
- Trolling: Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.
- Twaring: To have a war of words with someone over the social networking site Twitter (or various other apps. that support it).
- Twimbo: A Zimbabwean with a Twitter account.
- Tweeps: Any person with a Twitter account.
- TL: Twitter timeline.
I blog at Life Through The Disability Lens.