Everyone has read about the dangers of having an online presence. Unfortunately I’ve experienced it in numerous ways over the past few years, albeit thankfully not to any extreme.

For many years my husband and I played online games together – WOW, Lord of the Rings, Rift, among others. I was never the most experienced player but Lord of the Rings was the game I played the longest and my main character on there, I was pretty good with. I was lucky that we found a guild of people who were all adults, family people and all in similar time of their life as we were. We all played well together and it was like a real family. I miss the camaraderie. I have stopped playing online games as much, just not enough time in the day – especially since I’m back to really focusing on my writing.

When I first started playing and would use my headset I always got the “oh, you’re actually a girl” response at first but beyond a few teenagers being ignorant teenagers there was nothing too annoying that I had to deal with. Generally when the games went free to play was when it became too much. Too many people calling me names just because I wouldn’t do pvp with them (player versus player). I didn’t like it and never indulged in it – and because I didn’t many an anonymous person on the other end of a keyboard took the time to write mean and disparaging things in my direction, as if that was going to somehow make me want to play with them.

Then I got into blogging and started following a lot of other authors. I’ve seen how people are quite content to sit behind their keyboard and troll. Before I go any further in case maybe troll seems a random word to use there, here’s what Wikipedia says about a troll:

In Internet slang, a troll (/ˈtrl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people,[1] by posting inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as anewsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4]

This sense of the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, mass media has used troll to describe “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.”

People who “review” books by disparaging the author on their looks, race, sex, personality, anything other than the quality of the book, people who “review” books they’ve never even read – those are all trolls. They hide behind the anonymity of the internet and say things I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t actually say if that person was standing in front of them. They are bullies who have taken it upon themselves to tell us other unsuspecting people how terrible some people are.


Thankfully this hasn’t been something I’ve had to experience yet. But I can only imagine I am in for it in the future as I get closer with publishing my novel and after my novel comes out. I know that there is a difference between a bad review and a troll and I expect to get both. A bad review is someone who generally didn’t relate to my book, or its topic was just not something they enjoyed reading – those reviews are normal and acceptable, you can’t really please every reader out there. But the trolls are something completely different.

Yesterday in my limited blogging sphere I read an article by a blogger that I don’t follow and who does not follow me. In the comments section I started what from my end was meant only to further the discussion that was started within the blog. I never once stated that I disagreed with the discussion of the blog or that anything I was saying was anything other than my mere opinion. Very quickly the discussion escalated and the author became rude and angry to the point they told me to get off their blog and removed all of my comments. I was shocked because I didn’t really know what I had said that would elicit such a strong reaction. I had earlier marked my comment so that I would receive emails with other comments – so I could continue the discussion since I didn’t follow the blog. A few hours after my comments were removed I received a comment on the blog that called me names, took my view-point and twisted it into something I hadn’t said and explained that they were the good ones for removing my comments.

I got off of my blog and reading others blogs for the rest of the day. I had never before experienced that level of anger over something I thought was just a differing of opinion. I read blogs that I don’t always agree with and I know people don’t always agree with what I write. But everyone that I follow or who follows me have always been nice and polite, even when expressing a difference of opinion. I had assumed that I had done the same, but from that other blogger’s perspective apparently I had not. Maybe I had not expressed myself very clearly in the comments and they chose to construe a different meaning to what I was saying. I don’t think that called for name calling, especially among adults.

I think I have lost my train of thought or the purpose of where I was going with this. I think I was just trying to point out there are different opinions all over. There is also the shield of the internet that allows us to act harsher than we may normally be wont too in real life.

I just would like to say to all my fellow authors, readers and friends – if our opinions differ, so be it, please still be polite. If someone trolls you, ignore them as their “reviews” are nothing to be considered. If you’re called names, don’t take it to heart as again, it means nothing. If what you’re saying is being misconstrued or misrepresented take the time to try to explain yourself – if you’re given that opportunity. If not try to shrug it off because we can’t always appease everyone.

And even though I know they’re not going to read this blog post, because of the opinion of me they have drawn via a misinterpretation I will say it anyway. I apologize if my comments angered you, that was not my intention. I was trying to explain my opinion and what I thought. I was not even disagreeing with your post, I was trying to show how I thought you were right.