How To Deal When People Are Ugly On The Internet


If you are a good person, you probably are looking at the world right now with a taste of sadness, anger and bitterness in your mouth and trying your best not to allow yourself to be drawn into the negativity. From the government to social media, cruelty and rudeness seems to have become a norm all the way to the extent that you may feel anxious even posting an opinion on social media, so you don’t post at all. Instead you just view the world around you and feel sad, wondering when negativity began to reign to this degree.

And then one day, you do post an opinion, and you get a barrage of abuse, cruelty and unkindness of every degree. And it hurts, because all of these people are judging you, not just for your opinion but you as a human being. In that moment, the humiliation will wash over you hard and anger will make you want to lash out. Don’t. Don’t do it. This is going to take every modicum of self discipline inside you but you turn off notifications and you ignore it, act like it never happened. Any negative DMs or messages, should be left unread and deleted.

Look, unfortunately, we live in a time when people love to drag each other down. We live in a time when people enjoy venting their cruel words on strangers on the internet after a bad day. We live in a time where having an opinion can be a metaphorical death sentence. But here is how you combat that: you switch off. You go away from the internet for a while. Seriously, forget your phone inside your house, go out for a walk, feel how big the world really is, because scientifically even 40 seconds outside in nature is enough to reduce stress and anxiety considerably.

I took this interesting lesson from watching my cats’ behaviour for a day. They are always happy, because they live in the moment. Their biggest concern is where their next meal comes from, which is usually in their bowls same time everyday. Now I recognise as humans it is so hard to live like this, but think of it this way, that thing you’re worrying about? It’s not going to go away because you’re worrying about it. That thing you’re overthinking? All it’s doing is exhausting your brain and making you unproductive.

So here is what you do, you take a break. You grab a book, or a camera, or anything that helps you disconnect from the moment, from the news that is stressing you out, from cruel and harsh opinions online and you go for and sit in nature for a while. If it’s raining, you sit on the porch with a hot drink and watch the rain, and for a while, you just think about how many good and beautiful things there are out in the world. That someone loves you, even in your worst moments. That no matter what happens, there is only so much you can control, and the only thing you can control is your actions towards the things that hurt you. People by and large attack others because of their own insecurities anyway and everyone posting cruel and unkind things should really be regarded with a pinch of salt and pity.

So you take the thing that happened to you, and treat it like a thing that happened long ago. You do something you love and treat yourself to a mug or a glass of your favourite drink. And you understand that other people’s nasty comments are not in any way a reflection on you, but a reflection on them and their own fallacies.