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Let’s take a minute—or more—and talk about trolls. Now,
when I say trolls, I don’t mean those fairytale creatures
that are often found living at the bottom of bridges. I
mean the real-life people who take pleasure in starting
arguments and causing a stir on the internet.
Now the thing about trolls is that, more often than
not, they are just people who have no other productive
means of spending their time; so they resort to being
rude, hateful and problematic online as a means to fill
their otherwise empty lives. Please excuse my bluntness
and my harsh statement, but I highly doubt that any person
with a job, a family or school related factors to focus
on would spend their time “trolling” on the Internet. The
majority of our time is spent on more important things
and on improving our lives and the lives of our families.
Unfortunately trolls exist and I have had to deal with my
fair share of them. And since they are everywhere, I think
I can safely assume that you have dealt with your fair
share as well. The encounters I have had with trolls have
ranged from those individuals who like to judge and hate
on a person’s musical, celebrity and other entertainment
choices to individuals who like to negatively comment on
a person’s beliefs, choices and political opinions.
Now, you know what I like about living in this country?
It’s that we are all entitled to our own opinions, and that
we can all get along regardless of what these opinions
are. For example, I have been a fan of the Harry Potter
series since I was 10, but my best friend hates the series.
Has this negatively affected our friendship? Nope. As a
matter of fact, she respects that I am a fan of the series
and is willing to listen when I go into one of my “Harry
Potter obsessed moments.” But that is because my
friend isn’t the type of person to make hateful comments
over a person’s preferences.
Let’s focus on politics for a bit. Now, in the interests
of keeping things unbiased, I am not going to reveal
my political beliefs and affiliations. However, in our current
political climate, it would be unintelligent to remain
ignorant about politics and act like they didn’t affect
you. I will admit, there are times when I wish I could
ignore the politics of the world—and everything that is
taking place—because it just puts me in a foul mood.
But since it affects me, as it does all of you, we have to
stay informed. And, as a millennial, the majority of the
information I obtain comes from social media and the
Internet version of news sources. Since those sources
are a type of “free for all”, I can say with 100% certainty
that I will come across people whose opinions differ from
mine—trolls and otherwise.
So what exactly makes up the difference between trolls
and people who have differing political and world-related
opinions? Well in the case of the latter, the “non-trolls”
are those people who have different political opinions,
but can respect each other’s opinions and even have
a conversation regarding these differences. A troll, on
the other hand, is someone who goes around making
generalizations and hateful comments about their opposing
side. The best way I can describe this is when troll
conservatives call liberals “snowflakes” and when troll
liberals say that conservatives are “racist”. Just to put it
out there, neither of these are true.
Personally, I fall under the “non-troll” category. I have
my political beliefs. The only people who know my beliefs
are the people who I am extremely close to. So much
so, that I have family members who don’t even know my
political affiliations and beliefs, simply because we just
aren’t that close. Of the family and friends who do know
my political side and opinions, the majority of them are
on the same side as me (If I am a conservative, they are
too; if I am a liberal, they are too), but I do have people
in my life that fall under the opposite side. But you know
what’s awesome? Despite our difference of opinion, we
still get along just fine. Why? Because we don’t find the
need to be rude, condescending, hateful, judgmental and
just horrid all around.
I want to tell you a story. I have this friend who I have
known my entire life. Our parents have been friends for
over 30 years and the two of us grew up together. Up until
my family and I moved away from Louisiana (where I was
born), both of our families would see each other for every
birthday, almost every holiday and other family-related
events in between. I would even go as far as to say that
he is “my brother from another mother.” My family moved
away in 2003 and
I finally got to see
my friend again
in December of
last year, 14 years
later. Obviously, in
those 14 years, the
two of us grew up,
became smarter
and became more
informed about
everything going
on in our world.
And, through
being informed,
we were able to
form our own opinions about the world, the people in
it, and—yes—politics. Come to find out, he and I have
completely different political opinions, but I will say
that both of us fall in the middle between the two sides
(Republican/Democrat and Conservative/Liberal) with
him leaning more towards one side and me leaning
more towards the other. But we have not let this affect
our friendship whatsoever. We have conversations about
the important topics and, when we cannot come to an
agreement, we simply agree to disagree. Bottom-line: we
refuse to let politics affect our relationship.
And so I say, we should all try to be more like this and
less like the trolls. We live in a world filled with people
who have all sorts of opinions, beliefs and preferences.
You will come across people whose opinions, beliefs
and preferences do not match up to yours. But we are
all adults and we are all mature enough to respect these
differences, and get along regardless. In my opinion, as
long as you aren’t racist, prejudice or discriminatory in
any manner, you can have whatever political opinion you
About me: I like Harry Potter, I like pop music, I like
movies with my favorite celebrities and I like a range
of TV shows—from light-hearted to thought provoking.
I have my political affiliation, I have my thoughts about
current events and movements (DACA, feminism, ETC)
and I know that many of your opinions and thoughts will
not match mine. But, if you can respect me, I can respect
you. At the end of the day, be a good person. Don’t be a
troll. Because those trolls are the type of people who will
get nowhere in life.
(99 percent sure that I unintentionally revealed my
political side at some point in this article but I’ll just say
nothing and leave it to your interpretation).

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