Funny in real life but troll on twitter

By Zaninka Umutesi
On 24 December 2022 at 07:27

I met this guy who looked as normal as they come, made jokes and he was the absolute definition of a sweetheart, a gentleman.

A while later I found he is the same guy, my friends had been talking about trolling people on Twitter.

How is it possible that such a sweet guy who looked innocent enough could be one of the best trollers of my generation?

I felt a little weirded out but then again disappointed in myself because this should have been the last thing to surprise me.

Most people change their whole attitude on their social media. I realized that he is not the only one doing this, I myself become a whole new creation on my social media not because I am trolling but as to how happy my pictures are.

I do not intend on faking my happiness, but I personally do not believe in sharing my sorrows on social media, on direct message sure, it can be a good conversation.

But surely not a whole post about my heartaches, being sick or dead because I don’t believe anyone should be that close to me on these sites.

With this in mind, it really helped me understand this guy more. I have always been a curious person, so I still had to talk to him to understand his reason.

When he invited me for lunch for the following week, I knew this was my opportunity to get my answers.

Immediately after we sat, all I could do was stare at him every movement, every word just to see if I had missed something in our previous conversations but nothing.

I tried to ease my questions in the conversations, trying my best not to sound offensive or judgmental to which he simply laughed because I was clearly being too careful.

He gave me a typical answer, explaining that his social person does not ever have to meet with him in-real life persona.

This, to be truly honest, sounded a little psychopathic to me, how do you in all consciousness split your personality into two as though you are not one person?

This sounded like a classic ’Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder). This disorder allows a person to have one or more identities.

From here on all I could was to see him as Roger, to anyone who has watched ’American dad’. Roger is the alien who has more than one identities, depending on who he wants, he changes his outfit, hairstyle, family and background to fit in with his new environment. So, that’s all I could this in this guy.

It took a conversation with my friend Athenea, who coincidentally happens to be a psychologist to get me to make sense of the situation.

After laughing at me for a good minute, Athenea explained to me what it takes for a person to actually have multiple personalities.

The last thing the world needs is a person who is judging based on what I learnt from books and social media, because mental health is much more complicated than that.

Athenea explained that people are much more fake in real life than on social media because most try their level best to fit in the environment they are in, with the people and handle situations how society expects them to.

A person behind a screen is more real in a sense that he/she is behind a screen, with most times a fake name but their most true self in the open.

"I don’t think they change their personality. I think it is that they are more comfortable expressing their real personality on social media because they are protected," she explained.

Athenea said that it is also possible for a person to portray a fake attitude both in the real world and on social media, even lose themselves in this switch and forget who they really are.

Fear of rejection, fear of being judged and fear of vulnerability can contribute to an individual hiding who they are from the world and even possibly never discovering who they are.

In this case, a person can lose friends because they are considered fake, they can as well lose themselves, develop distrust, have self betrayal since they feel they only have to please others while ignoring their own needs.

In addition to that, this individual can experience paranoia symptoms, unhappiness, depression, anxiety, become bipolar, borderline personality disorder and more.

When I asked her if a person being aware that this is their situation has a chance to regain themselves, she answered: "Absolutely, with therapy, insight, mindfulness, commitment to being authentic and a willingness to face their fears."

Athenea says that through these and suggestions, they are mostly likely going to get in therapy, this person can become their very best version.