Facebook, It’s Just in Your Mind — A local unemployed and frequent Facebook participant Jennifer Murray of Nevada City, CA has taken to labeling anyone who irritates her on the popular social network “a troll.” Apparently Ms. Murray arrived at this decision without little thought or consideration.
“Look, there are these people on Facebook who are just trying to draw attention to themselves,” said an indignant Ms. Murray in a Gish Gallop telephone interview. “I used to call people thugs, but then I got yelled at for being racist. Naturally I called my accuser a troll, and that’s when it dawned on me that I could corner the people who annoy me by simply calling them that.”
Although the definition is varied, generally in Internet slang a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
According to her online “friends,” Ms. Murray has been struggling with the Internet.
“Yeah, she had to stop watching TV a few years ago,” asserted a Facebook friend who chose to remain anonymous for fear of being whimsically banned from a popular Nevada County Facebook group, “because she didn’t understand where the soap was in a Soap Opera. She would watch Guiding Light and wonder, ‘what happened to the laundry detergent? Where is the light? Whom is it guiding?’ Then she’d see a Tide commercial and wonder, ‘where the love triangle was?’ It was a mess. Now this troll thing. She called me a troll the other day and reported me for pointing out that picking wild mushrooms is dangerous.”
As for Ms. Murray, she’s taken great comfort in her new-found online power.
“It’s been great,” continued a proud Ms. Murray, “I get to have the last word. Sometimes I start an argument by telling the discussion threads ‘No trolling or else,’ and I immediately gain the upper hand. I get to stay in control, which is where I like to be.”