The Dreaded Troll

By Geisha Bar

Of the mound of things that happened to me this week from more sexless inkeepery to unintentional DMT experimentation, strange dates, and back to university antics, I still feel entirely uninspired and to be honest a little fragile from the entire experience.
Thus, I’ve decided to go down a completely different path. I want to talk about “trolling” in light of all the media attention it has been receiving today. I myself have recently been a culprit of this thing we call trolling but more of that later.
This morning a 19 year old Victorian man was sentenced to three years jail for a vicious act of trolling that saw him receive over $50K from some poor unsuspecting web user by pretending to pose as a model and love interest. The guy received instant parole, sure, but what was first a joke turned quickly sour.
What is the allure of trolling? What even is trolling?
Essentially trolling is fucking with people, trying to get a reaction, usually via the internet. Urban dictionary defines it as “Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it’s the internet and, hey, you can.”
The allure then basically is that it can be pretty funny because you’re anonymous and you’re the one fooling somebody, not the one being fooled. It’s kind of like picking on a younger sibling when you’re a kid to get a rise from them and then denying the whole thing to your mother when they try to dob you in – which in turn just pisses them off even more and is therefore instantly gratifying.
Another description on Urban Dictionary said “Trolling is trying to get a rise out of someone. Forcing them to respond to you, either through wise-crackery, posting incorrect information, asking blatantly stupid questions, or other foolishness. However, trolling statements are never true or are ever meant to be construed as such. Nearly all trolled statements are meant to be funny to some people, so it does have some social/entertainment value.”
I prefer this description, and what I tell you next has been the source of my and a few select others entertainment for the past week. It began in December last year, a friend of mine and I were having a chat when she said that she got a random text message from someone who wanted the number of her dreadlocks guy, my friend doesn’t have dreadlocks. This was kind of amusing so I decided to get the guys number and pretend to be the dreadlocks guy. What follows has been our text conversation:
“Hey dude, its dreadlock guy, whasuuuuup?”
“hey man. So you do the dreadlocks?”
“do I ever! (yes)”
“Sweet. How much do you charge?”
“It only costs $50 an hour bro.  My small Indonesian employees will do it cheep for you (they love braiding) we’ll get you a sexy new weave mun.”
“Haha sounds gd. Where r u located?”
“Whats easiest for you? We’re pretty mobile”
“Well I don’t need them done for a couple of months still cos I just got them touched up. So yeah ill txt you in the new year and get sum done!”
“No worries bro”

Some amount of time passed and I’d forgotten all about the little joke until last week when I received another text just as I had been promised…

“Hey dude when can I see you to get my dreads done?”

…I didn’t reply. He texted again:
“Sorry mun ya, I’ve been out of it all week, too much of the lsd. Anyway, where are you situated? And what do you need?”
“Just roots fixed up man. Im in Clarkson”
“No wukkas buddy mun are de weekends best for you bro?
“Well tell me when your not busy and ill let you know.”
“De weekends are de best for me mun. During de week I’m a little busy cutting de hair at Toni and Guy ya”
“Alright dude ill call you tomorrow.”

He never called… He was obviously hip to my jig.
While I got a laugh and I was a little devastated the scenario didn’t escalate to the point that I showed up at his door wearing a dreadlock wig and shoe polish on my face, I can’t help but feel a little bad for leading the guy along over a space of three months and laughing with my friends about how ridiculous the whole conversation was, while wondering why the guy hadn’t caught on.
Wherever you are out there dreadlock guy, I’m sorry!
Trolling’s ok if it’s harmless right?