I was going through my Twitter feed and I stumbled on a story about people criticizing America’s Gymnastics gold medalist, Gabby Douglas. From her hair, to her skin, to her gestures, they criticized her. This is the ‘Gabby Douglas’ that Hollywood made a movie of her story. The criticism got so bad that her mom took to social media to stop the critics. Not long after, I read another story on an American R n’ B artist, Jhene Aiko being criticized for ending her marriage. Everybody was just dishing out hateful comments. These are the few among the numerous going on every now and then. This is why I had cold feet joining social media like Twitter, Instagram and every other app popping out every other day. So much hate out there.
Social Media has been a great tool for promoting businesses, informing people, connecting people etc. Matter of fact, it’s one business tool never to be overlooked. On the flip side, it has turned every one to an Analyst, a Psychologist, a Rabi etc. These are fair enough. But some people have become tyrants. Do you think you’re one hell of a sweetheart? Let your face be on the tabloids of a media platform example Linda Ikeji’s blog, that’s when you will understand you have real enemies. People will tear you down, run down your history and add sugar and spice. You will be marveled. Who are the people leaving such hate comments? People like me and you, with one head and a beating heart. Human beings!!! This is the world in which we live in today. There is a saying, “If you’ve got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all”. Obviously internet trolls don’t apply this saying.
What is an Internet troll? Are you an Internet Troll?
Named after the wicked troll creatures of children’s tales, an internet troll is someone who stirs up drama and abuses their online anonymity by purposely sowing hatred, bigotry, racism, misogyny, or just simple bickering between others. Their victims are celebrities, popular leaders, or just about anyone on social media. If you are an internet troll or have traits of one, before you pick up your phone or laptop to type a negative comment towards someone, remember these:
- The person in question is human and has feelings. Whether they are celebrities. They are not mannequins. Blood run through their veins. Keep your ugly opinions to yourself.
- What is the purpose of your opinion? To tear down or to give advice? Some trolls mean the latter but do the former. If you’ve got nothing nice to say, keep quiet!
- Would you like same if you were in their shoes? My motto on this is, if you can’t take it, don’t dish it. Yes, sometimes you’d read something from a celebrity that makes you want to give them a piece of your mind. Chill! Come close, let me whisper in your ear. “E no consain you!”. Honestly, no matter how grandeur your advice is, so far as it’s coming from a place of hate, it’s null.
- Hate comments have to do more with the person saying it, than the recipient. Most ‘haters’ have deeper disturbing issues. They find release by transmitting hate. You can’t have a beautiful mind and spit angry words. If you find yourself always wanting to say negative things on issues, go and check yourself.
- You are not better than those you are hating on. Most times, envy and utter jealousy come to play. If you love what they do, admire them genuinely and strive to be your best.
I feel sad for victims of these abuse. I feel negative comments are almost inevitable especially if you run any business using social media. I’ve never experienced it and I hope not to. Please, have mercy on me. Lol. If you try it with me,….Hehhhnnn! You’ll just be entering trouble upandan. Today, flat Tyre. Tomorrow, your creditors will bang on your door. Next day, your boo will dump you..Lol.. you get my drift.
Anyway, if you need to use social media for yourself or your company, hence putting yourself out there. Don’t be scared. Go with the flow. It will do you a lot of good. Here are some tips to help you stay alive:
- Stay clean on the tabloid. Try as much as possible not to drag yourself into drama. (Some people just like to stir up controversy of themselves to get publicity, you don’t wanna be them).
- Please your customers. If there is a bad review, take a note or two from it but never argue on social media with them.
- If it’s pure hate comments, you can either ignore/delete or answer maturely. Others who perceive your maturity will be endeared to you and even fight back for you. You can also turn such hate comment to a comic relief as you answer in a sarcastic funny way.
- Grow a thick skin!
- If you think social media ain’t for you, you can also quit. It’s not a core determinant for the success of your service but it’s a good tool.
My dream for Tech gurus, is for them to actually design an app that can detect trolls and just tase them off the internet…… Amen!
P.S: This topic is quite robust, I had to divide it into two parts. Look out for the second part focusing on how social media has affected us.
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