Scared of the Internet

I don’t know why, but I always feel anxious about posting comments on Reddit or Tumblr. I guess I’m scared of getting into confrontation online because I am always worried that I’ll get into a bad habit of arguing with people online, or that someone’s words will make me feel sad/angry/upset.

You can never change the opinion of someone you’re arguing with online because, most likely, the person/people/trolls/bots you’re arguing with are not able to learn anything anyway.

I turn off notifications for PM’s and turn off comments whenever I can so I can avoid trolls. There are some safe spaces where rude or unhelpful comments are removed, but the internet makes people feel empowered to say whatever they want. They feel safe behind their screens.

I’m the opposite. I’m so scared that someone will say something negative and put me in a bad headspace that I tend to avoid participating in online conversations altogether. Reddit is one of the worst sites for that fear because someone might just downvote your comment because they feel like, and you’re like, “What did I say?!”

I’m trying to be braver and become active on my favorite platforms, without worrying too much about scores, or how other people will perceive me. I think the best thing to do is stop looking at votes/scores/likes/reposts (whatever quantifier the respective platform uses) and just say what you want without being an asshole! Don’t bother getting into digital fights — antagonists may not be able to physically harm you, but incendiary comments will give you very real negative emotional effects. You don’t need that.

Finally, if you’re really itching to say something and know it will be met with flack, use a throwaway account and never look at it again. You’ll find peace in saying what is on your mind without perpetuating any potential drama.

The internet is part of daily lives and maybe we cannot fully stop bullying or educate close-minded individuals online, but we can find a personal balance in which we add to the discussion while evading conflict.

At least, that is what I’m trying to do. 🙂

4 Comments

  1. I truly do understand your fears about receiving mean comments. I suffer with social anxiety, so it makes it worse when you post something and start bracing yourself for the rude remarks. Thankfully, I’ve met some very encouraging, sweet and supportive people on here. There are some bad apples, but I have to remind myself that all are not that way. Some people love to project their problems and negativity onto others and I don’t have time for their drama. But, I agree the internet has become this sort of shield where people feel inclined to say the first mean thing that comes to their minds and it can affect us deeply, if we let it. I hope that you are having a great experience, at least on here. Great post! ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing. I understand that social anxiety can be crippling for some, and I wish you the best in your journey managing it. 🙂

      Personally, I am more an extrovert and do fine in real-life social situations, but I have become terrified of posting things online in the last few years. I’m only starting to overcome that fear by facing it head-on.

      When I want to post something, I know that I will be vulnerable to negativity because some people cite their “freedom of speech” and leave offensive or inappropriate comments. And those bad comments tend to weigh much heavier.

      I’ve also noticed that people seem harshly critical of things without necessarily being constructive. It is just another excuse to tear other people down because of their own insecurities.

      The internet is such a curious thing… Technology makes it easier to communicate, but creates countless situations in which that communication leads to unhappiness. :/ It’s unfortunate that those bad apples make so many aspects of social media altogether unappealing.

      Luckily there are pockets of communities that promote positivity and lift each other up. And yes! Thank you. This site has been one of those sanctuaries filled with real, understanding people.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I totally agree! It kind of feels like we’re in the ocean on here. There are many beautiful things we can find on the internet, but there are also those scary places we sometimes fear venturing. I was like that for a while and, like you, dared to face it head on. I’m happy you are facing your fears! That’s really how we grow on here. Thank you so much for your kind words and the follow! I truly appreciate it! and you’re very welcome! ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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