It seems to me the anonymity of modern technology has led to a culture often focused on mean. I too have occasionally capitulated to the urge to call others out for trolling which I see as nothing more than a bully’s wet dream and a filthy one at that. But trolling trolls is truly futile and has never once brought me a feeling of joy or peace or productivity. So I’ve decided to change tack and try something different and I have dubbed it, Love Trolling. On my Instagram account @perkreations I post pictures of my sketches, finished drawings, paintings, and photos. I began following a lot of other artists to begin with and offering words of praise and encouragement wherever I could… but that’s not Love Trolling, that’s just wanting to be a positive force.
Love Trolling came to be after falling down a number of Instagram rabbit holes regarding mental helth and I kept coming across individuals suffering from many all too familiar mental maladies such as self harm, depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, self hatred, shame, and general mental anguish.
I couldn’t help but notice the number of blatant cries for help, screams for love and a little understanding. I couldn’t believe the number of nasty, trolling responses these people were frequently subjected to rather than simple empathy or saying nothing at all.
I decided then and there to counter this anonymous hatred with anonymous love. I am not a social worker, psychologist, psychiatrist or medical professional of any kind but I can reach out and offer more than a shred of kindness.
“I know I’m not in your shoes, living your life but I have been suicidal and I have self harmed. For me it took spending time in a psychiatric ward and coping with the effects of malnutrition because I’d been eating so poorly. I also went to group therapy and continue individual therapy along with medication. Things have begun to look a little better now in spite of some challenges I still have.
Try to be strong even though things suck right now. You ARE worth taking care of. You are. I promise.”
Moments later I received personal notes of thanks, even though they weren’t needed, from that particular individual as well as a couple of their friends. We’ve gone on to keep in touch and encourage each others art and lives.
I’ve reached out to others too. I’m by no means saying I’ve come close to fixing anything but by showing love whenever I can I truly hope it has had some small positive effect in the world. I can tell you this for sure, Love Trolling has brought me a sense of purpose, peace, and reflected self love.
I dare you to give it a try…