I feel compelled to break my silence on my blog a little bit. There were times when I felt overwhelmed with thoughts and had to pen them down on scraps of paper and throw them away, just so I could resist the temptation to post it publicly. I have become extremely conscious of what I say on the social media, where I say it and how. Why? Trolls! Everywhere!
The internet that is supposed to be swirling with information is now seething with trolls. It’s one thing to give opinions. It’s even pardonable to make judgments. However, to point fingers at people whom we have no clue about, merely because of a single Facebook status or tweet or because the author of the post disagrees with the majority and say nasty things about them in the most derogatory way is so mean and has become so common place. The trollers mafia gang up and stifle that person with abusive comments and disrespectful memes without realizing that they could be the very next on the line to be trolled. So much hatred on the web! So much cyber bullying!
Street dogs can be territorial. When a new dog enters their space or barks, it is soon followed by a lot of barking from many dogs in the neighborhood, one taking a cue from the other in an attempt to drown the new dogs’ bark or chase it away. So relatable to cyber trolling, isn’t it? Many times, we troll ourselves without realizing that we are trolling. We troll because we want to show our pseudo intelligence. We troll because we want to fit in. We troll because we want to tell the world, “Hey you! I troll the wrongdoer and therefore I am good”.
I started this blog more than a decade ago as a secret haven to be myself in this big bad world. Today, I feel as if this is the most vulnerable place to be. It has been a year since I moved out of India. While I was there, I wrote about issues that I felt strongly about but I am afraid to do so now, because if I do, I know that I will be trolled for having an opinion about my country when I do not reside in it anymore, even though I’ve spent 31 years of my life there. If I continue to stay quiet, I will be trolled for not caring enough about my country soon after I moved out. Alright, if I decide to pull down my blog, I will be called a coward. I decided to go silent for some time. Am I paranoiac? No! Do I care for the trollers? Not at all! Just that there are so many things to explore and experience in life that I wouldn’t want to waste precious time and energy combating trolls.
There are countless articles talking about issues that matter the most in the society today, trying to explain and educate over and over again. When I see such articles, I feel sorry for the authors, even though I do tend to agree with them. The fact of the matter is, many people these days know right from wrong and they continue to do wrong because the wrong has become comfortable. Wrong is convenient! Wrong is fun! And to those people, speaking sense makes no sense. Attitude and arrogance might. So, here is a true dose of their own medicine to the trollers out there. Listen up!
Have you heard about Big Data and Data Analytics? No, you did not! Have you heard about BOTs crawling all over the web, searching and indexing every word said by everyone, anywhere on the internet? No, you did not! Because, if you did, you would take a moment to think before you said anything on the social media. From being a medium to connect and communicate, the internet is now data driven. Everything you say, every comment and every tweet is on the records of some database on some cloud server. Even if you delete it, it is going to stay there in the history and archives. Everything you say today, could be tracked even ten years later and with analytics, your cyber self could be re-constructed, just like that.
Imagine being turned down by a boy or girl for marriage because he or she was able to get a report of your character from the sexists comments you made in discussion forums somewhere ten years ago, well, even anonymously. Imagine being turned down or worse fired by an employer, because of your conduct on the web, indicating obnoxious behaviour from a time that you don’t even remember. Imagine your immigration paperwork getting rejected because of suspicious cyber activity. Is this for real? Yes, as real as internet today is as opposed to how it was perceived in the early nineties. If you don’t want to imagine that today and continue to troll maliciously, be warned that you will be experiencing the after effects in a couple of years and that would not be a good experience now, would it?
And thus karma will payback to the trollers. Along with the corrupt and the criminal, the trollers will come under fire too. Until then, troll people troll! Troll away your soul!