According to internet slang, a social media troll is someone who creates conflict on sites like Twitter, Facebook and Reddit (although it can be any site) by posting messages that are particularly controversial or inflammatory with the sole intent of provoking a typically negative emotional response from other users.
We’ve all seen them in action.
On the Iron Porch, we’ve been blessed to have had minimal interactions with social media trolls. However, the social media accounts that I am an admin for at work…those have plenty of social media trolls. People who love to create conflict and drama. At work, we’ve found they use their real names, but they occasionally use fake accounts in an attempt to hide their cyberbullying.
Some ways to spot a social media troll is that they occasionally use derogatory language, have an inability to listen to reason, and their internet fights seem to indicate lots of free time to start arguments. They are soooooo persistent.
Do you have the aggravating and provocative trolls in your personal life? The people who create chaos and thrive in drama?
In the world of social media trolls, the advice includes not taking it personally and not engaging with the troll.
That’s hard to do with real-life people.
As Christians, we’re often reminded to turn the other cheek, but that’s just as difficult in some scenarios. We’re are also reminded that our tongue becomes a weapon, so not speaking back to a troll is also a hard part of Christian living. Of course, it’s also hard to not take it personally when we’re attacked in degrading ways.
A verse that has been helping me keep the social media trolls at bay is Proverbs 20:3. “A fool’s anger is known at once, but a prudent person conceals dishonor” (NASB). I particularly like the New International Version of the same verse that states, “Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.”
I keep the verse written out in the folder that holds all my documents concerning my work-related social media accounts. It helps remind me that I don’t have to engage with the trolls, nor do I have to take it personally.
I know it’s not easy to have a troll in your life…in person or on social media. I’d love to hear what scriptures you have been using for yourself while dealing with the trolls of life.