Two years ago, I started a photography business. I created several posts on social media as a way to attract potential customers. My business was doing well, and I received a lot of positive feedback. Then, one day, I received a message from a man who the internet would consider a troll. He bashed my work and explained how disgusted he was to see it. He continuously left the same message on several of my photographs across various social media platforms.
I spent a good deal of time deleting the comments. I knew there was no point in responding to them since it wouldn’t change this man’s mind. He was entitled to his opinion but didn’t need to express it as harshly as he did on my posts. Naturally, I knew that if he had the nerve to write these comments in the first place, he would most certainly respond if I reacted. He’s a troll — he feeds off stuff like this.
There are many people online that are trolls.
They like to make rude comments about others or their beliefs. It’s childish and cruel, but that’s the world we live in now. I’ve seen so many harsh comments on Facebook, Instagram, news sites; you name it. While most can ignore the messages and move on with their life, these comments can really discourage some people. Some even choose to fight back. I won’t lie: I really wanted to tear into that man who left those comments on all my photos. But I didn’t.
Social media was created to help friends and family stay connected. It was meant for positivity and enjoyment. However, some people use these platforms to pick arguments. They feel that because they are hiding behind a keyboard, they’re more powerful. They’re not. In reality, it just shows that they aren’t bold enough to express their opinions in person.
So what do you do when you receive harsh comments on your social media posts? Here are a few tips to keep the peace online.
1. Reply privately.
If the comments are on a business account, it’s best to remain professional. Going back and forth with the troll looks unprofessional and tacky. It also shows future customers that you have a side they may not want to see. If you have to resolve any issue, it’s best to message the person privately.
2. Never delete the comment.
Deleting the comment just shows the person you cannot handle their message. This can give them more fuel and cause them to leave even more messages. Deleting their comment will also show the person you are paying attention to them, which they want.
3. Be polite.
If you do decide to respond to a hateful comment, be polite. Don’t engage in the drama or give the person any more fuel. It’s important to remember not to lose your cool or show any aggression towards the comment. Especially if it’s a business account. A simple “Thanks for your feedback!” is sufficient.
4. Ask the commenter to remove his reply.
You can politely ask the person to remove the comment. If the person feels like
the comment may hurt them, they may delete it on their own.
5. Be funny.
Sometimes the best way to respond to a negative comment is to laugh it off. Doing so shows that you have a sense of humor and aren’t directly affected by the negativity.
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Social media can be rough, but it doesn’t have to be. You will encounter trolls along the way, but it’s important not to become one yourself. Social media sites should be places for fun and enjoyment, not trolls and hatred.