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How To Deal With Negativity Online

I have been on a bit of a positivity train – it is a blog post for another time, but it has truly changed my life. That being said, I am quite new to it and sometimes it is easy to let the negativity creep in. It is especially easy when negativity starts seeping through on your online platforms, and you do not have to be a blogger or a public figure to be affected by it.

To me negativity online presents itself in various forms. The most obvious is when we get hateful comments or messages directed at us. This actually happened to me just this weekend, and I opted to address the situation rather than let it go. You need to ask yourself, is it worth your energy? In this particular case, it was. My integrity and character was being attacked unfairly, and I am not someone to shy away from confrontation when the accusations are unfounded. That being said, I could probably have handled it a little more gently… but then again – I believe in accountability and consequences.

That is not the only way that negativity online affects us… it can be done in so many ways, and even in ways that you might not even realize. I think anything that makes you feel drained or bad about yourself, or puts you in a negative mood after viewing it on a daily basis falls under online negativity. The world of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter can be a wonderful place – but it needs to be a conscious effort on your side as well. Nothing is worth the cost of your happiness, and remember – you are in control.

What I have found incredibly helpful is to do a social media cleanse once every few months. It is time-consuming, but it feels so good! Go through the list of people you are following and ask yourself…

  • Why am I following them?
  • Are they negative or positive most of the time?
  • What do you get out of following them?
  • How does their content or online presence make YOU feel?

If you don’t like the answers to those questions, it’s time to take them off the list. People grow and change all the time, and I find that a lot of the accounts I used to follow now annoy me or put me in a bad mood. People who complain all the time, people who constantly focus on the negative or bad, people who enjoy shaming others or who only focus on what everyone else is doing wrong…. all of that adds negativity to your life whether you realize it or not. It starts impacting the way you think and feel, and it really is not worth it.

If you are someone who gets upset or demotivated by the number of likes on your post, the engagement and reach – or feel that the new algorithm is screwing you over (it is)… just stop and take a minute. We all crave validation, it is natural! Don’t validate your self-worth based on the amount likes you get online. Take a break from social media and remember why you started using it in the first place. What is your goal? What is the reason? Why are you doing this? And most importantly…. are you enjoying it? It is easy to forget that Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are all just apps. They are FUN! They are an amazing way to document your legacy, reach new people, have a voice and make new friends. You can use them as tools to grow your business and network, to earn an income or to learn… but only if you use it the way it was intended. To have fun, to enjoy it… to make you happy.

So, my tips on dealing with online negativity:

  • Do a social media cleanse, unfollow the people and accounts that don’t add value to your life.
  • Take a break… learn to log off! Have an offline weekend or set boundaries for yourself.
  • Apologize when you do or say something wrong, be accountable if you posted something that is offensive.
  • Don’t feed the trolls – some people are just shit, let them be.
  • Always stay true to yourself. Don’t lose your essence.
  • Comparison is the thief of joy – don’t compare your whole life movie to someone else’s highlight reel.
  • Enjoy it… technology is wonderful!
  • Be positive and you will attract positive things ♥ That being said, share your wins and your losses – but be balanced.

Maybe I made sense, maybe I am full of crap – but these are the things that helped me. Let me know if you have any tips to add, or if you are in a situation that you are not quite sure how to handle. Let’s chat about it, we can work through it! How does social media make you feel?

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Maz Halliday

Maz is self-employed mom to two of the most gorgeous, yet tiring kids you will ever lay eyes upon. She maintains her sanity by blogging at Caffeine and Fairydust and rocking from side-to-side in her bath tub at night (with a glass of bubbly - no one ever said you can't be fabulous while having a nervous breakdown). She aims to broaden people's perspectives - and in the process will either make you laugh or p%#@ you off. Don't be shy... come say hi!

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8 COMMENTS

  • Shalane

    I do a purge every 3 months. I find it is very good for my soul. I am very wary of all social media and the effects it can have on your ego. Being given validation by strangers just doesn’t sit right with me. I try to stay away from social media as much as possible but also not when you have a blog. I love the don’t feed the trolls, because ultimately that is what happens, we just need to learn to ignore them.

    Amazing post!

  • Kerry

    This is such a great post – it is SO important to not let ourselves get too wrapped up in this.
    Also, really glad to hear that you’re on the positivity train, can’t wait to read all about it.

    • Maz
      AUTHOR

      I am going to try my best and have a blog post ready by Thursday! It has been quite a journey. Thanks for your comment lovely!

  • Megan Richards

    Hey Maz,

    I fully agree with you! I’ve also noticed the influx of trolls / online bullies on my Twitter feed, which never happened to me in the past. I tried my best to not allow the negative energy to affect me, and can easily laugh about it and move on.

    But I know it’s not the same for all individuals! And there are many who struggle with this daily. Taking a break from social media and unfollowing a few “friends” is the best thing you can do for yourself.

    • Maz
      AUTHOR

      Twitter is the worst! I actually try stay off that platform as much as possible… I find it to be an incredibly negative space and harder to control

  • Melissa Javan

    I haven’t done a social media cleanse in a while. This post is a good reminder that one should protect your energy.

    • Maz
      AUTHOR

      I’m glad you found it useful!

  • Letishia Charles

    All so true!

    This post also reminded me of a conversation I just recently had with my tween daughter (aka impressionable years) and a comment I made to her about NEVER asking for validation on social media, always being positive and kind to others and meaning it, but also being sure to speak about any negative feelings you may have (preferably offline with Mom!). This conversation was sparked by a post I saw of a young girl she follows on Instagram asking if she was pretty 🙁 This opens you up to so much and if just ONE person says NO whether they’re trying to be funny or purposefully hurtful, it can scar a young girl quite badly. Anyway, sorry about the long post LOL – your’s struck a chord, truely. Thanks for sharing.

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