How to handle social media bust ups


Georgian prize fighters

Occasionally somebody has a go at me on-line. When that happens it’s upsetting, especially if it really gets going without my seeing it, so by the time I arrive at the scene it’s completely ablaze.

So what should you do? What works?

The objection you need to deal with is the first one . Try not to get wound up by the ones that follow, they are just excited onlookers with very little knowledge of the issues. You can deal with those later.

With the initial one, apologise all you can, they most probably have a reason to have had a go, so separate out that part and say sorry, at least say sorry for causing them upset.

Then explain. When you explain do not give unnecessary ground, stay assured, if you are over apologetic you will attract predators. Put your case with confidence.  Then Send

Next work your way down the comments, dealing with the issues as they multiply. Do it one at a time and name the people you are answering. Each time sorry (if you think there are even the slimmest grounds) and explain and Send

This creates lots of posts which means forum watchers will come back and see your defence. Also dealing with each issue in isolation helps you stay reasonable (and you absolutely must be reasonable)

Some people will reply and be friendlier which helps you handle the sense of injustice that such on-line flares produce. Watch that thread and keep responding to any extra issues.

BUT that spat  will grab you lots of attention it’s just like the school playground when the shout of “fight” goes up, there are lots of people who will be silently  on your side, it’s better than any paid for advertising. If you want to make your mark handle the situation well and you will reap huge benefits

A brilliant animation on why anger goes viral on-line is right here 

And here is an example  of me in the defence box on Folksy Forum a while ago:

Hi everyone I am the she that you are all criticising I would have responded sooner but I did not see this post. Someone has just very kindly told me about it as they thought I might like to respond.

I understand where you are all coming from. Using a section of someone’s profile without asking their permission seems unfair especially if you are critical of the way it’s written. I would not like it if it happened to me.

However …. etc etc

I am going to post this bit then come back to the other issues raised Please consider me still in the witness-box

It was time-consuming and initially upsetting ( it’s the first read where the comments pile up against you that shakes you) but once you get into handling it you really can un -sink the Titanic and end up at a place of sweetness and light.

two swans swimming serenely

So if it happens don’t go for the gin and un-join the guilty venue, take it in your stride and see it for what it is, a real opportunity to do yourself lots of good.

This post originated on Handmade Lives’ Facebook Page

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