Sometimes it's hard to understand why they're attacking you, and it's bad enough when the keyboard warriors come for you in their scores... but what if a fandom comes for you? What if it's a celebrity you respect? What if someone says something that could really affect your brand? What if they try to destroy you, your business, your puppy, and the horse you rode in on?
At first, I was genuinely upset, hurt and angry. After a while however, such feelings turned into bemusement as I scrolled through my Twitter feed and encountered the same dogmatic attitudes being hurled at me over and over again, interspersed amongst the news that Hillary had secured the Democrat's Presidential nomination.
Having a different point of view in the bygone days of coffee shop rendez-vous while sustaining vigorous debate used to be a good thing. Today having a different point of view means that the unusual individual is a bigot, a foe, a murderer, and a general traitor to the "established" group think on any number of subjects. Take your pick.
When I write film reviews, lovely geeky nerds discuss my ideas, adding their own opinions to the thread and we have a lovely old time. When I post articles about food, or recipes and even veganism, the internet respectfully disagrees with my personal hatred of tofu and we all have a lovely old time.
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.
In my day, compared to today, it was a simpler form of bullying - not that I am condoning it in any way - but it was face to face, name calling, physical and mental hurts, you knew the name and the face of the bullies, you knew the familiar outlines as they came towards you so you could run in the opposite direction. Today not only do you have to contend with what I went through you also have to contend with the cyber bullying - the nameless and faceless who say the most disgusting things because they feel they have an anonymity and an autonomy to behave without repercussion.
Maybe Jennifer Aniston is not the best example if you espouse the mantra 'live by the camera die by the camera'. She has had plenty of opportunities as a result of her media profile; she has significant resources as a result of her public profile to shield her from the worse excesses of the Internet. But she is a useful poster child to remind us of the dangers of the Internet.
The internet turned out to be the most democratic space which can be accessed by everyone who can use a bit of tech to better their lives and knowledge base... Suicides, depression, anxiety, and humiliation - all these and more are associated with the internet, what with some people using it to vent their sadism out.