It’s’ Sunday AM – a sleep-in day for most professionals my age.
Not this week.
It’s been yet another work weekend.
My company’s been busy adding new team members, new clients, and rolling out a few super cool new tech services.
I’m jacked up on the 4th pot of coffee, desperately in need of more than four hours of sleep and a long Netflix binge, and silently pondering just how much makeup it’ll take to cover the ever growing dark circles under my eyes before tomorrow’s early morning board meeting.
So ready for a break.
While waiting for the latest client video promo to finish uploading, I decided to skim through last week’s batch of Hannah Becker-authored articles and see what’s trending.
I don’t usually read the comments posted to my publications, as my colleagues have assured me it’s always the best practice for sustaining optimism and positive self-esteem.
But today I decided to read ‘em…
Somehow, the excitement over an article being shared 1500+ times in 24 hours vanishes when reading one negative comment such as:
- “Someone needs to shut this [explicit] up!”
- “What an entitled little [explicit].”
- “i hate women that think its ok to run their mouth bout stuff they don’t know nothing bout”
Rank comments considering all I write about is industry relevant and military advocacy topics.
Breezing through recent comments posted on employment opportunities for transitioning veterans and social media trends for 2016 articles, I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut.
Instead of remaining rational (and recognizing the majority of comments weren’t even from US readers), I went into “cry-curse” mode.
- How could they say those things?!
- That hurts so much!
- Why would someone want to threaten me over a philanthropic post?!
Hearing my exhausted display of distress and colleague closed my laptop and said, “Don’t let a few nuts on the interweb ruin the end to a very productive week! You aren’t even looking at all those shares and Likes. Stop it!”
I took his advice and felt much, much better.
Here are a few tips regarding how to deal with targeted internet negativity (also known as cyberbullying) for today’s visible professional:
People can be very mean
Hidden behind the veil of internet anonymity, people will say some pretty rank stuff – negative, nasty comments they would never say face-to-face. The interpersonal communication methods our society runs on – social media, post comments, e-mail – provide hateful naysayers prime opportunity to just be mean.
- Maybe your post touched a nerve.
- Maybe it’s your scorned ex responding to a Google alert to troll your feed under a pseudonym.
- Maybe the haters just woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, and your informative article was the first thing they saw.
- Maybe it has absolutely nothing to do with you.
Understand that mean people are mean people and mean people will behave in mean ways and they will find an outlet for all their “meanness” whether it’s your article or someone else’s.
The internet is increasingly negative
Remember back in the good ol’ days, when Facebook was only accessible to those with an .edu addy and consisted of little more than date night pics and dorm prank ideas?
Yeah, I kinda miss those days…
Posting student government election results, planning road trips, and staying in touch with high school pals (back when “messaging” meant more than a 50 character text) – yeah, old school digital socializing seemed a little more cordial and a lot less crazy.
Conversations on today’s digital space are becoming more and more negative.
Whether it’s your confederate flag waving neighbor ranting about the 2016 Presidential election, or your coworker venting about the new district manager, many people feel incredibly comfortable posting all kinds of negative shiz on social.
Negative people are very loud on the internet
Exercising my “cry-curse” skills as I recovered from reading way too many negative comments and taking all of them way too personally, I thought back to the 1500+ shares on this (apparently) controversial post, “Wow – there’s a lot more folks that liked this piece than those that hated it/me/everything.”
While the measured majority of article reactions were positive, the majority of comments were negative.
“The loud negativity isn’t reflective of the majority,” I reminded myself.
Multiple research studies have confirmed that the majority of feedback received, whether it’s a Yelp review or comment card, will be negative. Happy folks rarely take the time to lavish praise on a fantastic product – they simply go about enjoying their day.
Thus, if you put negative comments in perspective, it’s easier to take a step back, try to get a good laugh and keep moving forward towards your goal.
Parting thoughts: “Illegitimis non carborundum”
Translation: “Don’t let the little bastards grind you down.”