Social Media Cyber Bullying and Mean-Spirited Comments | Sales Blog by Chris Lott

Social Media Cyber Bullying and Mean-Spirited Comments

Social Media and Mean-Spirited Comments

I was raised in a witty, cutting, aggressive dialogued environment and became a master of it in high school and college. With this background it would be easy to derail conversations for my own purpose. Regardless, I have consciously decided not to do so; one… out of manners and respect for the author, and two… for the possibility to learn something new. I would never lash out with a personal attack as I see that as a weak and small minded response. I wish that were true of others.

You’ve seen and read these commentator’s… foul languaged, personal insults, with no regard to intellectual dialogue whatsoever. They try, and many times succeed, in derailing the conversation of a great discussion or article topic towards their own agenda. While I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion they do not. Their ideas are the only ones that count… at least in their own limited mind. This trend in conversation is starting to grow exponentially. Especially in social media.

Social media is a great tool to get the word out. Unfortunately many abuse this power. They hide behind their virtual diatribe with virtual bravery. And yet I have always found these assassins of conversation a little less brave when they can’t hide behind an email, blog discussion, or status… when they are confronted live. It is tempting to retaliate.

How easy it would be for me to find their “works” and unmercifully critique, personally attack, comment aggressively against everything they believe and are doing for my personal satisfaction and agenda. Trust me… there are many times that I have thought about doing just that. I simply choose to take the high road… to keep an open mind.

“They hide behind their virtual diatribe with virtual bravery.” -Chris Lott

I had a discouraging experience with biznik.com. Biznik had become a tool to see what interest my articles would attract. My last one offered was on crowdsourcing. Instantly it started to receive very mean-spirited responses (comments). It seems there are some pretty nervous (scared) artists that see this as a direct attack on their industry. The personal attacks starting flying…

Many sites have protections against these types of comments. Technorati.com for example has the warning “Personal attacks are NOT allowed” in their comment section. Most venues at least give me the option to delete a comment on something I wrote. Unfortunately biznik.com did not, or at least it was not made clear if they did. On top of that they immediately put two featured articles that represented anti-crowdsourcing back to back after I pulled mine. Obviously this spotlight on these articles suggests an agenda as to get any article “featured” is very difficult. I canceled my subscription with them after being a paying member for around two years. Disappointing.

Stop Giving Mean-Spirited Comments:

    1. Self Control: Hold your personal barbs regardless of how right you are in your message.

    2. Self Discipline: Treat others with respect… like you would want to be treated. Put yourself in their shoes before you “impress” them with your rude comments.

    3. Education: Act educated even if you’ve never graduated from a college or university.

Social media is such a powerful tool for new concepts, ideas, and general intellectual growth. Show some self-restraint and comment accordingly. We could all learn something new.

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Written by Chris Lott

Chris Lott has over 20+ years experience in Sales, Sales Management, Business Ownership, and Product Development.

He is currently working for a cloud business communications company. Contact or tweet him for a FREE Cloud Communications Quote .

10 comments on “Social Media Cyber Bullying and Mean-Spirited Comments
  1. I’ve written a few articles in my time and it’s important to “weed out” those that have a valid point, whether you agree with it or not and those contributors that just want to say something controversial or just provoke a reaction. It’s difficult to keep your hands away from the keyboard if someone really riles you but in the long term, not reacting is the best course of action – no matter how tempting it is!

  2. Dave Balbas

    It’s an unfortunate by-product of the cyber world we live in. These people can launch tirades and personal attacks they would never consider in a face-to-face meeting. It just goes to show that lack of class knows no boundaries.

  3. Benjamin

    This is a great article. I have had a recent incident with the “help” forum on Craigslist. I found the people who I was looking to for advice were only interested in proclaiming their personal feelings about a job positng. When I complimented one of them for responding in a respectful manner he even turned on me with rude reply. I just don’t understand what the point is. If you want to voice your oppinion that is fine but do it in a respectful and respectable manner.

  4. Brett Hoffman

    People just forgot how to agree to disagree. Some minds are not going to be changed and making spiteful comments is not going to win them over. It is easier to cut people down when they express a differing viewpoint than it is to address the points where logic breaks down.
    Social media also provides an autonomous platform where the commenter is out of reach of the person that they’re sending a message to. The unlikelihood of ever coming into contact with the other individual creates a sense of security freeing the person to make comments that they’d never say to the other persons face. The impersonal nature of electronic communications make it easy to forget that there’s another human being on the other end to receive it.

  5. Kelly McGuire

    Agreed. If you don’t have something constructive to contribute, don’t comment. It is a waste of time for everyone.

  6. Ah Chris, you are a man after my own heart! I find it disappointing that so many find the false “anonymity” of the internet an opportunity to speak and act in ways that they would never dream of displaying face-to-face. I also find it disheartening that there seems to be such a shift in the understanding of discussion and debate from reasoned discourse and exchange of ideas – even directly oppositional ones – to personal attacks, verbal abuse and violent disagreement.
    There is nothing I enjoy more than a spirited conversation, stimulating debate and the opportunity to learn or understand something in a new light. Here’s to the internet teaching those skills, and, perhaps creating a social discourse that is actually uplifting and innovative.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts Chris!

  7. I fully agree with what you have written here. Being anonymous is somehow seen as a reason to not be civil. Or worse, being anonymous is seen as permission to be nasty. Like anyone who writes and posts a lot, I’ve had my fair share of attacks. But I learned to be quiet in response to those attacks because what the posters are looking for is simply attention.

    Thanks for posting this.

  8. joseph waddle

    I often ask myself before hitting send… “Self”:-)), “would you say this in person” ? This would solve most of that problem. Be Good Humans

  9. Very good article Chris. The “trolls” will needle at you and keep it up until they get you going. They have nothing better to do, I’m convinced of that.

    Sometimes, I’ve given in to the trolls (I gave in more when I first started social media and much less now). One thing tha is certain, if you feed a troll, they’ll keep coming back to get more food anytime they are hungry. The best thing I’ve found is to stop feeding the trolls and they will quit coming back to eat…

    Cheers,

    Roger

  10. Pete Butler

    I couldn’t agree more. Like you, I have received very personal attacks (on Linkedin) in some business valuation discussion boards by one person specifically. I posted some thoughts related to a new way of looking at a private company’s cost of capital. Like you, I recognize that the naysayer feels very threatened by the approach as he has a “competing” method available for our peers to use.
    Rather than debate the merits of the two techniques, he stoops to calling me names. He obviously is finding change to be hard!

    I have actually found his lunatic rants pretty amusing… and sad. Amazingly, I do not believe that he even thinks that he is harming his reputation to be saying such childish things in print.

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