When to respond on social media – and when not to respond

I own My dogma when it comes to fires on social media: Don’t add air to someone else’s fires.

This rule has saved my ass many times over. For example, during a social media shot, a writer responded to a post she had written about an article she had written, saying she wanted to discuss our opposing views – in a Facebook forum of thousands of people. The wording and tone of her comment showed that she was not interested in real dialogue, so I didn’t respond. Had she agreed to the request or made a sarcastic comment like “Get your damn articles published,” I would have been following her book to get attention for herself and undermine my work and my business. Should I do anything else? I thought I would review the experts.

“You did the right thing by not responding,” says Michelle Burba, educational psychologist and author of the book. Thrivers. “No response is a great response, and often the strongest response. The person wants attention and you don’t give it to them. Obviously, she wanted to use you and undermine you by hijacking your platform. If you embarrass her, you lose your credibility and be in a position to defend yourself.” .

Samir Hinduja, File manager Cyberbullying Research Center He agrees, and says, “When we respond to someone who tries to insult us, we show that we really care about his opinion. And then we give them the strength to nullify us.”

Not responding on social media can be the best way to show strength, rather than lend your voice and energy to the noise. Reality, Research published in the journal psychology It demonstrates that operating the keyboard is not as effective as talking to one person at a time or sharing visuals. Of course, this works best if you have a real relationship or care what the person thinks about you. “If someone really wasn’t in your life, then what you did was right,” says Ulash Dunlap, a San Francisco-based therapist. “If it is an important relationship, I suggest you write the person and request a phone call to avoid miscommunication.”

Dunlap also recommends taking five minutes and assessing the situation before responding, and avoiding quick reactions on social media so that people don’t see they pushed the buttons. “If someone belittles you or bully you because of your beliefs, or is looking to correct themselves when you are wrong, or Looking for fame Through you, then end the conversation, either by not responding or even saying, “Thank you for your feedback,” similar to the way companies respond when you criticize them.

So how do we prevent ourselves from feeling vulnerable when these situations arise? “Remember, if they don’t know you well, the person on the other end doesn’t understand you or your experiences. This could also be someone who likes to win. You can browse that person’s Facebook or Twitter feed, and you’ll see. If so. Also, find an exit strategy and end the conversation. “

Ask yourself, Was this helpful or painful? Borba says. If it helps, then you can figure out how to respond, but if it hurts, you can ignore it. ”But what if the relationship is important to you and you decide to reach out to the person? What is the best way forward?

“It’s all about the way you say it,” Burba suggests. “Shame is not the game. What you are looking for is a respectful speech. There is more than one way to see things, and all aspects matter. You do not have to agree, as long as you are respectful and you do not deny or blame the person. Just tell them, ‘This is one way to think about it.”

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