posted on July 8, 2015 by Lexi Scott

5 Tips To Deal With Internet Trolls and Bullies

by Lexi Scott

5) Be Wary About Joining Uninformed Online “Debates”

Recently a post showed up on my Facebook page that had the makings of a cyber Gettysburg. The topic: military spouses.

On one end of the spectrum were the people who revered the spouses of our service men and women as martyr-like angels…on the other side, there were those who demonized them as philandering parasites.

As the comments exploded into the hundreds, the Facebook post became…well, a battlefield.

My sister is a military wife, and she has a wide, varied circle of military friends and spouses. The truth is, there are no angels and no demons–just regular humans trying their best to navigate a lifestyle that can be very demanding and stressful. It’s way more complicated than any Facebook post could possibly recognize.

4)   Take Every Heated Opinion With a BIG Grain of Salt Because…

Sometimes you stumble on an internet debate that shakes you for extremely personal reasons. Like the time I saw several friends, family members, and current colleagues bashing teachers as lazy, entitled, overpaid idiots ruining the education system.

As a former teacher, I took it very, very personally. It felt like an attack on me, and I couldn’t help but be upset over the fact that these people I knew could tear me and the work I threw myself into with total passion apart without a second thought.

And then I had to remember that the internet has a way of giving people a sort of anonymous platform. In the safety of their comment box, they rule supreme. They can ignore every opposing comment if they please.

And they sometimes forget there are real people on the other side of the screen.

3) The Internet Makes People Say Things Online They Would Never Say to Your Face

The thing is, this debate isn’t a new one. Not at all. Education has been a hot topic for years. And I’d had several friendly debates before…what was different?

It was all in the format.

During lunch with friends, a woman I respect brought up how awful her child’s young, new teacher had been this past year. I was able to listen, then offer my own stories about my disastrous first year teaching, the mistakes I made and regret to this day. The other parents made great suggestions about things that could have been done to make my year better instead of laying any blame.

Being face to face was humanizing! I took that lesson to heart and try to remember to not take what I read online too seriously, and to remember not to engage in emotional issues without the buffer of real people.

2)  Remember That Everyone Has Her Own Truth

I suffered with infertility issues for a long time. My husband and I happened to have a very optimistic outlook about it, and we tended not to share too many details online about miscarriages and failed attempts at pregnancy. I have friends in similar situations, and they have different ways of dealing. Some mourn miscarriages openly, some share photos of ultrasounds that did not result in full-term pregnancies. Some retreat from social media completely.

Sometimes these women and couples grieve in ways that are so completely alien to me. I always remind myself that my way of dealing with my situation is one truth–my truth. If others need more time or less, more support or less, that is their truth.

No one is right or wrong, no one should be shamed or badgered. It’s easy to feel like every situation is open for commentary because it’s been shared.

1) Know When It’s Time to Walk Away, Delete, or Block

Sometimes a relationship that began as fun or innocent can turn toxic. And there can be the feeling that you have to mend it, make the other person understand, see your way. Sometimes you can bridge the misunderstanding and come to a place of friendship.

Sometimes that’s not possible. Sometimes, for your mental health and well-being, you need to get away from the situation however you can.

Know when it’s time for you to block someone who is attacking you, making you uncomfortable, or filling your online time with dread.

****

Lexi Scott is the combined forces of authors and best friends, Liz Reinhardt and Steph Campbell. Together, they write new adult and contemporary romance featuring strong, smart, feisty women and the swoony worthy, good guys who love them. The grew up on opposite coasts- one on the east, one of them on the west, but somehow, both ended up married and raising their families in the Southern U.S.

They love traveling, good food, wine and hoarding books.

Their upcoming release, HIDE ME, is the first book in the Silver Strand series.

Hide Me by Lexi Scott
Release date: 7/7/15

Hide Me 500This is a part of me now…

Sometimes it’s easier to run…

Ripped apart by guilt and grief, nineteen-year-old Whit Conrad grabs her stuff, runs from her super-conservative family in Pennsylvania, and hauls ass for sunny California. All she wants is escape. But what she gets is a craptastic apartment, a job at a tattoo parlour, and a life that’s not her own. Then she meets a sexy, inked surfer who has the potential to capsize everything…

Deo Beckett is adrift. Underemployed and spending his time partying too hard, he knows he should be doing something more with his life. Being something more. All it takes is a pin-up hottie with a smart mouth-and a bruised soul-to force Deo to start looking below the surface. To wonder if there’s more to life than being a beach bum. Now he’s falling for Whit…hard.

But Whit has secrets, and she’ll go to any lengths to keep Deo from discovering her past…

Previously released under the title Lengths (August 2012), and has been enhanced with new material.

 

Lexi Scott

Lexi Scott is the combined forces of authors and best friends, Liz Reinhardt and Steph Campbell. Together, they write new adult and contemporary romance featuring strong, smart, feisty women and the swoony worthy, good guys who love them. The grew up on opposite coasts- one on the east, one of them on the west, but somehow, both ended up married and raising their families in the Southern U.S. They love traveling, good food, wine and hoarding books.

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