Hate on Social Media and how to Deal with it
Hate on social media and how to deal with it:
I barely remember what my life was like right before social media became a day-to-day thing. I’d have to think about what I was doing in the 5th grade–AIM and Buddy Profiles were just starting to become an after-school activity. And in 6th grade, I remember my name being called from the intercom. I had to join several other kids in a room where we waited to find out why we were randomly called in. Noticing that some of us were in different grades, I couldn’t figure out what we all had in common. But we were all in trouble for having Myspace profiles. My teacher printed out my page and had me take it to my parents to sign it. My mom couldn’t grasp the concept of “Myspace,” so she couldn’t even decide whether to lecture me for it.
Now the uncommon back then, is the common now. The same teachers who reprimanded me for having a Myspace, are the same people today spending hours on Facebook. Some of the kids I went to school with are having babies, and are probably creating Instagram profiles for their kids. It’s funny.
Looking back, social media has always been a way to express ourselves. Now it’s turned all the way up. The internet has been exploited. People are making money off internet opinions and internet looks. Our friends, our friend of a friend, and our peers are making it! Sometimes we compare ourselves.
It’s so important for many of us to express ourselves on the internet these days. But the more we express, the more we should understand that we are allowing ourselves to be judged.
Maybe this is why we feel like hate is at an all-time high. Social media is like transitioning between middle school and high school again. We learn that it’s unforgiving. We’re bolder and more competitive. Shit’s been seen, shit’s been done. We feel like we need to be more creative and more unique. Empathy is dying. With as many people boldly expressing their opinions, just as many are keeping quiet, because they’re scared of being judged by somebody.
This year, I’ve thought about how often I’ve seen hate make a mess on social media. And at times, I’ve dealt with some sort of hatred myself. I’ve asked myself, have I created this or has someone else? Is it getting in the way of my work and my attitude? Sometimes I wonder how many people even know what to do with hate and how to deal with it in a healthy way. I’ve seen enough hatred inside myself and all over social media, to realize it wasn’t fueling me the way it can fuel other people.
Where hate comes fromI found this list via Google. It’s a pretty solid list of reasons why people hate:
- They’re threatened by your skills, accomplishments, or attractiveness & feel like they need to level the playing field.
- Their needs are not being satisfied by you & they want more than you can give.
- They’re insecure & feel the need to overcompensate by directing hatred towards you.
- They think you look down on them & decide to counter-attack.
- They think you’re making them look bad.
- They genuinely believe their hatred is helping you, by giving you the benefit of their wisdom or experience.
- They have relentless perspectives & see no validity in other point of views.
- They unsuccessfully tried to get your attention / connect with you & ended up hating you.
- They see you as an obstacle to their goal for status & / or position.
- They see themselves as experts on the subject through knowledge & / or experience & feel the need to assert their wisdom & be admired.
- They feel you were disrespectful or inconsiderate & wish to set limits on your behavior.
- They feel that your actions are disadvantaging them.
- They’re power tripping. They want to bully, exclude, or intimidate you to assert their ego.
- They’re covering up hurt feelings with hatred.
- They don’t have the social skills to communicate with you successfully.
- They’re narcissistic & can’t handle confrontation of a disagreement with you.
- They have different values & judge you.
- They want to humiliate you for revenge or power.
- They want to feel important & respected.
- They feel entitled to special treatment or status & feel that you’re taking it away from them.
Spotting hateful behaviors:
- Ambition: You might know someone with their nose up in the air. Someone who was quick to establish themselves in their career. Even though you might not know how much effort it took for them to get there, you do know it was enough for them to feel entitled–you could feel it in their energy, you can read it in their tweets. And sometimes, it’s the newcomers who are so hungry for their own recognition, that they dissociate themselves from the establishers. And as a result, the respect isn’t there–you could see it in their attitude.
It’s gotten bad before. I once had to ask myself if I wanted to breed a clique, or if I wanted to build a team. Our egos can get in the way of connecting with some really great people. While the air thickens with competition, we’ve fostered more hatred than we think.
- Submission: This is where people might avoid you because of your dominance or set of opinions. Or maybe they tried to connect with you and failed. If you’ve ever wondered why someone follows you on social media, but never engages with your content–submission could be a reason for it.
- Destruction: Some people will look for a way to destroy your business, reputation, & opportunities. A high exchange of disrespect most likely caused this to happen.
What to do with hatred:One thing that should be understood about hatred is that it’s less personal than it seems. The majority of hatred stems down from the person’s unhappiness with themselves. But, it could also be a result of your behavior or that failed attempt to connect with you. Here’s some questions you might ask yourself before responding to hatred:
- Do you deserve it?
- Is this person coming from a genuine place?
- Are they willing to listen to you?
- Are they perceiving you wrong?
- Is the criticism public or private and why do you think they chose that place for conversation?
Finding your crowdA couple weeks ago, I met this really weird guy working at Jewelry & Minerals of Las Vegas–they’re going to get a huge shipment of rare Amethyst soon, making them the largest crystal shop in the US. But anyway, this guy working there kept asking me all sorts of philosophical questions, as I’m flipping between my phone and different crystals, trying to figure out their meanings.
One question he asked was, “What does the world need from you?” I thought about it for a second and said, “It needs me to be great.” And then the weird dude says, “The world has enough greatness. What it needs is more love.”
Sometimes, we aren’t focusing enough on the love. We sometimes struggle to find these people we relate to because we’re focusing a lot of our energy & efforts on entertaining our haters, whether we admit it or not. It’s good if we can channel hate into fuel for our work, but I don’t think this energy should ever replace the flame it took to get us going in the first place. Real love and support reminds us of why we started in the first place; and why it’s important to stay focused on that original plan. For anyone struggling to find their “crowd” or just that sense of belonging, I wanted to share with you some advice that’s helped me:
Look in the right direction. Cleaning up your social media feeds of anyone that clouds your vision or well-being in any way, will help. Follow people who add value to your life & be proactive to support their interests and opinions. Engage with people who appreciate what you want to be appreciated for–their feedback can help you articulate your vision and create a sense of community.
Try not to connect with just anyone. You might be tempted to build with anyone being recognized. Or anyone who shows a genuine interest in working with you. But if these people don’t have the same vision or intent as you, it might be doing more harm than good. You might be confusing your message and the people supporting you. Try to keep your focus on what you really stand for, so your voice is loud and clear.
When it comes down to it, effort & direction won’t betray you in your search to connect with people. Connect with positive people & stay away from the flaky ones. Work with people who have a sense of direction & aren’t just in it for the glow.
And even if you encounter people who you don’t intent to make a connection with, they still deserve your respect and should be treated like an equal.
Hate is a part of being human. But if it affects your energy & those around you, that’s where it might be a problem. If hate bothers you as much as it used to bother me, it’s time to hop out of the matrix and do your best to create a less hateful environment. As stimulating as it can be, hatred is still a distraction. We can really help ourselves and the society we live in by being responsible for the energy we bring to the table.