Conflict on social media can be so disastrous for businesses. Social media is toxic, especially for brands that rely on online interactions to get sales.
Currently, even the most reasonable and temperate individuals get themselves in bitter arguments on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with strangers.
The way people use social media is changing, and most individuals aren’t their true selves online. That is why there are several strategies for combating toxic interactions on social media. However, the best starting point is understanding why social media is toxic.
There are times when social media tends to be a terrifying place to be. If events that trigger deep emotional responses in society take place, things become particularly ugly quickly.
- 1 Why is Social Media Toxic?
- 1.1 1. Delay Your Response
- 1.2 2. Report Hate Speech
- 1.3 3. Show Empathy and Not Aggression
- 1.4 4. Don’t Involve Yourself Unless You Have to
- 1.5 5. Defend Users from Bullies
- 1.6 6. Delete All Posts That Can be Misinterpreted
- 1.7 7. Ban and Block Repeat Offenders
- 1.8 8. Put Emphasis on the Importance of Context
- 1.9 9. Make Your Posts Positive
- 1.10 10. Be Assertive and Not Aggressive
- 1.11 11. Keep Scrolling
- 1.12 12. Don’t Argue
- 1.13 13. Unfriend or unfollow
- 1.14 14. Change of Scenery
- 1.15 15. Step Away
- 2 Conclusion
Why is Social Media Toxic?
Most people will turn out to social media to express their feelings. Things that people share and say online can affect us in several ways. That is why I’m not too fond of social media to some extent.
People misdirect, misinterpret, misunderstand, misspeak, and miss out on the message all the time. It is easy to launch a missile on social media as you won’t be around to see the carnage.
However, it may get to a point when you feel guilty about these things. However, certain tips will help you to reclaim your control over the toxic cycle and restore a balance in your relationships and life. Since social media is toxic, here are some of the tips that will help you overcome such occurrences;
1. Delay Your Response
Interactions on social media tend to be very quick. This sense of immediacy tends to create several issues around intention, meaning, and clarity. Instead of responding immediately to something that you found to be potentially triggering or offensive.
Take some time, reflect on the meaning of that statement, and think about its implications before responding. It is easier to say than do this, even though it is among the most effective way to avoid conflicts on social media.
2. Report Hate Speech
We live in an adult world, and there is nothing like ‘snitch.’ Therefore, you should report anything that can be interpreted as ‘Hate Speech’ with immediate effect. All forms of biases, like sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, and racism, are not acceptable in all forms of life.
Therefore, if you come across such a thing on your timeline, you need to report it immediately. Even though it can upset some of your followers, you need to draw the line. Hate speech is bad, whatever the circumstances. The problem with social media is that most people don’t report such instances.
3. Show Empathy and Not Aggression
When most people are angry online, they tend to lash out at others even if they say something based on facts or truth. The natural response of reading things that appear to be angry or deliberately hostile uses the same tone to reply.
However, such an action will only make you appear unprofessional. Show that you know what it means to feel frustrated or upset and need a solution to solve the whole matter. It is tough to argue with such an approach. Don’t just say that Facebook is toxic, yet you are doing nothing about the same.
4. Don’t Involve Yourself Unless You Have to
From the business perspective, it is not always positive to involve yourself in debates. However, when people engage in heated discussions on your timeline, it can be great for attention and clicks. It can be risky to contribute yourself unless you do it in a free of bias and objective.
Allow your clients to engage with one another in a confrontational and lively debate by all means. However, avoid doing it on your own if your goal is maintaining a professional distance.
There is no way to “say I don’t like social media,” yet you do nothing about the same. It is the way that you engage in discussions that will determine whether you succeed or not.
5. Defend Users from Bullies
The most unfortunate thing about online buying is that it is rife, and it does take so many forms. It ranges from sneaky persona trolls and messages from the deliberately orchestrated pile on Twitter.
Those who don’t have a better thing to do online have to man ways to upset and cause misery to others.
If you realize that this is happening to your timeline, draft a response that shows that you support the victim and not the person abusing and then report the action.
Bullying is not acceptable under all circumstances, and hence you should not advocate for it online.
6. Delete All Posts That Can be Misinterpreted
The challenge with modern communication online is that several individuals read the content you publish from various perspectives and ability levels.
Not everyone speaks native English, and not all people understand things like dark humor, hyperbola, or irony.
If you believe that people will interpret a certain YouTube comment, Facebook post, or tweet in the wrong manner, don’t risk.
Hit the delete button and then rephrase what you wanted to say. You will be safer doing things that way.
7. Ban and Block Repeat Offenders
Most marketing professionals hold to the belief that the customer is always right. As a result, you will always fear when you think about confronting a customer who has either said an offensive thing or overstepped. However, it is good to note that this is not the right approach in business.
