Don’t feed the trolls

Trolls are fictional characters from Norwegian folklore.  They are most often portrayed as big, ugly, mean, hairy and scary.  

I went to Norway as a teenager on exchange.  During our first few weeks, we had language camp at an agricultural school up on a mountain side.  One of our activities was to hike to a cabin for an overnight stay to experience the Norwegian outdoors.  Our leader, Geir, got to telling us folk tales of trolls and ogres and the like, after which we went for a hike at dusk.  

You are aware of the Billy Goats Gruff, and how the troll under the bridge was going to eat them up?  Well on our hike, we came to a bridge over a stream.  ***Rustle, rustle*** from the undergrowth was all it took for several teenage girls to go screaming down the trail!  

Of course, it was nothing.  

We had fed the trolls…that place in the imagination where ugly, hairy thoughts live. 

In our media savvy world, trolls have taken on a new role, a new definition.  According to Wikipedia , internet trolls are people who post “inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community… with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response” (emphasis mine) 

Trolls, love ’em or hate’em, push our buttons and wrap us up in our emotions, illicting actions that can be irrational and damaging  to ourself or others.  

So, please, don’t feed the trolls.  

Especially the big, hairy one in your mind.  


image by piggley on flickr


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