Not "If"​ But When You Are Trolled

This morning someone said they are really excited about their idea but concerned about the possibility of getting trolled once they roll it out. Whether you are a man or woman, if you ever have the concern that you may be trolled let me ease your mind. You most likely will be. Especially if you are doing something of significance. If you are a woman your chances increase even more. Having experienced it myself, being called a “witch” among other things online by an elected official nonetheless, I assure you, it is unpleasant, but survivable. And while it is not acceptable to troll others, it is our current, unfortunate reality. Don’t let it curb your enthusiasm. Don’t let it curb your efforts.

If Jason Kipnis (Cleveland Indians, now Cubs) and Taylor Swift get trolled for the way they do their jobs, well assume you are not exempt. An article in Entrepreneur back in 2015 noted 28% of people had admitted to being malicious in trolling. Flash forward to 2020 and I think you know the environment you are living in, so that number has no doubt increased. In 2019 there was a NPR piece that referenced a research model which estimated of 14.5 million tweets mentioning women, a million of them were abusive or “problematic.” If you are a woman of color the risk is even greater. So again, it you are doing anything of significance or merit, it isn’t “if” but how you will react “when” you get trolled.
 Worrying about being trolled is a legitimate concern, but the worrying part does nothing for you. Awareness and planning are the key. Be excited about your work. Be prepared and just know that there is a bottomless pit of those who rather pull you down than level up themselves. Bottom line, Ben Franklin was right, “Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.”

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