The term’s more than catchy for what describes something not appealing at the least as a phenomenon emerging as yet another of the fallouts of a too overdrawn social existence of course not anyway in traditional renditions of what it has been like. Call it the quirkiness in sounding or the unexpected calling to reference of a creature not particularly likely to assert as one of such intimidating bother and the moniker occurs as one a bit more than likely to be piquing of interests. And in goodly enough embodying of its true essence as well, since the origin premise of its mention relied heavily upon this choice of random character for no specific reason per se nor in any particular intention in coinage even but that has since come to sum up effectively a phenomenon curious maybe and yet rather common in the prevalence and penetration of it across the everyday spectrum of what mostly characterise as conversation in the current context.
In its gaining thus of prominence and unfurling along alleys of surprisingly resonating relevance, this now established concept in what ultimately presents as one among the many rampant identities guised as harassment in whatever mannerism of it as the case might be differently manifesting to as many numbers of us all unique individuals of the world, makes for yet another strand of reality that one cannot do away with in all their cruising and surviving through the twists and turns of the online world. That though again is a peculiar attribute of what explains this definition in sealioning, conceived out of an idea not anyway rooted in explorations of the digital realm.
In fact, back when it emerged social media definitely was a thing and so was the immense judging and pestering and pressurising or simply annoying experience of it but the cartoon from where it all gained ground of significant beginnings would be one more general in its encompassing of the core vibe of what it sought to unvibe instead. Picking up steam though rather quickly, as is of course characteristic of the viral notions of the readily online world, sealioning would amass for itself particular substance in character, specifically alluding to a form of online trolling in exact emphasising of what it actually set out to criticize in the much more real assertions of the world.
It all started out etymologically with a 2014 strip of David Malki’s webcomic Wondermark even when the alluding of its intention is of course a human behavior more universal and as eternal as well as possibly can be. Projected as the rather harmless even when sometimes largely irritating behavior in what would definitely occur as too much questioning, sealioning in such simple awareness of it might not really strike as a concept rooted in a nature considerably offensive. But elaborating its inherent idea in such instantly offsetting connotations in persisting with the pursuing of someone with an endless, relentless series of questions about something particular, all in the definite pretext of ignorance or under a show of curiosity, so much so that renders almost the very classification of a particular occurrence as one really accruing to the concept and sealioning can be a menace difficult to even gauge in the intensity of its exertion.
When Malki first presented this concept in illustrative depiction the reference invoked was that of a sea lion indeed for whatever reasoning of this logic. And thus ruling ever since has been this notion in attempting to, or veritably doing rather, others considerable ‘wrong’ in the trolling intention of it as an invitation or perhaps even incitation or lure to debate fostered though in seemingly healthy and genuine inclinations of its engagement. More accurately identifying thus in such terms as immediately revealing of its surely no pious nature as ‘confrontation’ and one that resides therefore in such principles of getting on to one’s nerves to extents that make them lash out at the sealioner so as to spur also an additional attempt at playing the victim themselves of being unduly subject to rudeness in the face of all their projected innocent curiosity and this crafty indeed manner in doing people down is no rare an occurrence across either version of the human world.
The tricky manner in doing and being of sealioners might be a concern in itself to deal with. But no less disparaging an account of their existence occurs across the realm of their identification. Even in their definite categorisation as trolls, they somehow manage to evade the typical description of it thanks of course to their show in naivety, disguised further under the even respectful assertion in civility. No wonder they reside often in such ‘dignified’ almost identities of being ‘respectful trolls’ even when there might be some of their kind that actually indulges in such practice out of true ignorance as well. And this dual premise in making out the exact characteristic in concealment, one rather scheming and the other somewhat ingenuous is what endows upon these sealioners the benefit of doubt through which the ‘real’ ones among them manage to skilfully escape so as to make the very pinpointing of their identity a chase redundant.
Driving thus upon such balanced ground across which they can do the most efficient looking U turn as and when the need might arise and these human interpretations of not even closely related a calling upon the original sea creatures exploit to perfection the lesser knowledge as well as greater entitlement of them as identities in not very convincing a description. Whether in not so popular cultural references of its attributes or overlapping expanses of its manifestation that emerges as confusing first and contradicting later, sealioning itself resides upon a premise that only furthers the extent of its professing in terms rather subtle or muted so that one might themselves be unsure whether that is the exact classification they can reasonably rely upon to relay their experience in somewhat repugnant assertion.
Also occurring as unfair in some sort of its characterisation can be such calling out of the sealioners who might not be feigning ignorance after all. In such probability of an alternate premise working out in reference that might make allowance instead for such folks seeking to avail out of real people real answers for issues of their concern instead of relying on the internet for direct clarification of queries even when ironically taking recourse to the internet still in digitally connecting with profiles, the very concept of sealioning is one not very clearly eked out as far as the issues of what it might address along its dimensions is concerned. But either way though, ‘branding’ people thus under a pejorative alluding can be justified almost for all their laziness in self studying as much as can be the case for consciously furthering their opportunities in cleverly incognito mode of their tapping upon the gullibility of people of the web.
What’s funny though about this power in possessing by sealioners is the definitive doubt they can well plant in the minds and brains of those they sought out to rule over by such tactics of questioning and counter questioning and recounterquestioning- if that is a word as much as it is a thing- that effectively ends in questioning instead the knowledge of the ‘real’ victim. Real we say for so much is the gravity of the ploy across which they work that it instead is the sealioner who dons upon themselves the expression in victimisation in their seemingly courteous, polite and assertively well meaning pursuit in incessant questioning. They of course have no desire in learning what it is that curates the crux of what it is they are concerned with. Their aim is one of consistent persisting with their own wayward technique in what they advertise as debate or discussion but which can actually be a cause of concussion for the one subject to this torture of traumatic indeed leanings.
Which is what makes responding to the repository of all that manages to find expression across the sealioner’s scope of ‘thought’ is an exercise as futile as can be. With no intention of dwelling in the answers and in no mood at all and any time of finding sense in them, conceiving instead all the while interrogative statements that only plays to their whims, sealioners speak of a consciousness as self centered as can be. That might not be a surprise by any means though given the larger spectrum of trolling into which sealioning fits as impeccably as well. Surprising though might be the greater degree of certainty in which sealioners manage to make their desired impact even when being less anonymous identities to dare ruffle up feathers of the online birdies. And that’s exactly what makes sealioners a greater menace in the trolling scheme of things despite their not as glaringly apparent revelation of nature.
Ironically though, this particular display of behavior that might occur as everything from pretentious and crafty to also malicious enough and perhaps even spiteful sort of has been more than widely captured across the ages in a number of similar concepts. And yet there prevails no larger consensus on what exactly is it that most definitely establishes random encounters as being perpetrating of this mannerism in expression.
Ambiguous sufficiently in its scope of assertion and convenient also in the extent of exerting its essence such that can be easily disputed and denied as being projection of intentions in greater truth, sealioning itself is a residing in ironical again a rendition of what can be well termed as silent clamour. To believe that something as harsh as trolling can conducively pass through this soft radar of an unfortunate sea animal reference only helps assert even greatly the ‘diplomatic’ power that this harbouring in harassment yields as drawing upon so many related concepts in equal aversion as that which displays through demonstrations of bad faith and ad nauseaum and Gish Gallop and filibuster and numerous such striking renditions of what is sad but significant a strain of the human identity.