The first time I ever heard of the Internet was during the early ’90s when I was studying in New York.
My dad told me to get a modem so that he and I could chat. But during that time I didn’t understand the importance of it. Then the first CyberCafe opened in 1994.
When I went back to Manila in 1995 I experienced the dial up at my parent’s house.
By 1996 I was already online trying to create my own website from HTML. I wasn’t good at it.
I started blogging at Blogspot in 2001 and moved to Livejournal in 2002.
Prior to Livejournal I didn’t know any internet troll. We were unbashedly sharing thoughts at Livejournal and then one day someone left a nasty comment on my blog. I was shocked. I checked that person’s page and saw that it had an entry bashing me, among other popular Livejournal users. I swear to God, I never thought bad things could happen online. That was 14 years ago.
Soon an online hate community started in Livejournal. It was a locked community with less than 20 members. My friends and I started to block all its members and lock our own blogs. I had the guts to go public with my blog in 2004. That’s when following grew.
My friends and I traced the leader of the group and found her to be one ugly bastard. They say there’s always an ugly bastard behind a troll. No wonder she hated everybody.
Her power diminished as people started to leave Livejournal for their own domains or stop blogging completely.
Online hate has grown to evil proportions since then and blogging is no longer what it used to be.
We accept paid posts because it keeps us busy, it earns money, and it keeps the blog alive.
Many people complain that they miss my old entries that were more personal, but when I post them once in a blue moon, the trolls come out of the woodwork. So what would you do in my place? You can’t blame me.
This is also why I would rather delete negative comments than reply to them and defend myself. It only encourages the trolls. You can’t win.
As for the first troll we encountered, I checked and she was still with Livejournal in 2014, one of the last users in that outdated site. I wonder if all that trolling has made her a happy person. I doubt it.
Lots of young people now grew up with the Internet while my friends and I are so glad we were already adults when we started.
Now you have all sorts of trolls who leave evil comments with their phone. You don’t even need a computer to ruin someone’s life. There was a time when I spent most of my time online, blogging up to five times a day.
Now I’ve decided less time online. I watch more movies, I go out and shop and travel without photographing everything. I’ve decided to live more.
Now if only there would be an official online identity card so that everyone will be accountable for their comments.