Saturday, 10 August 2019

How I'm Learning to Ignore Online Negativity



When it comes to receiving troll comments online, I feel like I've been extremely lucky over the years. In the five years I've been blogging, up until maybe the last six months, I could probably count the number of times I'd received hate on one hand. It's one of those things that I just never really thought about. If I received one I'd laugh it off because it seemed so crazy and random that it almost didn't feel real. 

However, I'd say over the last six months, as my following as almost doubled in that time, the number has definitely slowly started to tick up, to the point where I'd say I receive at least one almost every single day. And I have to say, I was pretty unprepared for it. I suppose nobody ever prepares you for receiving nasty words directed solely at you for seemingly no reason. 

And after spending so many years seemingly unaffected by any kind of trolling it probably came as even more of a shock to my system. I mean, I'm not doing anything differently now than I was three years ago, so why all of a sudden do people have a problem with it? 

The truth is, and it's probably kind of obvious to everyone else looking in, is that the increase in hate is just an inevitability and almost a quirk that comes with the package of growing Instagram. More people follow me therefore my photos reach more people, even unsavoury ones who may not follow me or like what I do. 

To me, it seems absolutely insane to write something nasty on somebody's photo. I physically cannot comprehend it. Why on earth would you go out of your way to make someone else feel bad? I recently watched Lydia Millen's video about this and related to it so much, so I'd definitely recommend giving that a watch too. 

When the number of comments first started to increase I felt the need to respond to all of them. Usually I'd write a very polite reply defending myself against whatever they were throwing around and usually that would silence them. But as time went on I found myself getting more and more frustrated by them, even to the point where I would snap and write something a bit harsh back. As it turns out, neither of these options were the right thing to do. Both were simply encouraging more comments because they knew it was affecting me, and that's the bit that they get off on. The reaction, no matter how kind. 

So I've found now the very best thing to do is ignore. Ignore to the point where they're not even sure if you've seen the comment or not. Sometimes I block if the comment is particularly nasty or they persistently comment on all my photos, but most of the time after one ignored stab they move onto the next one. 

As time goes on and my Instagram inevitably grows bigger and bigger I have to learn to accept that not everyone on the internet is nice as pie and rise above it all. And as I've learned to ignore rather than clap back I have seen the number of comments slowly decreasing, which is always a good sign! 

I'd love to know if you've had an experience with hate comments online and how you've dealt with them! x



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