The tech age has brought us an entirely new language, but one ‘old’ word has been given a whole new, perfect, definition thanks to social media.
A troll is someone who hides beneath the internet bridge, heaping abuse on other users, whether they are teenagers finding their way in the world, people concerned with the state of the nation, or, in Jesy Nelson’s case, celebrities.
Jesy is one-quarter of Little Mix, the globe-straddling, woman-empowering, pop behemoths.
And in Jesy Nelson: Odd One Out (BBC1, Thursday, 9pm), she revealed that her story was not one of relentless happiness, success and gold records.
From the first moment she burst into the public eye on X Factor, where the band was put together, Nelson has had to put up with abuse from trolls online. Not being the conventional stick-thin, pouting pop poppet, most of the vitriol directed at her concerned her appearance.
“I was known as the fat, ugly one,” she says, “it literally consumed every part of me.”
This documentary – part confessional, part self-help guide – all a bit X Factor-style coming-through-adversity-to-triumph, but Nelson’s obviously genuine desire to overcome the neuroses fuelled by the trolls, and the genuinely hateful nature of the abuse, left you sure that this was just the first of many documentaries we’re likely to see in the future.
If nothing else, it should make you think before sending that tweet or posting that comment for the lolz or the likes or the retweets.
Because in the internet age, we forget that there are real people involved, and not only does the abuse diminish them, it diminishes us as well.
And that’s the same in any language.
State of the Union (BBC2, Sundays, 10pm) has so many big names – Hornby, Frears, Pike, O’Dowd – it could be a Hollywood movie, yet this is an intimate, funny/sad, 10 minute series of vignettes. Brilliant.
The world is in a huge handcart, hurtling to hell at breakneck speed, but just when it all gets a bit much, along comes the inventive lunacy of Taskmaster (Dave, Wednesdays, 9pm) to lift the spirits.