You see, I saw a link on Facebook. My cousin posted it. It was an article about her new fiancé.
I've never met the man. I know his name, and I know he's engaged to my cousin and that is all I know about him.
The article was a local-interest story about him because he had set up camp outside his local Apple store yesterday morning to await the Australian release of the new iPhone 5. He's obviously a fan of iProducts, he was depicted sitting there with his Apple laptop - and well, yes, he was willing to queue all day and all night to be the first to get an iPhone 5. He's also obviously a man with a sense of adventure. He hoped others would queue with him (I don't know whether they did or not), but he wanted the experience of being first in line.
There is a long history of people in Australia and around the world queuing day and night for footy tickets or concert tickets or new release Playstations and Xboxes, and yes, certainly for iDevices, so he hadn't decided to do something no one has even done before.
When I clicked through to the article this morning there were 81 comments, and so many of them, so so many of them were personal attacks on this man. Commenters carried on about him being an iSheep or and iDiot, they carried on about how he should be at work and how their tax dollars (because they apparently worked - though took time out of their own work days to read the Courier Mail online and then log on from their work computers or smart phones to have a go at him for apparently not working), how their tax dollars were paying for him to sit there and wait to get his hands on the iPhone 5.
I was shocked and terribly disappointed for him, and I don't even know him.
What the hell is wrong with people?
What is this trolling phenomenon about, exactly? Is society that rotten that people feel entitled to tear strips of someone for liking a product they themselves aren't inspired by or for having an adventurous enough spirit to doing something a bit different for a day?
What this young man was doing wasn't hurting anyone! He's stimulating the economy - that's what politicians always tell us to do. He wasn't attacking anyone. He wasn't depriving anybody of any essentials or even luxuries of life. As one commenter pointed out - he may well have been working from his laptop. Or he may have had a rostered day off, or he may be on holidays - I can't tell you, I don't know that much about him. If he did happen to be unemployed, there may be a very good reason for that and he may have saved up for a very long time for this phone.
The thing is it is none of anyone's business!
This is where I'd drag out that old saying all our mums chanted at us as kids, 'If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.' But I feel that is a bit useless because trolls really only want to spew filth at other people from their anonymous hiding holes.
Trolls are vile. Trolls are unAustralian. Trolls are what is wrong with this country.
I was also very disappointed that after posting my own comment, I saw a statement from the courier mail that they will not publish comments which do not add to the debate or which are personal attacks - and yet they let single word comments such as 'iDiot' slip through their filter? So, yep, I wrote them a letter because trolling has been in the media recently, it had been headline news, and someone has to act on their policies to disallow such commentary, why not them?