What I’ve learned about being a Step-dad

The Troll Generation


Remember when the internet troll was just some anonymous person online that was trying to make themselves look superior by putting you and everyone around you down?  Remember how we ignored them and tried our best “Not to Feed the Troll“?  Well…  They’re back.  Well actually they never really left in the first place,  the trouble is, they’ve evolved.  This next generation of kids, our 16 year old’s, were born to the internet.  Not only have they never experienced a world without the internet they’ve never experienced a world without Internet Trolls.  So what, right?  It’s not a big deal, is it? Well, yeah it kinda is.  Because remember they are the product of their environment.  And while we had both the internet and real life social friends, we were able to recognize and isolate (ignore) those internet trolls with ease.  Because the social circles of today revolve around internet communication and not as much face to face communication, the internet troll has had a wonderful mask to hide behind.  Making them even more hidden then ever before to the eyes of this generation.  

The Troll Generation, are just simply acting and reacting in reflection of the environment they are most comfortable in.  We did it when we were there age, and they’re doing it now.  The only problem is the complete lack of empathy or compassion relayed between two people in any given conversation when that conversation is relayed completely online.  Unfortunately something was lost when this change took place.  This generation is depressed more and more, and that depression is read into every word that is texted, posted, commented, or otherwise relayed online.  A few years ago I had written a business article for a newsletter of a company I had worked for regarding how we read into emails with emotions that are not necessarily intended by the writer.  And now because this generation is born to the Internet Troll, they understand it, inherently.  They couldn’t explain why they know, they just do.  And they use it.  They use what they understand to be the way individuals talk to one another through sarcasm and defamation.  All so they can hide their thoughts behind a shield of “unemotional, uncaring, disinterest” to protect themselves from the rejection of their peer group.     

   The unfortunate part is we only get to see the Troll.  They work so hard to protect themselves from the possibility of rejection from their peers that the online persona bleeds into their offline persona.  So imagine being in your rebellion phase, with all the related teenage angst and frustration and the only way to communicate with your peers is to Troll the world with them.  Welcome the Troll Generation.  A generation of kids that only communicate with each other and AT us via trolling.  A bunch of kids on a library stoop tossing a hand sign up they know is going to piss people off, but don’t really know why (or care), just for the credit of saying “U Stoopid! Y U no Like me? I wave hi see, U Stoopid!”.  

So how do we correct this?  Well, truth is, I don’t think we can.  This is the new normal, and something that they will need to resolve on their own.  Just like we did with whatever it was that we did that was SOOO different from what our parents did.  We just need to remember that they want the same things we wanted when we were there age.  Understanding, Acceptance from our peers, and credit for our knowledge.  We can only do the first and last, and the other will be handled naturally.  As long as we can maintain a moral compass with them, and help them see the best direction and how to make the best decisions then we’ve done all that we can do. 


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