This is the fourth instalment in the Unwanted Life story series, with this story coming from my interview with Skye and Matt from Sumo Cyco. Skye is the very talented singer and Matt is the equally talented guitarist from Sumo Cyco, who shared their story of dealing with online trolls with me during our interview. I turned this into an Unwanted Life story because it’s important to know that anyone can be made to feel unwanted. Therefore, this Sumo Cyco story is about the impact of trolls.
The Impact Of Trolls
Matt told me how Sumo Cyco got hate a few times when their record dropped, which Skye summed up pretty succinctly, saying “I think people underestimate when you’re online and you make a comment like, “this is terrible, or I can’t believe people are liking this band” or, you know, typical ones that I see people make all the time of hating on Nickelback“.
Which is an excellent point, further emphasised when Skye said that trolls believe they can get away with saying horrible things to famous people because there’s no way “Justin Bieber would read this“. However, people like Skye value connections with their fans, so people like her DO read these comments: “when people write on our videos, they don’t realise that I’m actually reading all this information because I really care about growing our business and making sure that I know our fans“. Because, as Matt chimed in, it’s all about “staying connected with everyone“.
But it’s not just stupid random hate comments about the band that trolls leave, sometimes those comments are personal. Unfortunately, because Sumo Cyco has a female member, they can experience “lots of misogyny” according to Matt. Skye also told me she gets comments about her body, derogatory comments, and stuff about how “because I’m a chick, I can’t do stuff“.
Famous people are human just like the rest of us, and just like the rest of us, these kinds of horrible comments left by trolls can, and do, hurt them. Skye is no stranger to feeling the impact of trolls comments, “it can bum me out because I’m such a huge fan of thinking that this community is a very accepting place to be, that we all look out for each other, we all sing the same lyrics at these concerts“. Unfortunately, although we love to believe that the alternative music community is all about acceptance, just like any community, there are those that will discriminate against other members.
This pointless hate can influence us, with Skye stating that “when you see all those comments, it makes you question that community that you love and want to be a part of“. Skye went on to say “I think people don’t realise that it’s not only pushing me away, it’s pushing other females like myself who are looking at that video and saying, oh, that’s cool that she’s doing that, and then they read a comment of a guy saying horrible things about me“.
Skye’s had comments about her mole and how she should remove it. She’s also had comments about how she should go back to the gym, according to Matt, who said, “there’s just nothing worse than being fat shamed or something. Somebody like Skye being told you need to go back to the gym. Like, she’s gorgeous. Why would you write that to her? If you don’t like the song, you don’t like the song you’re literally trying to hurt her. And that sucks. That stuff really sucks. It makes no sense at all“.
But it’s not just Skye getting unwanted comments from trolls about her weight, even Matt has had this kind of hate. Matt told me how he’s had body shaming comments like, “Oh, look at the fat guitar player” and he has to remind himself that he “shouldn’t care about that” and you’ve just “got to tell yourself that over and over again“. Because Matt knows he shouldn’t be “worried about some fuck nut that body shames me“. And neither should anyone else, although it’s easier said than done.
These horrible comments about Skye’s appearance can stop other women from putting themselves out there because, as Skye said, women will feel like “that’s the comments that I might get if I put myself out there” which “stops a young girl sometimes from thinking that she can do it too, because somebody is even critiquing someone that’s giving it their best shot, you know? And that’s really sad“.
Even though Matt knows these comments come from a “small amount of population, you just wonder why you have to be so cruel“. If you don’t like something or someone, you can save yourself time and effort by not leaving nasty comments and instead get on with your life. Matt doesn’t want these trolls to be their fans, “but it can mentally strain us no matter how well our band’s doing” which is the unfortunate truth of trolls.
The problem is, as Matt said, somebody can be like, “I love your band, can’t wait to see you next” but the person who says “you guys suck, for some reason, all day it’s rattling around my brain“. I can testify to that as well. I can remember most of the horrible comments made to me right back to childhood. The positive stuff, not so much.
As Skye said, “it’s like one step forward, two steps back, right? Every time you see the hate, you take two steps back“. Nevertheless, Matt tries to remind Skye and himself that “even though they’re out there hating us, they’re never going to be our fan. So fuck them, just weed through that shit, and we’ll take all the ones that like us“.
However, Skye made a good point when she said “the hate gets overblown too. Like the type of people that have that in their hearts are more likely to comment and the people that are actually happy with their lives don’t comment. There’s so many more positive people out there“. Which is true. According to Matt, Sumo Cyco has “all these other people who have nothing but love for us“.
Although there’s been a couple of bad nights for Sumo Cyco where the hate from trolls has got to them, Matt knows Sumo Cyco is “not around that community. We’re never been around that community. We don’t tour with that community, that community doesn’t come and see us play. They just want to come online and be assholes“. Because these trolls aren’t the real alternative music community.
Like Skye, you just need to remind yourself that “these people don’t need to affect my life whatsoever and I can dismiss this and choose to let this not affect me“, although this can be tough in practise, even for music artists.
