My Bizarre Fascination With the Internet Trolls of the 2016 Presidential Election

trollguy

My obsession with trolls — the Internet variety — has become my latest guilty pleasure.

It’s also become my greatest time suck. I am utterly fascinated with reading the comment sections at the end of social media posts and online articles. I have probably spent more time reading comment sections than I have the actual articles.

Now, I’m a smart girl. So I should know better. But I can’t … look … away.

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Thank you, Presidential Election 2016. The most bizarre and embarrassing political spectacle the United States has ever produced for online consumption.

Why-oh-why do I fall down this Internet rabbit hole?

It’s one part curiosity, one part social pulse taking, and one part voyeuristic. As in, the I-really-want-to-look-away-and-know-that-I-should-but-I-just-can’t sort of way.

The social media platforms have opened up a Pandora’s Box, sometimes good … sometimes not so good.

People’s opinions — no matter how ill-informed, racist, judgmental and immature — are on full display in these open forums. With regards to Election 2016, it’s happening ON BOTH SIDES, whether you are a Liberal or a Conservative. I have tried to keep up with articles (and ahem, the comment sections) from sites such as Washington Post and The New York Times, just as I have on Fox News and Breitbart.

I’m an “equal opportunity” troll observer.

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Everyone who contributes fancies themselves a relevant pundit, but so often, these “commenters” will tumble into schoolyard-style name-calling, back and forth, online, for all to see. Some of these posts get really personal, really fast. It’s crazy.

But. I. Can’t. Look. Away.

I love the Internet and all. I love the freedom of speech it affords the once voiceless masses. But ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod … please make it all go away, at least until Nov. 4, so I can go back to living my life in a productive way?

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