THE BLOG

When Did Being Nasty Become a Career Aspiration?

19/05/2015 20:59 BST | Updated 15/05/2016 10:59 BST

Good old Katie Hopkins has been at it again, showing off in the playground by flexing her superior trolling muscles and calling a 7 year old autistic girl a 'twat', which is just outstanding.

Trolling - I don't even like calling it that. The very name itself is giving it existence, giving it credibility as if it is just something that people do. It's not. Pre 2012 Trolling was just known as being a horrible bastard, now it is seen as a gateway to fame; a hall pass to be offensive and obnoxious in return for some self-satisfaction and credibility.

By rewarding trolling with newspaper columns and TV contracts, we're making it a plausible career aspiration. After all, who can really blame people for following the shameless path, flattened by society's most notorious ogres, when you see the likes of Katie Hopkins building a career on it?

Why get in debt by going to university, studying hard and struggling for work when, from the comfort of the back bedroom of your mum's house, you can shatter a stranger's self-confidence and make a living?

Keyboard warriors they call them - creating an image much more flattering than the wretched reality. People whose day to day lives revolve around causing as much needless psychological damage as possible - ironically, in a desperate attempt to make their own lives feel worthwhile.

I can't even blame Katie Hopkins for what she is doing. I don't for one minute buy that she actually believes half the things she says. She has simply found a niche that she is exploiting and, as a result, our outrage pays her mortgage.

But we shouldn't be angry at Katie for her views, she is entitled to them. Just like the drunk racist sat in the corner of a pub is entitled to his. The problem isn't Katie having views; the problem is that instead of treating her like the drunk in the corner, the media are giving her a platform. They are allowing her the opportunity to spout poison to millions of people, glorifying her demonising views and paying her for the trouble.

I worry about future generations if this is deemed the way forward.

Our young people are facing pressures unlike anything we have known before. Through the medium of social media, they're living their lives in the public eye. Everything they say, do or wear is being judged. Not only by those around them but by the whole world. As an acne drenched teenager with glasses and braces, I genuinely don't know how I would've survived the shameless, cowardly abuse that society seems to be normalising.

Even now, as someone known more for failing suicide than I ever have been for performing comedy, I have become a troll's wet dream. As a result I find myself, like many others, treading the internet carefully; scared to be me in case I'm not to the taste of people I'll never know.

This is why we can't have nice things anymore.

Eventually people will tire of playing Hopkins' game and the media will find their new toy. Who knows what that will be, I just hope it will mean any Trolls can go back under the metaphorical bridge where they belong.