Are Twitter trolls the kids (bullies) you hated at school?

A few months ago I had the briefest of brushes with some Twitter trolls. Under the guise of free speech yada yada they sent some aggression my way about an opinion I dared to share on Twitter.

As a result, I got to thinking about who these people are, and started to wonder if at least some of them are the bullies and mean spirited people I used to avoid at school. That would make a certain amount of sense to me: there were people who thought tripping other kids up in the corridor was funny, and would rip you off in a playground deal because you weren’t sharp enough to mistrust them. They’d call people names and laugh at the weak kids. They were bullies. At varying levels, sure, but bullies. And something happened to those kids when they grew up. But because I avoided them, I wouldn’t know what.

I assume some of those kids just grew up and experienced some more of life and became compassionate people with open minds. Some of them are probably my friends in adult life.

It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if some of those kids turned into the people who think hurling abuse at people on Twitter is funny. And spend their time finding women who have opinions they don’t agree with, so they can be brought down a peg or two. And of course it’s not all black and white – some of them probably hold down really great jobs, have nice stable family lives and a circle of friends who likes them. Just like some of the bullies at school did. But they’ll still be hurtling abuse on Twitter like people with no social skills.

And then I wondered if those people are, in fact, the majority. Are these the people who read the Daily Mail and the Sun?

And then I got depressed and decided not to think too hard about it anymore.