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. 🙂