"Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me."
But words in 2015, are furiously typed on social media sites, with threats and personal insults crafted to crush another human beings soul. Venomous comments, get thrown about with wild abandonment and show little regard for any and all consequences.
Everyday people are turning feral and latching onto bullying others online, like a rabid dog with a bone. Stripping others down publicly, often fueled by some kind of weirdo power high they've got themselves on, all behind their laptop screens.
Majority of these people would never walk up to another person, particularly a stranger, and say these things to their face. Firstly, there's a good bloody chance they'd end up with a fist in their face but secondly, because it would then be a real person they'd be saying it to and therefore requiring dealing with that persons reactions, good or bad.
Who are these people. Who does that kind of thing to someone? What and who makes a person into a troll
With some credible Facebook stalking and researching this phenomena of trolling further, (I dared going against the crowd in forum). From what I witnessed during this experiment was most keyboard warriors seemed to be normal, run-of-the-mill, common everyday people. Maybe that was the distinguishing feature: they didn't appear to be anyone special at all!
They were people with general names like; Shannan Morrison, Ilyria Tyers, Krystal Tilly, John Marston, Donnie McDermid IV, Rober Xu's. Every day social media users, regular Joe Bloe's but trolls, all the same.
Keyboard warriors, no one admits to being one but they're everywhere, lurking in the shadows.
Who Are The Keyboard Warriors Really?
In many instances, its not kids or teenagers. Cyber bullies or keyboard warriors are adults.
They're not particularly well-educated and yet they can be, they don't often provide logical material but it can be humerous, quick witted and intended to have an effect. But most of all, they seem to forget empathy, respect and plain old good manners when pounding out their drivel, hiding behind their computer screens, sipping hot cocoa.
- The goal of the adult bully is to dominate.They try to humiliate other adults and come out on top.
- Psychologists have identified three identities in cyber-bullying the aggressor, the victim and the bystander. Someone who watches or reads what's going on, but does nothing to stop it.
Why are Keyboard Warriors So Intense?
The intensity of bullying in a virtual space increases because the bully can't see the actual disintegration emotionally, of their target. This makes is much easier for an aggressor to say things they would not normally sprout out loud in person. Disconnecting the victim physically from the aggressor, results in a more severe psychological bullying occurring.
The keyboard warrior also has a huge stage to perform on and an enormous, often anonymous audience waiting eagerly for the next laugh. The aggressor's message can spread about at lightning speed in cyber land, leaving the victim with a sense that everybody knows and they can't escape.
It can also become more repetitive as pictures, videos, texts, GIF's etc can be re-shared and distributed, by anyone who has access to the material and an internet connection. This can then make it nearly impossible to remove or escape the attack and find a place of refuge.
The Five Personality Types of Adult Keyboard Warriors
There are several different types of adult bullies according to Bullying Statistics.
Do you know someone like this, or if you are honest, could one personality type describe you?
Narcissistic Adult Bully
Self-centered, mean damn nasty, bitter people who have absolutely no empathy for others. Their online profile falsely portrays they feel good about themselves, but in reality has a brittle narcissism that needs to put others down.
Impulsive Adult Bully
Acts spontaneously and doesn't engage in a planned attack, it's all off the cuff. Even if they know they're causing trouble and somethings going to hit the fan, they still can't restrain themselves. Often this type of bullying is unintentional, and is a result of stress, losing the plot, or the perpetrator feeling upset about something totally unconnected with their victim.
Physical Adult Bully
May not actually physically harm the victim (it's a bit hard to reach through the computer screen to strangle someone!) but they use the threat of harm, or physical domination. Also they may damage or steal a victim's virtual property i.e. photo's, social media profiles.
Verbal Adult Bully
Words, statuses and verbal attacks, altered photo's or video's of or aimed at humiliating the the victim, although in cyberspace they can be extremely damaging and a most effective tactic. The bully may start rumors about the victim, or use sarcastic or demeaning language to dominate or humiliate. This subtle, tongue in cheek, passive aggressive type of verbal bullying can often be seen a "funny" by its audience, prompting them to share on the bullying, without intent.
Secondary Adult Bully
Do not initiate the bullying, but joins in so that he or she does not actually become a victim down the road. Secondary antagonists may feel bad about what they are doing, but are concerned about protecting themselves. This category also includes those who are bystanders to the bullying, keeping quiet for fear of also becoming a victim.
What is Cyber Bullying Really. Can't They Take a Joke?!
Have you seen cyber bullying? Go visit any public forum with a controversial topic and expand the comments, read a few. If you need some more direction, your morning new's show like Channel 7's Sunrise, will showcases example after example of nastiness, if someone dare disagree's with the main theme of the thread.
Cyber Bullies hide behind their anonymity and say and do things they'd never really have the guts to say in real life. They attack a person's looks, names, whatever, they make up lies and rumors and post personal insults. The reality is that they'd probably cop a punch in the head or at the very least a verbal attack in defense, but its easy to be dominant while clicking the enter button. Not so much when you're trying to hold your nose together after someone has popped you for being ignorant!
Mostly, cyber bullies have nothing of value to add to any persons life, they only detract. There are those keyboard warriors who believe that they're doing no harm as the tap out 'die' and 'go kill yourself' on their keyboards.
No, cyber bullying isn't a joke. And there have been many victims. Victims that see no way of escape and take their own lives. These are sadly the casualties of cyber bullying in the twenty first century.
There is No Room for Political Correctness
We have to remember that not everyone in this world is good. There are nasty people out there. People who take great pleasure in creating mayhem and chaos, who smile when others crumble. They then go and make themselves a ham sand which as if nothing had ever happened, often moving on to the next victim.
Most of us fall into the category where we stumble or get drawn into an argument, write something then immediately regret it and the angry tirade that follows.
The Proper Response
In a rational world, your best option to deal with these kids of people is to ignore them, block them, don't respond and report them to the proper authorities. Shut the laptop, log out of the computer and go and find something to distract you.
Try not to act on the 'pay-backs a bitch' mind farts you'll probably experience, and endeavor not to follow through on those revenge plots. Hold back those thoughts that pop into your mind at 3 am in the morning. Honestly, they're not worth it and are probably off living their miserable lives as the trolls they are.
Sometimes though you need to fight fire with fire. Numbers and support is the key here. Give as good as you get, but try to leave out the low level nit picking about the big arsed mole on their face. Publicly pick apart whatever tripe they're trying to push. Use your support, as there is always safety in numbers.
But really - always act lawfully and don't stoop to their level.
Good luck and may the force be with you!
Stargrrl on February 23, 2015:
This was a great article. I have had my share of battle with keyboard warriors. I think that most people forget that there is a human being sitting on the other end of the screen. Because you are right--most people would never say these things to someone's face.