Interacting on Social Media
Social media, while important for the author, has its pitfalls. We’ve all encountered them at one time or another. Usually, it’s being relegated to Facebook or Twitter jail, or even having our accounts suspended for a period of time. Some of us give up and walk away once that happens, thinking it’s just too hard to keep up with the ever changing rules. At other times, a new problem will have us pulling out our hair and wondering what exactly we did to upset some person so much.
Social media has given millions the opportunity to interact without having to see someone in person. We have friends in every country around the world and can’t wait to start, boost, or end our day checking out what they’re doing and saying. It has become so normal that many people have no idea how to handle meeting a person face-to-face any longer. There’s a certain safety net we have on our social media pages, where we’re not in danger of running across bullies who make us feel less than capable to attack our daily issues.
Unfortunately, social media has become the perfect breeding ground for the cyber-bully. They lurk on our feeds, seeking posts they will hijack and rant on about how stupid you are, and how you should fall of the planet. Or they’ll jump into a diatribe about the latest subject of discussion, be it about gun control or politics, and give you the feeling that only this person is allowed an opinion and only their opinion counts for anything.
Of course, your first gut reaction will be to tell this person off and how wrong they are. That would also be your first mistake.
Social media bullies are people who live to attack from behind the safety of their computer or phone. They lurk and stalk their prey with practiced ease. Once they sense the person is in a vulnerable position, they leap in for the attack, fully expecting you to respond and give them more ammunition for another attack.
Fact: there is no calming this beast once it has been unleashed, except one thing. DO NOT RESPOND. Don’t click on the angry emoticon Facebook has so nicely supplied for us. Don’t respond on a tweet. In no way should you be involved with this person at all. Even reporting them to the proper social media isn’t going to help you. This only further empowers the bully. And if you block them, thinking you’re safe, you may soon have reports from your friends about new attack, possibly even screen shots of what the individual is saying from the safety of their own page, knowing you can’t retaliate. And they love you for taking that step to block them. They are now free to attack you without being shut down.
Bullies have always existed. Even in today’s politically correct climate that we shouldn’t bully people, they will exist—in fact, they will be stronger, far more ready to attack than if they had to come face to face with you.
About K.C. Sprayberry
Born and raised in Southern California’s Los Angeles basin, K.C. Sprayberry spent years traveling the United States and Europe while in the Air Force before settling in northwest Georgia. A new empty nester with her husband of more than twenty years, she spends her days figuring out new ways to torment her characters and coming up with innovative tales from the South and beyond.
She’s a multi-genre author who comes up with ideas from the strangest sources. Those who know her best will tell you that nothing is safe or sacred when she is observing real life. In fact, she considers any situation she witnesses as fair game when plotting a new story.