I've been bullied pretty much all my life. I was singled out by my abuser at 3. At school I was meek and scared and got singled out. I've been punched, kicked, had my hair pulled. I've had my school bag bombed with paint. I've had my linoprint at school coated in oil so that the blade would slip, cutting my hand. I've been socially isolated, spat out, had names called out to me. I've lived in fear. I've been there, from 3 til 17. And I'm not going to be made to feel like that anymore.
On line I've had the odd comment, the worst was when I spoke out about Dr Christian and his attitude to women and someone called me a "terrible person". I laughed it off and blocked that person. I don't engage with bullies. I have no time for that. Don't like me, don't care, move on. I've had the odd issue in the past but Ive dealt with it. I use my online tools, I bounce things off other people but I do not engage with trolls.
I know that things have got ridiculous on Twitter of late. But I've seen people baiting trolls, begging for apologies, showing they are upset. Fact. Whether 8 18 or 28 bullies want the same things. To get a reaction, make you upset, and make you retreat. They are not going to apologise. Fact. They will not retreat. Fact. They exist to upset, to disquiet and to bully. You will not win against a troll. They do not care about your feelings.
These trolls are time wasters with nothing better to do. Now I do not condone things like threats of rape, that is clearly a criminal act and those people must be dealt with by the authorities. However, the act of trolling, as reprehensible as it is, is as old as time and one must design one's own personal plan as to how to deal with it if you are going to live your life on line.
Let's not forget, social media is amazing. We are in charge of our own messages. Twitter is changing the way we not only receive news, but we can make news happen! We can set the agenda like never before.
There will always be (sorry) dickheads, who try to wreck it for everyone else. There will always be people who get off on some weird power ego trip by upsetting others. We need to learn or to remember how to deal with these people.
But don't sit in silence. Use your voice. Its strong, its powerful and its amazing.
Together we can silence those negative dingbats who try to make us feel scared, ashamed and small.
Speak out, shout loud.