Protect Yourself Online
My friend and I were chatting the other day, about how our lives have changed so much from our Parents generation (or even our Grandparents).
We are all pretty much on the internet now, where there is a HUGE amount of information.
With information, comes misinformation, opinion, judgement and bullying. I see everything frequently – and I’m sure a lot of you have not only seen it, but experienced it.
If we have a problem in our lives, or aren’t sure about something, we Google it. If we aren’t sure about the answer from Google, then more-often-than-not, we will venture to Facebook, or an online forum (like Trade Me) and ask there – hoping to find an answer.
This where things get complicated.
As soon as you ask a question, you are open to judgement, criticism, bullying and a whole range of things that the internet brings. Because it’s essentially anonymous.
I have been on the internet for a long time now, and as I have over 50,000 followers on Facebook, I am exposed to a lot of the supposed “negativities”.
HOWEVER, I am here to tell you, that regardless of what is said online, you need to look after yourself.
DEALING WITH ONLINE COMMENTS
Everyone in life judges. It’s what we do – you’re lying if you say you don’t. I judge. You judge. We all judge.
Everyone in life also has an opinion; and opinions, whilst you might not agree with them, are just that – opinions. For me – I respect opinions, but don’t always agree with them.
So when you ask a question, or write a comment online, and someone comes back and you think “WHOA NELLY WTF HOW DARE THEY” … take a step back and remember to protect yourself:
- Everyone is entitled to their opinion
- The person making the comment / judgement may be having a shitty day – and whatever they’re saying may not actually be aimed at you at all
- Their comment is WRITTEN and could possibly be taken the wrong way
- Are you having a shitty day? Or feeling a bit sensitive?
- If you have asked a question, expect an answer that goes against what you think
- Be open to different answers / comments
- People can be dicks, don’t take things personally
The last one is, of course, easier said than done – but if you go through the list I’ve written above, you could be taking the comment the wrong way. Or perhaps don’t have an open mind to the answer. Or perhaps are misinterpreting the way the comment is written.
I’m not saying AT ALL that the person writing the comment isn’t at fault. Or that they are right for being arseholes online – no way. I’m saying PROTECT YOURSELF FIRST AND FOREMOST.
Because if you look after yourself, and remember the 7 pointers above, it won’t matter what they say.
A couple of times I have been brought to tears by the nasty comments written on my page. Admittedly I haven’t been in the right headspace when reading said comments. However, I do think nasty comments need to be kept in people’s brains and not written online.
Certain judgements do not need to be verbalised (written or vocal).
Online, often people are accused of being bullies, when in fact they’re just stating their opinion, or some research and the person reading the comment has taken it the wrong way. Or even several people disagree with what someone says, and suddenly they’re accused of being bullies.
Someone saying “you are wrong” is not bullying, it’s an opinion.
That’s not to say that online bullying doesn’t exist, but it’s definitely worth stepping back and looking at the big picture. More often than not, it has nothing to do with you.
Protect yourself first and foremost – because you are important.
Bullying of any kind (online or in person) is NOT ok, and is most definitely not your fault.
If you ever have ANY issues with the way someone is talking to you online, and you don’t like it – report it to the Admin of the page. And if matters get more serious, then please check out Be The Change NZ. For more information about Cyber Bullying, check out these links:
I read every single comment on my page, and to-date there haven’t been any bullies – only douche bags who write idiotic comments. Or people who think it’s right to verbalise their internal judgements. For the most part I am able to ignore it, but sometimes I can’t, so I hide comments and then have a cry about it. I will not delete comments unless they are irrelevant, or I deem them inappropriate.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however, I WILL NOT ACCEPT BULLYING ON MY PAGE.
Thankfully I haven’t seen any. Keep up the good work people.
Sorry this was ridiculously long. You guys need a reward for making it this far HA!