With more of the world creating and consuming information on the internet, online behavior, etiquette, and the rules of engagement are becoming increasingly complex. Basically, online etiquette is virtually nonexistent. Sitting behind an anonymous computer screen, with an anonymous screen name, many people feel empowered to say things in comment boxes, chat rooms and on boards that would never say in real life. In some ways, this creates open, honest, unfiltered dialogue. On the flip side, it really brings out the dark side of people where they unleash all their frustration, anger, and even boredom through their keyboards.
So what to do if you’re an online writer, blogger, tweeter, or anyone who puts any sort of content out there that people can read and comment on? These are my top tips for surviving and navigating through the world of online haters:
1. Don’t take it personally. This seems like an obvious one, but it’s good to remind yourself that the people that are writing nasty or negative comments probably don’t know you in real life. They have not put as much thought and effort into their words as you probably have into yours, and aren’t as invested in what they’re saying and how it might be hurting you. Most people just have a knee-jerk reaction, comment on the first thing that comes to mind and move on. Also remember that some of these people are bored, and it’s much easier for them to tear someone else down than to do something constructive themselves. So keep a cool head, your emotions in check, resist the urge to respond, and move on.
2. Know what you’re getting yourself into. When you voluntarily post your work, writing, or thoughts onto the world wide web, you are by definition exposing yourself to the world (or at least anyone that has access to the site you are posting on). Take this into consideration before you put something out there on social media, a blog, etc. If you are writing something that you know in your heart is controversial, that doesn’t necessarily make it wrong to put it out there, but be prepared for the backlash. And don’t act surprised when it comes. This is all a part of learning how to handle your online persona. Having a thick skin is a part of it. The other part of it is understanding how the majority are going to perceive something, and then tailoring your message to reach your audience most effectively.
3. Realize that disagreement can be healthy and be utilized as constructive feedback. On the flip side of the first point, if you see a comment that is well thought out, and written in a respectful manner, but just happens to disagree with you, don’t automatically discount that person as a “hater.” Varying points of view are necessary for productive dialogue, and people reading your words have different degrees of life experience, perspective, and insight. Not to mention different value systems and ways of looking at the world. When something goes out to a broad audience, you should expect dissention. You can sometimes utilize the feedback to your advantage to help you evolve your own point of view or understand another’s perspective, which will only make you better.
4. 4. Stay focused on your message. If you’re reading this, you probably understand Law of Attraction basics. So you know that split energy or negativity within yourself will cause disturbance in your energy and potentially attract haters. Try to come from a clear, pure space of love and positive intention in all of your work and writing. You will never be able to please all of the people all of the time, but focusing on your own strongly positive intention and message will help keep you from being brought down by people at a different energy frequency. In other words, stay in your own positive mind space, and let your work and words flow from there. The haters will eventually get bored and move on as well J.