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Navigating the Internet and its Sea of Trolls

We have all read or watched something on the news about someone taking their own life because of bullying and even worse, cyber bullying. It is so sad, but this is the day and age we live in. Anyone from anywhere can hop on the Internet and be mean to whoever they like with very little to no consequence at all. Most of the time it is the latter, no consequence.

I watch a popular gaming streamer who suffers from depression. Said streamer has been open about their mental issues and has always seemed to have a handle on the situation of mental state. However, last night while said individual was broadcasting and interacting with "chat" someone told this person to go kill themselves. My heart sank.

You can't do that. You shouldn't say those words to anyone. It is heartless. Regardless of their mental state. I don't care if they have NO mental issues the very phrase is terribly rude and disgusting. Internet trolls don't care. They feed off getting reactions of people they torment. The streamer was visibly shaken. I would have been too. Now, most streamers or anyone that has an Internet presence knows to grow a rather thick skin. I streamed for a while and people called me fat all the time. Yes, me fat. Why? Because I wasn't some 20 something young girl streaming in a biking top with makeup and fake eyelashes on. I simply streamed games because I enjoyed playing them and wasn't trying to make money off of it. So, the trolls would swarm my channel and tell me (a person who is an avid runner and in good shape) that I was fat and disgusting and needed to get off the Internet. Hence the thick skin. I ignored them. That's not to say it didn't hurt, especially since I suffer from bipolar disorder.

I chose not to let them ruin my life or the good time I was having in my games. I blocked them. I no longer have time to stream, but if I ever do go back to it I know there are trolls I will have to deal with. Luckily, none of them told me to go kill myself. I'm not sure how I would have handled that.

Because when someone says that to you it cuts deeper than anyone really knows. You question your existence. You question everything and if you suffer from any real mental illness you sit there questioning why on earth would they say that in the first place. Not realizing because they are a troll and a dick, but because those of us with mental illness's minds work differently. We process everything differently. Why are left with the "why".

Why is the worst thing for me. Not having an answer for "why" someone said or did something drives me even more insane. I know they are just being mean, but why? What did I do to them to make these individuals want to lash out with so much hate towards me? People that have and never will meet me.

People will always be cruel. Life is unfair. Just remember that any type of bullying is wrong. In person or cyber. You can choose to be part of the problem or help solve it. The choice is yours.

Often the test of courage is not to die but to live. - Vittorio Alfieri

Bonnie Rae 


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