Perhaps sitting behind a computer and telling someone off makes some people feel tough and powerful. It’s easier than ever to bash someone when you can do it anonymously in the safety of your screen, never having to make eye contact or have any sort of personal contact with the victim.
There is something very counterproductive about slamming someone who has views or perspectives that you don’t agree with. Disagreement is something healthy, normal and inevitable. However, the reactions that come with disagreement can be uncalled for completely.
When someone uses rhetoric to put down others, to disempower them or to close any chance at a productive conversation, they are referred to as trolls. Not a flattering name and certainly not a flattering habit.
Putting down others to justify your own opinion rarely works. The nasty words that often accompany these insults aren’t doing the troll’s perspective any justice, either. Anonymity has become a shield so people don’t have to be accountable for their words.
In the newspaper industry, we understand the power of words. The pen can be as mighty as the sword. The way you express yourself is so important. This is not an argument against free speech, but an argument to use that speech to share your opinions, while also taking the time to appreciate the opinions of others.
In regards to our newspaper in particular, we love to hear from our readers and their various point of views. In fact, we encourage open and honest dialogue from our audience. Send your letters in to firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (512) 259-4449 with your feedback.