Take extreme caution when becoming involved with online social forums such as chat rooms and even Facebook. The “Trolling effect” has been recognized by scientists as the shifting of our identities when we are online because we essentially have no worries of physical altercation or “real” social rejection since we are able to hide behind our computer screens. Recently, this phenomena has become one of the headlining issues within the online community, and many are concerned that the hateful words being tossed around without regard are contributing heavily towards depression and suicide rates.
It’s safe to say that certain social forums are more prone to having higher levels of “Trolling” than others. Facebook, for example, discloses a persons real name along with pictures and other information about who that person is in real life. Therefore, although people still feel less hesitant to speak on things they normally wouldn’t in face-to-face interactions and say potentially offensive things to others, these troll behaviors are mitigated substantially since others will generally know who this person is in real life. Chat rooms on the other hand allow users to enter with complete anonymity and essentially say whatever they want to whoever they want.
Check out the infographic below to learn more about the psychology of internet trolls.