Everyone knows the age-old saying “opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.” Well, never has that asshole smelled more putrid than when offered up by the type of person referred to as an “Internet Troll,” — the Bitter Bettys who negatively comment on anything and everything posted on the Internet.Why just read many of the comments on this site alone. It’s always the same negative people posting the same depressing dribble. An article on marriage equality? They hated it! An article on pop culture? “Boo! Hiss!” An article on music, movies, politics, humor, fitness, you name it? They hate it.
Queerty and many other sites don’t allow just anyone to comment on their content. You have to log in to give them a piece of your mind. So the Internet Troll is a rare bird — a dodo bird, if you will. They have to read an article, hate it so much they dust off their username and password, log into the site, navigate their way back to the hated article, barf up their negativity and then press “enter.”
Most people who read an article and have a not-so-positive review tend get on with their lives; however, the Internet Troll has no life to get on with. As the rest of us go to work, spend time with our significant others, family members, friends, and fill the rest of our day with extra curricular activities, the Internet troll has nothing better to do than spend their time negatively commenting on everything. It is their feeble attempt to have a voice, like me trying to sing along to Mariah. Unfortunately, they use this rare opportunity to be heard to tear others down.
Queerty isn’t the only site that has to deal with festering trolls. A dear friend of mine, with a strong social media presence, once told me, “whoever said you are your own worst critic has never read YouTube comments.” Try it sometime. Just make sure you have a glass of wine handy and your therapist on speed dial. The troll is lurking in the shadows, more than happy to tell you your child is ugly, your haircut looks terrible, and your version of “Defying Gravity” never got off the ground.
Internet Trolls tend to have dark personality traits and show signs of sadism, antisocial behavior, and psychopathy — but on the bright side, they excel at hoarding and are a hoot to have at funerals! You’ve seen the movie Mean Girls, right? Well, Internet Trolls are the “Mean Queens,” “The Ladies Who ‘Sent Back’ Lunch,” and “The Queen(s) of the Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t!”
Because of an overall sense of failure in their own lives, they resent anyone who they perceive to have achieved any kind of success. The troll feels slighted by life and can’t fathom how anyone could be given more than their fair share. Someone couldn’t possibly be good-looking and smart, funny and eloquent, talented and successful (…writer takes pause to lovingly stare at himself in the mirror). It’s because of this sad mindset they offer up nothing and contribute even less to society besides spreading hate, like a cancer, on the World Wide Web.
A bottom feeder. A bench warmer. A wall flower. Rather than doing something productive themselves, the Internet Troll sits sedentary and safely behind their computer screen where they vomit up their useless thoughts, bullying anyone who is brave enough to step out of the wings and into the spotlight.
It was either Aristotle, Elbert Hubble or Punky Brewster who once said, “to avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” However, for creative people, “nothing” is not an option. So go ahead and bravely upload that video of you butchering Adele’s “Hello” beyond tonal recognition. Keep posting blogs about your boring diet, and even more boring work-out routine. And while you’re at it, keep those scantily-clad selfies coming. Take a cue from Bonnie Raitt and give them “Something To Talk About!” If you are choosing to participate in life and live without fear of failure or worse — fear of success, you are already living a better existence than the Internet troll.
Oh, and by the way, after I post this, I’ll be too busy living my life to have time to read all the mean-spirited, troll-inspired comments soon to be posted below. Happy Holidays!
John Carroll is a Broadway performer, writer and activist. For more information on him, go to TheJohnCarroll.com. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @MrJohnCarroll