A Reflection on: Internet trolls and the School Playground

I read this piece earlier this evening and could not help but feel it was loaded with truth and reflected scenarios that I have seen and dealt with almost on a daily basis in school.

As I find myself drawn deeper and deeper into the ‘rabbit-hole’ that is Social Media, you find it more and more often. One only needs to read the comments on a Sky Sports news story, or a comedy photograph on Facebook and it begin almost immediately. Yet rather than leave these people to it and leave them to their opinions, we fight back and ‘Feed the Trolls’. That’s when the trouble usually starts…

I like many others have 2 Twitter identities and as time has passed there is less and less link between my personal and professional accounts, to the point where I rarely use the personal one. Using Twitter professionally has meant that the majority of the people I communicate with are like minded education professionals, which means that there isn’t that much ‘Trolling’, perhaps a light hearted jibe from someone seeking debate or as a way of instigating reasonable discussion, I have never seen it get ‘nasty’. I am sure others might have other stories.

To quote: http://newteachersblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/internet-trolls-and-the-school-playground/

“The blogosphere is a very big playground. Most people in the playground know how to play nicely. But in every playground, there are highly-skilled, expert name-calling wind-up merchants. Their influence relies on people taking notice of them.”

I wonder if this is just another facet of the old fashioned playground bully?
The one who whispers in another child’s ear: “Hey, guess what I heard Barney just say! True Story!” And then having ilt the blue touch paper, retires to a safe distance.

The difference is that as teachers, we always knew who that kid was and kept an eye out accordingly!

The ‘troll’ can be nameless and faceless and cowardly. Hiding under their appointed bridge.

They can hide behind a false online identity, which they do for the sole purpose that the ‘man in the mask’ is harder to find. I honestly feel sorry for those people who have nothing better to do than insult, offend, falsely accuse or otherwise incite others, just to sit back and watch the chaos that follows.

Should any accusation be based in truth, then there is a proper way to make those allegations, and I’m not entirely sure that Social Media is the right place to do it.

I suspect that Trolling will never become professional nor will it become an Olympic sport, and unless in some peculiar parallel universe that comes to fruition, I shall stick to my opinion that:

I Pity the Troll!

 

They clearly have a very empty life!

 

newteachersblog

As a child, if ever I came home from school complaining of people calling me names, my mother would say: “Ignore them. Otherwise they’ll do it even more. Don’t play with people who call you names.

If I ever protested, she would get visibly irritated: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.  Say that and walk away.”

Sometimes I found her advice very difficult to take. It always seemed inadequate and it never satisfied my inflamed need for retribution against the perpetrators or more perversely, for my desire for their acceptance and inclusion of me in their group.

Sometimes if I could not resist the temptation to retaliate, my mother would say: “If – and when – you come off worse… don’t come crying to me!”

By the time I became a teacher, I had graduated to dishing out the same advice.

View original post 924 more words

Advertisements

Posted on 27/07/2014, in Behaviour, eSafety, Internet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: