Libertygrl wrote on The Couch discussion forum:
Did it exist before the internet? I'm sure it did, although I think the internet helped its popularity spread.
In many, if not most cases I see trolling as a symptom of boredom more than of malice, but certain behaviors like that of the Westboro Baptist Church at the funerals of fallen American military service members seem aggressively vicious and in my mind, unforgivable. They seem like they are there not only fishing for a fight but also gold digging for a lawsuit by getting the other guy to throw the first punch. So wrong.
Maybe the lesson in it is knowing how to walk away. I imagine trolls get such a great satisfaction knowing they can pull people's strings.
Or maybe the lesson is learning how not to expect every person to behave like a troll. How to keep from cynicism. How to get a sense of humor about it. Sometimes, though, crosses the line into not being funny. It stops being about the trickster and transforms into a sadistic impulse. Does the troll care whether you think it's funny or not? Would they rather see you snarl about it than laugh? Or vice versa?
I replied thusly and felt like recording it on my blog:
I feel that we all seek attention in some ways. Some of us are more aware and know that we are seeking attention while others do so without any glimpse of this awareness. I don't look down upon tendency to seek attention. In fact this urge is very deep down in our genes. Be it trying to seduce animals of other sex for mating or be it 'merely' getting compliments for our work, we animals seek attention in one form or another.
Actors, politicians, sports-persons earn their fortunes[Earning a fortune is paradoxical now. Isn't it?]by excelling in gaining attention. I know it's not the 'whole truth,' because what differentiates a hero from a troll is his virtues. It has been said that politicians, actors and other celebrities become so obsessed with the food of attention that they start doing stunts for more and more publicity; moreover, as soon as they move out of their walks and peaks of lives, their health and heroics start fading at a dramatic and alarming rate and the superhero who seldom used to look vulnerable and mortal starts appearing a fat rat or an ill potato. But I don't mean that there aren't any "live and die in grace," types. There are many who live a most balanced life and keep their Dharma in check till death.
Trolls are quite obviously not doing anything strange in the sense that it's in our nature to seek attention. It occurred to me that the superset of all sets, the almighty God is indeed our holy father, brother, mother and girlfriend; since he is so eager to gain our attention. No wonder it's our nature as well. Almighty feels mightier if he gets our attention; that's why all Gods in religions pay so much emphasis on 'name-calling,' more you call their names better they feel. They need 'more,' more and more! Every seer, Guru and Grantha stresses the importance of memorizing and chanting names of Gods.
No wonder Troll is Godlike. Yes, Gods in religions get angry, stone people and push them into wells; they disturb people by indulging into coitus with their wives, just to gain their attention. Trolls merely send 'harmless' words via mail--they don't burn, stone, torture or commit adultery to gain attention. We should not curse trolls. We should appreciate them for being more godlike than us. They are designed in a "purer" image of God.
Trolls don't know what happens inside their minds and that is why they act like zombies. They feel "forced" by their urge to gain attention and do all sorts of gymnastics day and night. Had they known that it's an urge inside their mind which makes them helpless they would never have become 'Trolls.' But then obviously, there wouldn't have been 'Trolls' as persons, though it might have been an idea!
And yes, it's 'attention' which makes them bloom and it's 'lack of it' which makes them fade away. We know it so well, but yet succumb to it. Why? I feel that it's often because they ignite the troll inside us sometimes. We too have an urge hidden to clash horns and gain attention and along they come and trigger us and then we launch ourselves in trolling. Don't give attention to trolls, nothing disappoints them more.
Moon is in Sagittarius today so I felt easier to scribble things down. A few dogs are barking and I can hear some vehicles on a near by street; Moon is full today and breeze is cold here in Bangalore.