These days it's hard to go online and not read something negative, or people insulting each other, calling each other names, even horrible comments, such as "I wish you would die", etc., etc. And most times these are comments and attacks from complete and total strangers. It's a very disturbing "trend" that is the ultimate form of bullying. But, there are things that you and I can do to help minimize this negativity in our online interactions. See some of my guidelines below to disengage from a negative online situation.
I like to be happy, I seek out things and people that create a feeling of happiness in my life, and try to avoid drama at all costs, it's just not worth it! This is why I paint happy art, it's part of who I am, how I live my life and reflects my personality, so dealing with online negativity can be very draining and counter productive to my creativity. So, I work hard to avoid getting wrapped up in negative online situations.
The problem is that a lot of people have so much negativity in their lives that it spills over into what they say online. It is much easier for people to hide behind a computer screen and let the negativity take over. They think there aren't any repercussions because a lot of times the people they are being combative with are complete strangers in another part of the world. But, the reality is, they are perpetuating the negativity in their own lives and to the people they are engaging with and/or attacking online. It's a vicious circle that needs to end, do your part and step away from any negativity that you may start to become embroiled in online. For your overall mental, emotional and physical well being, avoid the negativity.
I myself had to do this a few days ago when I made a comment about choosing healthy foods for children over buying prepackaged, processed food. I was instantly attacked by numerous people for an innocent comment about looking for other healthy food options, it was really quite ridiculous and at first I tried to defend myself and my opinion, but the rudeness and insecurities of some of these people was so over the top I realized there was no point in continuing the conversation where it was only going to spiral into an even darker hole. So, I stopped my engagement in the conversation, even though I had more to stay, it wasn't worth reading the negative comments and letting it bother me. I would rather live my life positively and engage in worthwhile discussions with people who don't need to resort to ugliness online. There are plenty of people who can have great debatable conversations without attacking others for their opinions or thoughts, these are the people we need to focus on having discussions with and perpetuating a positive online experience with friends, families and strangers.
Guidelines to Disengage from Negativity Online:
Don't engage with people who are already in a negative state of mine, even friends and family. All this does is frustrate you and feed into their negativity, it's best just to step away and let them work it out themselves. You can immediately tell if someone is in an argumentative or negative mood by the first comments they post; if they instantly want to argue, dismiss your opinion as having no value, etc. be aware of the signs to avoid engaging with them unnecessarily.
Even if you post an innocent comment in a discussion that is hotly debated, you will most likely get at least one person who is going to want to argue with you just for the sake of arguing, do not engage with them, simply step away from the conversation.
Don't post inflammatory comments that you know will get people riled up, don't be the reason for negativity in any aspect of your life or anyone else's.
If someone innocently misinterprets what you said, don't get angry and react with negativity, instead try to diffuse the situation from escalating by nicely explaining what you initially meant. If they don't chose to see the harmlessness, or value in your opinion, than they are not someone you should be in a conversation with. You can initially give someone the benefit of the doubt, but if it quickly becomes clear they are just looking for drama, disengage.
These are just a few signs and ways of avoiding negativity online, what are some of the ways you stay out of "online drama and bullying" situations? I would love to hear your thoughts!!