Gwyneth Paltrow would like anonymous commenters with an ax to grind—a.k.a. trolls—to consciously uncouple from the Internet for the sake of civilization.
Paltrow made her case for a more enlightened Internet culture on Tuesday at the Code Conference, a high-profile tech gathering that was held in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.
It’s a measure of the Goop founder’s status as a tech entrepreneur that she appeared alongside such attendees as Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. (Though Forbes may not agree with that statement. The actress didn’t make the magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women List this year.)
The Oscar winner and lifestyle guru was ostensibly at the conference to talk about Goop, but for much of her 15-minute session she chose to ponder the meaning of online sniping from the point of view of “a person in the culture that people want to harm”—and the resulting material has been referred to by Lainey Gossip as “required reading for your degree in Gossip.”
“I’ve started to see my particular journey through this as one of the more enlightening journeys of my life,” said Paltrow. “When you’ve been made fun of and excoriated and dragged through the mud and lied about for 20 years in front of the world… you actually realize it’s not about you. It really can’t be about you. Somebody has to know you for something to be about you.”
Celebrities have become something like a modern-day Rorschach test in Paltrow’s view: “I’m just there, and people can throw up whatever is going on internally that you are triggering in them.”
The Internet is thus a kind of test of our “emotional evolution” and trolls are really just unconsciously spewing their own psychic trash rather than speaking truth to power.
It’s not a new idea, though Paltrow gave it a Goop-y spin, describing the emotional status of online creeps as “unhealed”—which we now challenge you to use in a sentence without smirking.