Each day I have tasked myself with preparing a blog as my commitment to those that have chosen to follow me, whether on Facebook, Twitter or You Tube. At times it feels like a big hassle, whereas on other days I am chomping at the bit to share my message.
As an Expat living in Thailand I consider myself, and others, fairly blessed. I only need to turn on the TV or scroll through my news feed on Facebook and see the political plight of this world; and somehow living in Thailand makes me feel removed from this.
A Divided World – There has never been so much disharmony
In the UK, there is a split camp on Brexit and I am quite sure from speaking to friends, a feeling of uncertainty. The debate on Muslims is just not that clear cut and the likes of Tommy Robinson and the UKIP party are probably entitled to a voice now. When you hear them they are never racist and not anti-Muslim, they just share the concerns of the average Joe in the street.
Although naturally right wing, I also consider myself fairly liberal; but with extremism being allowed to flourish and a that combined with a pandering Government seemingly scared of being labeled racist, I am very concerned for the UK going forward. How can I possibly consider going back to the UK to live with all this going on. I need to consider what is best my children’s future and, sadly, I am not convinced that can be the UK at the moment.
So, what has this got to do with Trolling?
You would have thought with the world like it is, us expats would unite and stick together in that common bond that we had somehow escaped reality; but that could not be further from the truth.
I look at Facebook food groups, and in Pattaya in particular, people are afraid to even post a food photo and review for fear that they will get torn apart by online trolls. These trolls being fellow expats themselves! On a food review site I see attacks against peoples nationality, appearance and even quality of photos of the foods. Why would a fellow expat be so nasty to another whom just wants to review a plate of chili con carne?
It would be too easy to try and offer a patronising ‘there must be something missing in their life’ type explanation, but it still doesn’t explain for these keyboard warrior actions.
Thaivisa and other forums have had to fight this trolling for years. Fortunately for Thaivisa we have some excellent moderators and that has allowed the site to be so successful, as by and large we stop trolling and even ban members for continuous abuse; but it still doesn’t address the question of why it happens in the first place.
Just last week I shared one of my posts on a few groups, spread from Pattaya, Hua Hin to Bangkok. It is interesting as it is only the Bangkok forums where I get trolled. No skin off my nose, but an interesting observation.
The point to all of this is, as expats, whatever we post on social media runs the risks of getting trolled by fellow expats – and it just feels a shame. Sure, this kind of thing goes on all over the world, it is just a shame that from one expat in Thailand to another expat in Thailand it doesn’t escape this phenomena.
Looking at social media groups in the UK versus groups in Thailand, it looks like the problem of trolling is bigger – much bigger – here in Thailand, among fellow expats. Trolls are banned on social network groups in the UK, here they can flourish.
Why did I write this?
The world has seemingly never been so divided and as expats, in someways, we are able to escape the reality of what is going on. Trolling however is a very negative trait from humans and there is no place for it. What triggered it was reading a post from a fellow expat on Facebook, and it touched me.
He has just been told he had lost a nephew back in America. His nephew was only 31 years old and had been caught up in a horrific car accident. The guy wrote a wonderfully touching message about his nephew and shared his love for his family back in the States. He then posted a series of photos of his nephew and himself from many years back. Images of the nephew sitting on his knee as a small boy and the likes.
It touched me, I felt and shared his pain. It reminded me of the shortness of our lives and the amount of love that exists in the world. We should all be on the same side, perhaps more so when we a small expat groups in Thailand, but we – sadly – are not. Trolling is just one indication of that and, well, it is just such a shame.
So, why do Expats troll each other? It could be many things from too much time on their hands to perhaps discontent of their own lives; lets face it not every expat is flush with cash over here. Maybe its just a more laddish culture from seeing more males who are expats here in Thailand – Who knows?