With our resounding successful and ongoing growth, come the unfortunate by-product of the presence of "trolling" - the internet behavior of stirring up trouble for the simple fact that it's difficult (but not impossible) to be held accountable for one's actions.
As I've been around on the internet since it's early years, I've had the (mis)fortune of watching how these individuals progress in their behavior. This is my suspicion. These people with the tendency of the online behavior labelled as "trolling" are actually seekers who have been traumatized so badly that they don't realize that they are damaged goods. They lash out at anything which resembles having the potential for healing or substance or high performance because they are too afraid of feeling retraumatized should they fail, or should the approach fail to help them heal. They secretly CRAVE something out there to work for them.
Trolls love to claim that they can come on to an organizational discussion forum, behave belligerently and deserve "free speech". I'm sure that other less orderly and positive forums will find some protestation that one cannot question here. And we all know that's simply not true. As a matter of fact, because of customer feedback, RMAX has evolved enormously, as any long time customer can attest.
PLEASE question EVERYTHING! But do so like an adult, and not in a manner which would get you smacked face to face. Trolls will be back. They can't help themselves. Why?
Because secretly, though they have not yet admitted it to themselves, they want to believe that there is an alternative to the mundane drivel of convention. So although they may have had someone pee in their cornflakes that morning, if they return in civility, let's not hold it against them.
But like one of my teachers said to me during our beach lifeguard exam, "A drowning person will try to kill you for just one more gulp of air." An online forum for physical culture isn't a strong enough or appropriate enough 'bowl' to hold those emotions. Some of these people who can't control themselves need a person to person therapist.
There's a script people play when a person's issues have become insurmountable. I've unfortunately seen this script played out time and time again. So, this little outline may help us understand where they are in their progression:
Like Steve Barnes wrote,
- 1. Isolation - becomes quiet or inaccessible.
2. Possessiveness - begins gathering about himself his contributions
3. Defensiveness - begins acting out against perceived threats
4. Aggressiveness - begins making overt unreasonable demands
5. Belligerence - begins making overt attacks throwing out terms like "cult" or "marketing hype" or "control freak nazis"
6. Guerilla Attacks - resigns to the proliferation of much more covert insidious attacks here and abroad the internet
7. Disappearance - runs out of steam and skulks on to next projected object of their insecurities and fearsOriginally Posted by Steve Barnes