At times, the Internet can seem like a pretty intimidating place. Whatever you post, there will be people who will look at it and comment on it. And, a lot of people feel much safer saying things they wouldn’t normally do when they’re sitting in front of a screen instead of in front of a real person. Especially if the type of social media they use is anonymous.
However, there are ways to comment on the Internet that can allow you a stress-free experience. Even if someone tries to instigate something intentionally, you don’t need to get caught up in it. There is already enough stress in the world, the Internet should not be another source.
Think before you post
Before making any kind of post on the internet, it can help you think in advance about what kind of response you can get. If you post something related to controversial topics, such as politics or religion, chances are you’ll get some angry answers. So decide whether or not it’s worth what you want to post.
If you respond to something that someone has commented on, think about what to add to the conversation and if necessary. Being selective about what you say will help you avoid direct negative reactions from others.
If you can, ignore it
In most situations where you see a post or comment that really makes you fashionable, the best thing you can do is not participate. You save a lot of stress by refraining from responding.
It is often not worth the effort. Quitting smoking or blocking the person will also help you avoid the kind of things you don’t want to see. And you’ll spend far less time annoying about what’s posted.
Also keep in mind that it is extremely difficult to change someone’s mind over the internet. Due to the nature of the platform, negative comments will usually only reinforce someone’s beliefs and are unlikely to change regardless of the information you provide.
When people form opinions, they use cognitive biases to do so, which is not always necessarily based on logic. No one is exempt from this, so when a post or comment you disagree with gets you a reaction, all you can do is try to understand why it made you feel that way and move on.
When you should respond
However, there are times when responding to something can be a good idea. If you can provide more in-depth information or information that someone is likely to be receptive to, your response may be constructive to the conversation.
Also, if someone you know personally has posted something you don’t agree with, they’ll probably listen to you. Someone you know has some kind of emotional bond with you, so it’s best to consider your response. A complete stranger is much less likely to worry about what he has to say.
How to respond tactfully
So if you decide to post a comment, there are a few things to keep in mind. First of all, don’t let yourself bow to insults. There’s nothing to gain from using them and it’s much less likely that people will take you seriously.
Even if someone insults you first, rather than reciprocally, it should be a sign that you need to take a step back from the situation.
Try to be aware of the wording you use when writing an answer. On the Internet, there is no tone of voice, so it’s easy for things to be taken the wrong way. If you suspect something is confusing, try writing it differently. The use of emoticons can also be beneficial in these situations to show well to others what you mean.
Also try not to be condescending, as people will not be as receptive to you. Having an open mind can be your best course of action, as long as the person you are responding to isn’t hateful or promotes something dangerous.
How to spot a troll
If you’re on a site on the Internet, chances are you’ll be able to deal with someone who just wants to argue to argue. Or, they don’t care at all what you have to say, and instead just want to mess with you.
There are a few ways to catch one of these people, usually called a troll, and once you do, it’s best to break away. Trolls don’t want any real discussion, they just want to provoke a reaction to feel superior or to entertain themselves.
If they continually repeat the same rhetoric or phrase over and over again, as if they weren’t even reading what you’re saying, it’s likely to be a troll. This is also true if they make hyperbolic and wild statements and suggestions or try to use the shock factor.
Use of the comment tag
To avoid the stress of using the Internet, trying to engage only in a positive and constructive conversation can help you tremendously not only in your online life, but also in life in general.
The internet is a great creation that allows you to talk to other people without whom you would never have been able to. So while there are definitely advantages to using the internet, there can also be some pitfalls. Following these tips can help you navigate.