Sticks and stones….!
The rise of the internet and social media has enhanced many people’s lives, including mine. I love being able to reach a wider audience, to make connections I couldn't possibly have made before and to keep in touch with a valuable circle of contacts and friends alike. Of course, like everything, it has it's pros and cons. The ability to connect with many people, gives them the ability to connect with you, and not all of them are nice. Some people seem to take great pleasure in being rude to complete strangers, simply because they disapprove of their life, dress sense, choice of partner or any one of a number of other things. It's become so widespread that it's even got its own name!
Whilst I'm fully aware of it, I don't understand it. It's not that I don't understand why people do it, sadly there are just some unpleasant people in the world. What I struggle with is why minor criticism bothers the receiver. Anything other than wholesale bullying and threats of physical violence should just be ignored. I value the views of those superior to me, and I want them to be proud of what I have achieved. Similarly I value the views of those junior to me. I want them to look up to me and respect me. If they didn't, I would either be disappointed in myself for not coming up to scratch, or disappointed in them for misjudging me. Either way, their opinions matter.
The opinions of some silly misguided children masquerading as opinionated adults does not both me at all. I don't know them, and I don't care what they think of me, or those around me. I make up my own mind about others, and the people that I want to cultivate relationships with are likely to be those who are bright enough to make up their own minds about me. I can speak from experience when I say this as, like many, I have been the victim of so called Trolling, as well as receiving death threats over the phone from anonymous people following some mass redundancies at a company I was the solicitor for. Was I happy about it? No, of course not. Did it bother me? No, not really. I felt sorry for those who were so desperate to try and hurt me that they would resort to such playground like name calling. For at the end of the day, that's all it really was, sticks and stones.
Nevertheless, whilst untrue comments on line may not upset you personally they could damage you professionally and sometimes you need to take action to protect your name, your family or your business. If you need help getting your on line profile rectified or advice on defamation, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org for some grown up advice on childish behaviour.