It is recommended to have some degree of flexibility and tolerance. However, if someone routinely posts infringing posts or abuses others, it is good to block them from accessing your social media page.
They will likely make protests and complain about denying them freedom of speech. However, such an individual is not adding any value to your business. The closest friend you have here is the ban or block button.
8. Put Emphasis on the Importance of Context
So much content is available online, but an average user’s ability to digest complex info in your text is the beginning point of waning.
What people want is readability and simplicity, even if it will cost you detail and nuance.
If you are posting content that is controversial to some people, don’t wonder why the internet is toxic. Emphasize the importance of critical thinking and apply context to the piece of video or writing.
Even though machines don’t understand subjectivity, subtext, or irony, humans do. Remember, these are the customers that you are targeting in everything that you do.
9. Make Your Posts Positive
For most people, one of the social media foundations is venting. Social media is toxic if you don’t pay the desired attention to this fact.
Posting a snarly comment on Facebook or a quick rant on Twitter to let off steam is not bad. However, the design of business-based content is a little bit different.
It would help if you tried as much as you can to sound human. Carefully check your post so that you don’t subconsciously pass on frustration from that tough meeting.
Besides, it would help if you did not project a personal bad mood to your clients without realizing what you are doing.
10. Be Assertive and Not Aggressive
When Facebook arguments of Twitter spats turn into obscenities and threats, you can be sure that there is a breakdown of rational communication semblance. Even though people behave so in the real world, it is not good for any business.
If you feel you have to stand up and confront an aggressive or troll user, you should do so assertively and professionally. The worst thing that you can do is to stoop to their level.
Don’t allow emotions to determine the words that you use and focus on facts. Running social media for business isn’t a place for making enemies. Doing so will help you to gain all the pros of social media for your business.
11. Keep Scrolling
You may be scrolling through your social media page happily before you come across an offensive piece of content.
It can take you off-guard and even shift your opinion on the individual who shared it. You will have so many options at this point.
You can respond by posting a nasty message on the individual’s wall, leading to an angry exchange of words.
The other option is to continue scrolling. The best way out is ignoring the person who posted, and you may forget about it in one or two days.
Social media is toxic, but you can avoid being a victim by the actions you take if you find yourself thinking about it several weeks later.
You may have to do some soul searching to overcome the negative thoughts. There is no need to respond to everything that you come across on social media.
12. Don’t Argue
One of the reasons why I hate social media is that people tend to argue so much. When you jump to share your opinion on social media, confirm whether it results in a constructive and healthy discussion.
Instead, it can become a thread where people find ways of discounting the validity of other people’s opinions based on certain personal attacks that are highly counterproductive. It will negatively add to a situation that is already volatile.
It would help if you never took the opinion of other individuals personally. This is not an easy thing to do, and hence you should not overestimate your ability to keep it civil.
As you share your opinion on social media, do not engage in back-and-forth exchanges with people who are not ready to choose your perspective.
Very few people are open-minded and will want to hear what others have to say. Do not be that person who is willing to argue all the time.
13. Unfriend or unfollow
Do you know someone who continuously posts things that are personally offensive to you? The best thing is to do away with them from your virtual life. The process of removing toxic people from your profile depends on the channel that you are using.
If you unfollow the person on a platform like Instagram and Twitter, it will remove them completely. These people will not be able to see you anymore once you begin to unfollow them.
For Facebook, this option will keep them on your list but will reduce the chances to see their posts. The other user will not know that you have taken such a move. However, they will notice if you unfriend them on Facebook.
Therefore, take that step when you are sure that the individual is offensive. Apart from offensive posts, ask yourself whether you can hold on to this person in real life. Block these people immediately you discover that you cannot tolerate them anymore.
14. Change of Scenery
Changing scenery is another way of improving your experience on social media. If you discover that Instagram is toxic, why not try another platform.
There is no need to keep on going through things that will destroy your mood. A toxic social media platform can also change the way you understand the world around you.
Ask yourself whether the accounts that you follow have a positive contribution to your life. You could be wondering why I am toxic, yet you have gained that from toxic online interactions. It is better to get rid of a platform whose comments don’t add value to your life.
Check on the stories that they share and evaluate the sources of their news. There should be no form of bias in what they say.
The headlines could be inflammatory or highly misleading. Digest the news in a more balanced way and believe more in facts and not rumors
15. Step Away
Is social media toxic to you? There comes a time when the best move is to step away. Take the move of deleting your account from that platform. You will not continue to see those inflammatory messages if you have deleted your social media account.
Social media is toxic for as long as you are still an active user. The decision to walk away can be hard, but there comes a time when it is the best.
Social media is toxic, but the above tips will prevent you from becoming a victim. Just follow them, and you will discover that you will overcome most of these challenges. It is good to be extra vigilant when interacting with other people on social media. It would help if you were not among the people who are propagating toxic interactions on social media.