Trolling is a Art


Shedding a light on the meaning of trolling can seem counter-intuitive to those who have a general idea of the word. If one is “trolling” they are saying or doing things they do not necessarily believe in, for either comedic relief, or the annoyance of another and is often seen through social media sites.

Trolling has become amusingly taboo among internet users and in pop culture. From artists who seem to amuse themselves through trolling, to posters who troll other random people on the internet for whatever reason, it has become more and more prevalent in today’s culture.

The iconic troll face that started as merely an internet meme and is now an international symbol for trolling. (PHOTO BY
The iconic troll face that started as merely an internet meme and is now an international symbol for trolling. (PHOTO BY

The definition of trolling–like other words that have emerged in contemporary times as slang and solidified through mass usage–varies depending on a person’s experience with the word.

“Trolling is the art of disrupting one’s psychological process of thinking,” defines sophomore Drew Goheen. Regarding the comedic aspect, “to the troller, it can be quite amusing, but to the trolled, it can be quite annoying,” Goheen added.

Urban Dictionary defines trolling as: “The art of deliberately, cleverly, and secretly pissing people off, usually via the internet, using dialogue.”

Mariemont isn’t the only community that has seen a rise in the use of the word. It is now used on television and just about any media outlet. ESPN has begun using the word in its reportage and in headlines for their stories, such as this one where Stephen Curry seems to be trolling Tiger Woods in a tweet. ESPN also implemented the term in  an article about the OSU players trolling their Heisman candidate teammate. 

NBC News jumped on the trolling fad with a short half-minute segment with their social media correspondent to address ‘What is a Troll?’.

The troll characterized here is a type of common internet personality who can often be found in comment sections of news outlets and social media stirring up trouble. People who have surfed Reddit are keenly aware of one trolling legend who is known as Ken M. His 27 best trolls are featured on this Buzzfeed article. These trolls are basically harmless, and to the spectator, they provide great comedic relief.

 “Trolling is a dedication, not something you just do every once in a while,” stated junior Matthew Teeters.

Teeters brings up another point, where some trolls do not break character, ever. In order to do this, they must never give up that they are trolling in the first place, because if the person being trolled is aware of the situation they can prevent themselves from being irked.

To further see countless number of internet trolls, one can just look up trolls on Google, yielding results from Facebook comments, Tweets, and almost any social media forum where human interaction is shielded by the internet.

Internet trolls may be the most popular form of trolling, yet practical trolling, where the troll isn’t shielded by their computer monitor, still occurs every once in a while.

Tyler the Creator is a musician and an artist who is known for his trolling. His TV show created with his friends Loiter Squad, aired on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. Tyler has a different sense of humor regarded as trendsetting by many teens. This humor revolves around random jokes that have become contemporary comedic relief.

One of Catchphrase Jones' lines in Loiter Squad season 1 (PHOTO BY ADULTSWIM.COM)
One of Catchphrase Jones’ lines in Loiter Squad season 1 (PHOTO BY ADULTSWIM.COM)

The show is split into segments with different characters such as one named Catchphrase Jones who fights villains while saying random lines for comedic relief.

Early forms of trolling date back to 2007, when people began to mess with each other online by sending YouTube links to Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up , since then people have used it on webpages, unrelated videos, and email attachments. You could never trust YouTube back in the day if there was a very quick sports highlight up or a copyrighted music video you always wanted to watch, it would usually be Rick Astley doing his dance and getting the person who fell for it irritated.

After Rick Astley came a phase of memes, where most trolls revolved around sending an image link looking like a video or something else that someone would genuinely be interested in and then… TROLLOLOLOLOL.

Skip forward a few years and trolling had gone from the sending of links and images to the way people did things. Like Tyler the Creator, there are other artists who one can just tell is trolling. Lil B and IceJJfish are both rappers who have become famous not for their artistic talent, but their comedic relief brought not by jokes or satire, but trolling.

Much like “just kidding” was a popular follow up text to any banter that crossed the line, there are instances people declare they’re “just trolling” before the person being trolled completely goes off.

Trolling does not have a set definition.  It is dynamic just like its applications, so one can understand it through examples, but having a written definition that encompasses all forms is virtually impossible. I’d be trolling if I gave an official definition of the word.