So ditch the negative bias, ignore the trolls, and focus on the good. If it helps, as a blogger and an influencer, create a list of all the good comments you’ve received so you can focus on those if the negative ones become too much. Create your own person cheerscrolling section in your journal, and if you don’t have a journal yet, get one, even if it’s specifically for this one journal task.
Through it all, luckily, Matt will “never give up on music” so you can expect to see Matt and Skye rocking out as Sumo Cyco for years to come. And I hope you won’t let trolls stop you from doing what you love either!
You can find Sumo Cyco at the following places
If you’d like to read my Sumo Cyco interview, you can do so by clicking here. But if you’d like to watch the full interview with Sumo Cyco, you can do that by clicking here.
As always, leave your feedback in the comments section below. Also, feel free to share your experiences of trolls or share how Skye and Matt’s story of feeling unwanted made you feel in the comments section below as well. If you want to stay up-to-date with my blog, then sign up for my newsletter below. Alternatively, get push notifications for new posts by clicking the red bell icon in the bottom left corner.
Remember, if you’d like to submit your own stories of feeling unwanted, then let me know by contacting me through my social media accounts or by going to the contact page.
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Unwanted Life readers.
24 thoughts on “The Impact Of Trolls: Sumo Cyco’s Unwanted Life Story”
Nice post. If trolls put as much energy into being nice, as they do being mean, the world would be a better place!
If only they would
The negative impact of trolls can not be overemphasized. The fact that people put their all into bullying others and making them feel miserable is appalling and I have started to feel like those who always want to tear others down instead of raising them up and those who always want to make others sad instead of making them happy are only showing the world that they have underlying issues . I don’t give attention to trolls. It is best to ignore them, and focus on all the good things in your life. Not everyone will like you for sure and there’ll always be trolls but guess what? That’s okay. Thank you for sharing x
I can’t imagine living like a trolls does. It must be weird to be willing to waste time insulting people on line to make themselves feel good, when they could use that time to do something more worth while, like watching paint dry
I absolutely agree with Ruth’s comment – trolls and bullies are just showing the world that they’re angry with themselves and that they lack true confidence. But that doesn’t make it any less horrendous to be on the receiving end of. I was bullied at school and I still remember exactly how it felt. Thanks for sharing this great interview – I enjoyed hearing Skye and Matt’s thoughts about trolling and how to deal with it!
I was bullied at school as well. All the issues I have today stem from that bullying
I’m sorry to hear you’ve been through it too. It’s honestly hell – it takes away your sense of self worth and identity. I don’t think people understand how deeply it still affects us as adults, to have been through that during those crucial years where we’re growing into our adult minds and lives.
Indeed. My mum didn’t care at the time and just tells me to get over it, like I can just magically remove the psychological scars from my mind
I really appreciated your conclusion on how to help counterbalance but as you said ignoring the trolls can be tough in practice
It really can
I always remind myself that no one can affect my life and I would ignore the negative people. Thank you for the reminder!
Got to ignore the haters
You have so beautifully and succinctly summed up the experience of encountering trolls by weaving in Sumo Cyco’s story alongside your thoughts on the matter! As a band personality, I cannot imagine how crushing receiving negative comments from negative people can be, especially when you are pouring your heart out into what you love.
Trolls are always negative, always saying the same things to everyone and anyone they come across who is following a passion. Maybe it is because trolls have nothing in their own lives but whatever it is, it is hurtful and wrong, so I love that Matt and Skye have their own ways of handling hate and finding a good counterbalance!
Thanks for sharing. <3
I wonder what we’d call a positive troll who just goes around leaving nice comments for no reason
It is sad that so many give so much bad energy to these comments and trolling.
I think sometimes people are OK with saying something terrible to someone else online because they see the interaction as ‘not real.’ Things they’d probably never say to their face is suddenly being said because they don’t have to actually see how hurt the other person is. It’s so important to remember though that people are genuinely impacted by seeing hateful comments on their feed. Just because you can’t see how hurt they are doesn’t mean it’s not affecting them.
I would argue they know exactly the harm they’re causing and the only reason they don’t say it to people’s faces is because they’re cowards
If only trolls would put the same effort into helping people rather than trying to bring them down the world would be a better place!
As you know, I have been bullied at school and so that left lasting damage along with what I was dealing with at home.
I have also experienced trolls when I first started blogging many years ago and on Twitter during the furst 2 years Covid started. But my experience of trolls was not to the extent that artists like this group will have experienced. But it would give me extra anxiety I didn’t need at the time, every time I went to log on Twitter.
No one should have to experience bullying, especially during their important childhood development stages. I know too well how much of an impact bullying can have on who you are.
I seem to have been lucky in that I haven’t really experienced trolling that much online, but then women do seem to experience that form of bullying more than men. Again, this sucks that this even happens
Yes, it sucks that trolling happens.
Indeed it is