30 thoughts on “What did trolls do before the internet? 10 very strong possibilities.”

  1. Pushed elevator button and run away…

    Caled random people nazi/communist/f.ing republican-democrat/_insert_the_flavor_of_the_day_

  2. I bet they also wrote really scathing letters to the editor about the harrowing trials of living in a society with the less attractive, the poor, food products that didn’t meet expectation, and non-native English speakers.

  3. I think they sat in the back of buses and trains mumbling to themselves and yelling at people who sit to close to them

  4. I was going to be disappointed if no one mentioned bridges.

    I actually think that most trolls were probably perfectly polite before the Internet. I think that the way technology obfuscates the fact that blogs and social media accounts actually have thinking, feeling humans on the other end undermines some people’s natural tendency toward civility.

  5. I love this list (and not just because you included mine which thank you for by the way)! I was thinking as I read and wondered if the trolls even know it’s them we’re talking about?

  6. -Wrote “Slam books” and passed them around the high school cafeteria.
    -Wrote “truth” on public bathroom walls
    -Whispered behind everyones back and convinced their mom they were the sweetest kid ever. (If it isn’t obvious…I teach high school. Every troll is really 15.)

  7. I believe I’ve got a troll living with me right now. She hits and bites and screams when she gets sent to time-out. She inexplicably says things like “Jesus not yuv you, dada.” She pees on us and laughs about it.

    Seems to me that the whole goal of raising kids is to train them out of being trolls, which may be their natural state.

  8. There was a video caught on a security camera that went viral a few years back of a woman who inexplicably dumped someone’s cat into a garbage can, put the lid on, and walked away. Perfectly normal looking woman who thought she was unobserved, doing something randomly cruel. That’s a troll.

  9. When I think of trolls, I always, without fail go back to those little toy “treasure trolls”. So now, thanks to @joyandwoe, I have the worst image of one of those creepy little dolls, masturbating furiously. Thanks for that!

  10. OK – I’m being a bit (a lot?) dumb here, but what exactly makes somebody a troll? Is it just disagreeing with a bloggers point of view, is it doing so rudely? Where is that fine line crossed. I honestly don’t comment much on blogs (sorry!), but I sometimes wonder where that line should be…Some people have so obviously crossed it, but in other cases, couldn’t there be a grey area?

    I do agree with what another commenter said about internet making people meaner. Somehow, people feel they can let out their nastier tendencies when they are not speaking to somebody face to face. I know sometimes I’ll read a blog post and have a super snarky comment in my head. I just have a strong enough filter to not put finger to keyboard. So, I’m thinking that maybe some of those “grey area trolls” are actually fairly nice, normal people who just let Mr Snarky out???

  11. Obvious ones like radio call ins, letters to the editor.

    Also, hitting every single button on elevators and putting in the exact change for one newspaper in the box but taking out all the ones inside.

  12. In the days when dueling was legal (or at least an accepted custom), I bet they kept their mouths shut. That, or they got really good with swords/pistols, or they didn’t reproduce.

    (Yeah, I thought “lived under bridges, accosted travelers for money” also.)


  13. I do not understand this troll thing everyone talks about… ? I see it on Facebook, along with creepy cartoon characters.. anyone care to update?

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