How I Deal With Online Negativity

ONLINE NEGATIVITY

There is a video to accompany this but A) my internet is GARBAGE and so you probably wont see it until next week and 2) between Vlogmas and the other mass of festivities over on YouTube right now there’s a good chance you may never see it even if you wanted to.. so I thought I’d summarise for you here.

I’m not sure if it’s Christmas stress or the fact that so many content creators are putting out so much of themselves this month but I feel like I can’t open my laptop without seeing someone who’s been upset by some stranger on the internet. I’m absolutely not belittling that upset because I have been there but it does seem to rife right now and so I thought I’d share (what I think is) a little wisdom I’ve acquired over the past 7 years online.

First of all, I’d be remiss if I didn’t aknowledge that 7 years is a long time to have had to find my zen about this and those of you that need this advice most of all will likely ignore it, I would have. That being said I hope you hear it and it’s of some kind of subconscious help to you later on.

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My experience with online trolls was kind of the opposite to what you would imagine. Most people start off with friendly folk and find themselves up against the meanies when they ‘make it big’, I had the meanies from the word go. A huge part of the problem was that 9 months in to starting my blog (and YouTube channel) I fell pregnant. That wasn’t a problem as such because we’d been trying for a while but anyone who’s been around a pregnant or new mother will know their hormones can be a little.. crazy. So for the first 2 years I was a ball of sensitivity, hugely defensive and not in the right frame of mind to be receiving comments from strangers about my parenting.

These comments ranged from horror at me feeding my daughter ‘beige food’ (which FYI to this day is a struggle.. she’s 12 and will turn her nose up at anything not in breadcrumbs) to saying I didn’t love her because her Dad and I had a very amicable 50/50 custody arrangement. That I didn’t deserve a second child, that they should both be removed from my care and that I was fat and my husband had no chin. In fairness, he has looked everywhere and believes he may have misplaced it as a child.

Long story short these people were cruel. I share this not because it’s keeping me awake at night but to explain that I am coming from a place of experience. I’m not preaching to you about something I don’t understand, I have been through it and come out the other end with stories to tell.

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1. DELETE & BLOCK

There are so many ways they can ‘come at you’ these days (unintentional rhyme – may write a rap) but I find the direct route to be the easiest to deal with. Anyone leaving a nasty comment on your YouTube video or instagram should find themselves deleted and blocked sharpish. I’ve had very few people bothered enough to create multiple accounts when I block them and once you get on this cycle you’ll find yourself with less and less direct hits. I have noticed that the first few comments on a video can set the tone for the rest so if you spot something malicious GET RID OF IT! It’s perfectly acceptable for you to remove anything you don’t like from your space. You can set the boundaries here, I leave anything that’s not outright nasty so telling me you didn’t enjoy the video doesn’t qualify but it might for you and that’s absolutely fine.

2. DON’T ENGAGE

Everyone says ‘don’t feed the trolls’ but it’s SO difficult to ignore something when you desperately want to defend yourself.. or leave a snarky retort. DON’T! I used to try to reason with people, I used to film rants about how unfair people were being, it gets you absolutely nowhere and I strongly believe that this is a great example of the law of attraction at work. The more you talk about ‘hate’ the more you receive.. I have 100% witnessed this and when I stopped, it stopped. It was as simple as that. I cut off the oxygen and the fire went out. Never respond, never aknowledge, please see rule 1.

3. DON’T GOOGLE YOURSELF

There are forums dedicated to gossiping about bloggers and YouTubers. THIS is the thing I think every content creator has had at least one melt down about (whether they admit it or not) and you’re allowed one. ONE. It SUCKS to know people are talking shit about you somewhere online and 6 years ago I’d have told you it was impossible to ignore but I promise you it is not. I’m pretty sensitive and after my meltdown I decided I wasn’t strong enough to trawl through threads about myself but for the first year it was a daily struggle not to look. 6 years later I can hand on heart tell you I have no interest in looking. I’m not worried that it would upset me anymore but I know that reading comments about my videos would make me more guarded. Comments about my voice or the way I move would get in my head and I’d change the way I was on camera. I love YouTube because I can be myself and I don’t want to lose that candid element.

4. WE’RE ALL GUILTY

The realisation that had the biggest impact on me was that we are ALL guilty of gossiping. In the video I used Kim Kardashian as an example so I’ll use her again. We’ve all said something mean about Kim K.. if you say you haven’t, I don’t believe you. You only have to have a vague idea of who she is to have made a judgement of some kind. I personally LOVE the Kardashians, I would want a selfie with each and every one if I were ever in a room with them but that hadn’t stopped me tweeting something negative about one or all of them at some time. We had our opinions about Kylie’s lips, about Kim’s Wedding(s), about Scott and Kourtney, Khloe & Lamar.. don’t even get me started on Kris (Kendall gets off pretty lightly) and what would you do if nobody in your real life had ever heard of them? You’d take it to the internet!!! YouTube is still pretty niche by comparison and so if you want to gossip about someones new hair, makeup range, ADVENT CALENDAR.. you might have to go online to find others who have also watched those videos. These forums can be extreme but for the most part it’s just people gossiping the same way we all do.

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If you’ve never said anything mean about anyone in your life then fair play, you have every right to be absolutely bereft when you find gossip about you online but how many of us can honestly say that? It’s hard to see, it’s hard to know it’s there but the way I see it, this is just an extension of a hobby, it’s the ‘It Takes 2’ or ‘The Apprentice: You’re Fired’ ..the after show where people get to judge you for everything you did. You can choose to immerse yourself in it or you can leave them to it but no matter what, it’s not really about you. We don’t really care about the reality show contestants, they’re characters on TV and when you live tweet during the show you’re not tweeting thinking those people will see it, you’re tweeting to get attention, to find other people to talk to online and just generally for fun.

When you see something someone has written about you, try to keep it in that perspective. I promise it helps!

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1 Comment

  1. 7 December, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    The things you mentioned that people have said about you are awful, I can’t believe people would even say such things! You’re so right about how to deal with it, and unfortunately yes I can agree we have all said negative things about the Kardashians (I’m glad to say I have learned that gossiping like that is no way to act). Thanks for sharing this it’s really helpful 🙂

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