Internet, the final frontier. We can love it for all it gives us. However, it also hides some dark sides that we need to be aware of, if we are going to use it. One of such dark sides is Internet Bullying. I became a victim of such a bullying. I decided to share my experience, as well as the way I dealt with the negative comments that followed.
Browsing a working / traveling FB page which I won’t name, I decided to contribute to a range of discussions. I opened a dozen topics and replied to inquiries as best as I could. Later, I followed up on these discussions for several day, but was suddenly attacked on one thread with teasing and even hateful remarks, which we can classify as Internet Bullying.
Specifically, there was a thread where a women asked how she could call from Puerto Rico thinking that she needed to some sort of sophisticated and expensive satellite phone. I replied saying that all she needed is to buy Internet data, as I have had a lot of success doing it myself. What followed up to this innocent comment was a line of Internet abuse, as I saw it.
Apparently, in Puerto Rico was recently left in ruins by a hurricane, which knocked down cellphone towers, thus using Internet data was impossible.
“But is it not run only by a satellite?” – I though.
Apparently, not. And the more I pushed trying to defend myself, the more abuse I got. Several people called me up on this mistake, even calling me “stupid”. I know it was not as massive abuse like someone anonymously threatening my life or anything, but these remarks hurt, and I can see how a person can massively misinterpret these remarks.
Indeed, I am by far not an expert on a topic I was trying to help, but that does not give some one the right to make fun and humiliate me on Internet.
1) Dealing with complexity and incomplete information – In this example, I was wrong, but was a wrong to even get into this discussion in a first place? I realized that maybe I was wrong in my assumptions, as we are often are, as we can never know everything. This is perhaps why I never again looked into the Puerto Rico news or whether Internet is distributed by cellphone towers or only by satellite. I just don’t have time to do it. Rather, I better to concentrate on things that really interest me and will substantially contribute to my personal growth.
2) There will always be haters – Moreover, there will always be haters no matter what you say or what we do. We can’t just stop doing things because we want to avoid the criticism. In case of Internet, it is just a great resource. We need to use. Occasionally, we will run into situations which will cause us unhappiness and dissatisfaction. This is just a nature of things, or as I call it – duality of things.
3) How to deal with haters – So we can’t avoid haters, and we should not engage with them unnecessarily. We just don’t have an infinite time on our hands, nor are we bullet proof when it comes to dealing with negative feedback. The more we hear negativity, the more negative it can make us. Is it worth it? I say not. Rather, we should just disengage from negative situations whenever we can, such as not to hand out with negative people, as much as possible.
4) 10/40/40/10% rule – 10/40/40/10% rule is a part of already mentioned duality of life, and it states that 10% of time we will be facing very negative situations, 40% negative situation, which won’t bother us that much, 40% with positive situations that at best will make us content, and 10% of the time, we will face situations, which will make us really happy. Thus, being happy or negative is simply a statistical probability, which we can never simply avoid and we just need to realize it as such, statistical probability.
5) Learn from mistakes – In my case, I made a mistake, and unlike people keep telling me, I should not feel bad about being wrong. As we saw it is just statistical probability that it happened and it is a small mistake as I see it. As such, I should just see it as such, and embrace this situation as a learning ground to reinforce my capacity of dealing with dealing with negative situations. Once again, I don’t really need to learn about the Puerto Rico or how Internet functions. Rather, all I need to learn is how to deal with the positive and negative emotions, as it is in reality all that matters.
6) Don’t take it personally – We should not take anything personal. Everyone sees them as the good guy in their story. As such, even though that other people may criticize you, they are probably only just trying to help us grow. They are just doing it in a disruptive way, as we may do it occasionally also in a very destructive way. As such, we need not to take thing personally and learn to see through the negative remarks for life lessons, such as lessons of positivism. We can also learn about value of non-violent communication, which is a great program which I did not create but I support.
7) Emotions don’t pass through a text – Additionally, if you ever decide to comment on someones post or even send an message to a person, specially who you does know, make sure they understand what you mean in subtext. Indeed, if you tell someone a mean joke in person they may laugh about it because they see your body language and you laughing / smiling. In text, however, this contextual information is hard to pass and therefore it is easy to be misinterpreted. As such, be gentle with people via text, adding some remarks like “it’s a joke” or a smiley face to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding.
Lastly, every bullying or any other negative situations will be different and it may be hard to deal with it, specially when you are in a middle of it. As such, if you or anyone of your friends needs help in dealing with negativity in their lives, don’t hesitate to contact me and I will try to help as much as I can.