Recently I was trolled on Facebook. Someone left some rather unsavoury comments on a photo I posted.
After some thought and some research, I deleted the post and blocked the person from Facebook.
The personal effects on me are just that, private and personal. But it raises some questions for me and for anyone who uses social media.
Currently, social media trolling is dealt with tactically. Either you engage with them until proven guilty and then disengage with them . Many people recommend engaging with them first including me. But this incident has sown some severe doubts.
Sadly, there are some people who will respond to all and every engagement negatively. Dealing with them is time-consuming and tiring (as opposed to dealing with them in person 😉 ).
Unfortunately they have to be dealt with strategically. But how?
From my best guess, the tactics are:
1. You say (and listen) everything to everyone. This encourages trolling but also encourages new surprises and friends.
2. You say (and listen to) everything to a closed circle. This can only be called social media groupthink.
3. You communicate some things to some people (groups and circles). See Google and Facebook!
In truth, options 1 and 3 are acceptable unless you wish to restrict free speech.
But the hard part is to consciously work out what to say to whom and when. We simply don’t do that in real life. How can we do it in social media?