Lunch with an internet troll

Yesterday’s lunch conversation:

A: “In my free time, I like to troll people on the internet. It is so funny if you go to some forum and make an outrageous statement, and all the stupid people think you are serious and there are 100 answers trying to explain to you why you are wrong… People are so stupid.”

Everyone: “HAHAHAHAHAH. That’s hilarious.”

Me: “Why would anyone do that? I don’t get it. All you do is waste other people’s time and nerves, and increase the amount of anger on the planet, for nothing.”

A: “But we are doing them a service! We are teaching them they should not take things written on the internet seriously!”

Aha. So trolls are there to make the point that trolls might exist! Probably thieves only steal your wallet to tell you that you should look after your wallet.

Up to now, I could just not find a way to understand the  motivation behind trolling. How weird do you have to be to get entertained by people getting angry at you, for an opinion that you are most likely not even serious about?

Apparently only as weird as the people I eat lunch with.

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3 Responses to Lunch with an internet troll

  1. mandaray says:

    I’ve always assumed that because they didn’t have anything else useful to offer the conversation, trolls felt their only recourse in order to get attention is to cause anger and attract negative attention. You’d be amazed how many people will make time out of their day to argue with you or dispute a point…compared to how many people take their time to say something constructive, or praise someone for their hard work, it’s no wonder so many people see trolling as an easy and satisfying way to feel relevant.

    • zinemin says:

      Rationally, I agree with you it must must have to do with the wish to create some sort of response, even if it is a bad one. Maybe they have been brought up indifferent parents that only reacted as soon as something was broken or someone was screaming. My parents were the opposite, maybe this is why it so totally impossible for me to understand the trolls’ motivation in any emotional way. The reward system in their brain must be completely differently built than mine.

      • mandaray says:

        I think that’s a lot of it. And honestly, everyone contributes to it, not just parents. Bad behavior gets everyone’s attention, whether they like it or not. “Squeaky wheel gets the grease”, and all that. And then there are people who genuinely think they’re being useful or funny, and refuse to admit that they’re part of the problem. After all, who wants to openly admit that they’re hurting people for fun? So they’ll say things like “___ is just overreacting” or “everyone does it” or “I’m doing them a favor”. I’m sure we’ve all heard those lines before, usually in conjunction with irritating or poor behavior. It saddens me that so many people find that kind of behavior acceptable. Like you said–why contribute to the already massive amounts of hate and misunderstanding in this world? Surely we have better things to do with our time?

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