We’ve written about internet trolls before, and if you spend any time online, you’ve probably seen some firsthand. Maybe you’ve even been the victim of one.
Troll (noun) – an internet user who does or posts something with the deliberate intent of getting a reaction, harassing someone or derailing a conversation
Some trolling is truly harmless, some Is meant to be harmless and ends up missing the mark, and some is downright cyberbullying. Since your teenage kids, like most, are active online, they have probably seen a great deal or trolling. While it may start out as playful banter, it is important that (a) your teen deals with trolling appropriately when on the receiving end, and (b) is not a troll himself.
The best response to trolling is to ignore it entirely. In extreme cases, you can block or report the aggressor.
If your teen is the troll, the situation might be complicated. If the trolling is mean-spirited, tell your teen to stop. Even if your child is trolling entirely in jest, it can cast him in a very bad light. Imagine that someone goes looking for your teen online – perhaps a college admissions officer or future employer – and is looking to make a character judgment. You don’t want to trust that that person gets the joke. It’s far better to encourage your teen not to troll in the first place.
If you’re looking to talk to your teen about whether he is guilty, or how to avoid trolling, check out the infographic below from Infomania: Internet Troll Flowchart
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