Trolls, free riders and spreading joy.

I was raised in a free country that endorses liberty, freedom of speech, secularism and equality along with emphasising the fundamental duties of a respectful and responsible citizen. I have learnt to express myself freely with utmost care for another individual’s dignity and feelings because with great power comes great responsibility. It is this freedom of speech with responsibility that I exercise through my writing here that is a respectful (without targeting any specific individual) reflection of my own stories. It has taken a great deal of discipline and will to be able to sustain this habit over the last 3-4 months since I have miserably failed to do this for almost 8 years. Hence, I would say there has been a lot of investment from my end to enjoy the sense of entitlement of expressing my opinion (a responsible one, that too) within my own space!

I receive lots of compliments, comments and criticism about my writing which is wonderful since that’s where I derive my strength and inspiration to keep at it. This is a very tiny attempt to discipline myself in someway and any encouragement towards that is welcome. Sometimes, I receive abuses from certain readers which I find interesting because I can sense a feeling of entitlement for having made a 4 line judgement about my thoughts. Sometimes, it gets a bit personal when this person goes on to make unwarranted comments about my family. I recently learnt that the word for such type of people is a “TROLL”. At first, I was surprised to receive these comments but I figured most people who set out to do something publicly (politicians, actors, writers, celebrities, etc) have to deal with trolls (apart from fans and critics, of course) everyday. I am on a mission too, though personal it may be and I must not be deterred by these comments.

Trolls are different from critics since critics have good intentions and are rational enough to recognise if something is good or bad. They are not critics for the heck of being critics. Trolls on the other hand have usually nothing useful to contribute to the world and hence, do nothing but spread hatred. This stems from a lack of respect for themselves which is only reflected through their behaviour with others. Well, sometimes, I see people share negative thoughts (mostly about themselves) on social media or wherever but on their own personal spaces (their own walls, blogs, twitter pages, etc) and it’s okay because at least it’s their own personal space and are not encroaching someone else’s space but what about people who just post unwarranted comments on other people’s spaces simply because it’s easy to do so (at almost zero cost)? They are both free riders and trolls, which makes them a tad bit underwhelming.

I once had a reader who said he/she derived joy from reading about my sad life and I wondered how much sadder that person’s life must be if he/ she could only derive joy from my sadness. Nevertheless, happy to be spreading joy, somehow! 🙂

P.S – It’s funny how Australia appears as one of the top countries full of trolls on Wikipedia.


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