We GROSSLY underestimate the power of the internet troll
An ideal offen espoused by Old people and parents (aka old people) is that internet relationships don't really matter and the people you meet here don't matter at all.
There is nothing in this world more vile and evil than the internet troll. A person who derives joy directly from giving other people misery. It sounds a bit overzealous yes? Hear me out. Everyone in this world is affected by little bits and pieces of everything they come in contact with during a day. You can call it a sort of butterfly effect. A person who was about to go home and shoot themselves in the head can at the last moment remember all the nice people they met in their life and how there is so much kindness out there in this world and decide at the last moment not to do it. I know because that person was me. Had I not had the expiriences of talking to so many different people who all just wanted to be nice and put something good into this world in my thoughts I would have driven an automobile into an oncoming traffic lane last night (well I guess the night before since its the am now) and tumbled off an upstate NY mountain coming to my final resting spot in a mirky swamp lagoon.
But if little bits of positivity can help a person out of such a pickle, whats to say The opposite is'nt also true.
For one thing A person may be so driven by cyberbullying (isn't that what trolling really is?) that they will decide to kill themself because all they see every day is some faceless monster with seemingly no real philosophy just spouting hate for the sake of it. This same faceless monster can normalize being mean to people. "oh it's just free speech" right? yes It is your constitutional right unfortunately to completely fuck up someone esles's entire day. Before you just say "get over it" consider that they may NOT be at that point yet where they CAN just get over it. Things take a long time to heal. People take a long time to change and adjust. You're not helping them by being such a jerk. You don't know or care about their story you just want to get a rise out of them because it makes you feel better about your own pathetic seemingly meaningless existence. It's a cheap thrill that doesn't really bring you lasting happiness. It just makes your day better for just a couple of hours but could wind up destroying another person's entire week, month, year, whatever! Or worse.
By normalizing meanness, there is a darker side. It brings out the people who aren't mean JUST to get a rise...but are actually truely sick people with dark philosophies. people who have been screwed over enough to project the blame on anyone they percieve as getting a better deal than them or hurting them. Racists, Bigots, sexists, Homophobes transphobes whathaveyou. in a world where such hatred is passed off as light humor people will now use the shield of light humor as a dog whistle to rally their sick followers without anyone hearing it. Because its all "just a joke". Still finding this funny? Consider this.
we pretend that simple jokes hold nothing deeper. We always have done this for years. But most of the time...they actually do. I've had enough expirience to prove that....and I really wish I didn't because I didn't earn it easily. The more you make light of something the more normal it seems and hey it's not so scary after all right? After all bob always talked about how those black people pick coat pockets in the breakroom...and bob is a nice guy.... right? Soon you're thinking of nice ole bob when you're with a bunch of people talking about how bad black people are....eventually they introduce you to their Klan.....
The jokes on all of us. You can pretend that you think what I said is just some nonsense, and pretend that you don't grasp the concepts I mentioned... and you can be a moron and just skip everything I typed and babble on.. like always....but I'm not playing anymore. Things are getting real out there. It's time we looked for solutions to these problems before it's too late. I don't want all these what if it happens to turn into "what if we had done something to stop it"