Wow. Those r really bad and ur ugly.
Five years ago I got this comment, twice.
Twice, about a minute apart. The second comment was anonymous.
The first, had a name to it.
I then did something incredibly stupid. I looked up the name and emailed the commenter.
I wanted to know why she said that. I wanted to help her.
And somehow, over the years, we became online friends. She's 21 now.
Five years later, she agreed to be interviewed for my Internet Trolls series (read part 1 and part 2).
Here's what she said:
Interview has been condensed.
Me: So let's just get into it--and I'll let my readers know we have discussed all of this before--but when did you become an Internet Troll?
Her (we've both decided not to share her name): It's not like I set out to become someone like that...I was like 15 or 16 at the time, right? You remember this better than I do. I was like, a kid. Just being dumb.
Me: Is that why you started? Where did this come from?
Her: I didn't just sit down one day and say, "Hey, I'm gonna be a b*tch to everyone and say some sh*t to hurt people's feelings!" Like I said I was in high school. Honestly, I think I was like, bored or something.
Me: How often would you leave mean comments? Was it daily? On blogs? Social media, or--
Her: It wasn't like, planned or anything. But yeah, I left them a lot but I didn't start off like that. I don't really remember. I'm pretty sure it was only on blogs and Youtube videos. I don't remember trolling social media or anything.
Me: We've discussed over the years about the things you said to others online. Why did you say those things?
Her: Where I would say those things...they were usually like my age or my whatever, like on Youtube. ....I got like this rush, sort of thing, when I would troll. It would make me feel better about my sh*tty life [Elle's note: her parents were divorcing at the time].
Me: What about the jealousy you've mentioned before?
Her: Oh yeah, there was that. I didn't think that was fair with these girls getting all of these things, like clothes and makeup, and it's not like I knew them so I didn't think anything bad of it.
Me: So let's skip to the part where I emailed you. What did you think of that? Do you remember your comment to me?
Her: I was scared, to be honest, like I was gonna get in trouble. "Like how did you figure it out?" is what I was wondering. I always used a fake name or no name. I read your email and didn't respond at first, but you wanted to know who I was, why I was doing this, and it made my feel like you cared, like what you said and stuff. I don't remember what I said to you or even the blog, even after you showed me the screenshot, you psycho, *laughs*.
Me: You eventually did respond, and I found out you were the same age as my youngest sister. I found out about your family's divorce and told you I had gone through that. I told you about that time I wanted to leave mean comments on a blog once and didn't. You've said I became a mentor to you [Elle's note: she eventually told her mom about what she was saying online, and that I had emailed her. I became acquainted with her mom (hey Her Mom!)]. And then you stopped being an internet troll. Can you elaborate on that?
Her: Yeah, you were able to make me realize like why I was saying those things. I wanted to be noticed. I wanted attention that I wasn't getting at home. It was a rough time then in my life, and I've like, grown so much now over the years. I've grown up. I'm not that girl anymore. I haven't done that in years. Like old news, people!
Me: You realized you were hurting people with your words, that those are real people--
Her: Yeah. I felt a little bad about it, and like you've said, like what if I heard those things about me?
Me: I'm just glad you stopped and that it didn't continue into adulthood. It's been a while since we've talked, so I'm glad to hear you're doing well! Thanks for taking the time to talk with me. Enjoy your holidays.
Her: Same to you! Thanks.
Have you ever encountered an Internet troll?
What would you ask someone who left rude comments?
Lots of giveaways going on that are ending soon: