The recent years are characterized by the major involvement of the internet to the lives of common people. This phenomenon is called “democratization of the high technologies,” and as any phenomenon, it has positive and negative sides. Thus, a review of its negative sides is a good topic for writing an essay and making it extraordinary and extra-modern.
A number of threats deal with the influence of information on people and manipulating it. Young audience is the most vulnerable to the negative impact of this kind. They get a huge flow of facts and details, which they cannot process adequately, so a part of information which is conveyed in a biased way may lead to psychological deformations, for example, cause aggression. Let us overview the major threats that young people face on the web. You are welcome to pay attention to the issues mentioned and include some ideas to your essay. We will start from a popular phenomenon called “trolling.”
Definition of Trolling
Trolling is posting provocative messages on purpose. Trolling may be aimed at losing self-control of the communicative partner. A “troll” provokes groups of people connected by the same interests and get a negative reaction of users of a certain website or community. Usually, the main purpose of trolling is just making fun of somebody, rarely it is aimed at getting a certain material profit or raising the troll’s self-esteem.
The Thickness of Trolling
Trolling can be divided by its “thickness” on thick, thin and nanotrolling. The thicker trolling is, the more victim’s behavior becomes hysterical, and they lose their temper but blame the troll on this. In case the trolling is thick and the victim agrees with the troll, and that makes them lose their temper even more. If the provocation has reached success, this means that the “troll has found food.”
Kinds of Trolling
There are a lot of methods on how people “troll” others. Let us review them starting from the less complex ways.
Acting as an Idiot
One creates a separate account and writes a complete nonsense in capital letters in comments, in posts, etc. This is not an effective way, since there is usually no opposition and the discussion ends very fast. Sometimes it may be interesting to observe the behavior of others. The troll may find people, who get irritated by the troll’s expressions, so they will be banned together with them. However, it happens quite rarely.
Spreading Gossip and Fake Facts
Troll often spreads fake information. This is focused on people, who cannot filter information and trust the words of others too much, as well as people, who are not that experienced in surfing the web. Thus, they may follow the hints of a troll, who will pretend that everything told is a pure truth, and be completely misled.
Pretending to Be a Girl
The troll uses the animosity of the Internet, so tries to make fun of the opponent. Sometimes such trolls are aimed at communication with naive romantics to get and disclose their personal information, which means a crash for a vulnerable personality. Also, this may be the way to make people quarrel or even break their relationships.
Pretending to Be a Foreigner
One may ask a question on another language on some simple thing, ask more questions on details. People reading the post will try to demonstrate their knowledge of other languages, and others will correct them. It is necessary to choose a good location on the web for this particular kind of trolling.
The troll, who has minimum of IT knowledge, asks for help and after getting the hints calls them stupid or lame. If troll knows more, they can ask more questions on details, misleading the helper and making their advice wrong, or, what is better for troll, harmful. This is more or less effective, because the specialist gets angry convincing that he is right. Moreover, people, who read the comments/posts and lack the required knowledge, may also be misled. The only condition is that the troll should have some knowledge on the field.
Pretending to Be a Psychologist
Troll calls themselves a psychologist and tries to define diagnoses for the participants of the discussion. Also, one can try to involve his “psychology” to the already existing active discussions. It is more harmful if such troll communicates with somebody in personal messages because this communication can cause a huge psychological destruction of the naive victim, especially if this is a teenager.
Creating an Image of a Successful Person, Showing Up
The troll focuses on the feature that most of the modern young people have: envy. Such a troll creates an impression of a super-successful person having everything that people can dream of. Sometimes one even does not need to say a lot. The “troll’s food” will be separated into a few parts: some will say that this is not true, others will say that the troll is not that successful actually, some will also just try to abuse the troll having understood that they are losers. Another interesting category of people will say that it is not right to abuse the person, who achieved success on their own.
Change of Behavior
This is actually a shift of the trolling thickness. Firstly, the troll acts rudely to make the opponent furious. Then, the troll becomes extra polite saying that one should not be rude to others and should be more understanding, what makes the other person even angrier.
Consequences of Trolling
Teenagers are much more impulsive than grown-ups, and this makes them vulnerable to the abusive attitude. Cyber abuse leads to low self-esteem, depression or even to cases of suicide mostly among people aged from 12 to 18 years.
Fighting with Trolling
One American school girl has created a program Rethink in 2014 that helps fight against trolling, and that made her famous. However, it will be enough to start from yourself. Just learn not to react to provocative posts or comments, or just respond “good try, troll.” It will be a good idea to start your own research on finding the ways to combat trolling effectively, and this topic will make your research paper interesting for both: teenagers and grown-ups.