So you got your first negative comment on social media feed? Congratulations! You are now so awesome that you are a perceived threat to someone’s ego and they decided to let their low self-esteem be taken out on you! As a pole dancer who posts regularly to social media (Instagram being my absolute favorite), it’s hard to avoid people who are hunting to humiliate. That’s right kids! I’m talking about trolls. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, a “Troll” by dictionary definition is, “a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance.” (Go ahead, Google it!). Now with the technological age booming, and the internet being populated by all kinds of kinds, we are finding that trolls are not just creature of myth. They have now turned into actual entities that prey on anyone they can find to put down, tear down, and otherwise humiliate. Never fear, my little unicorns, The Pole Comedian has your back and is here to give you a quick and easy guide on how to deal with these evil basement-dwellers.
While it is near impossible to, “unsee what has been seen” try your best not to look at negative comments (or, at the very least, try not to take it to heart.) Remember, these trolls are most likely people who have never even met you! They don’t have any basis for their comments. Even in the instances where the troll in question is someone you know personally, it’s more than likely this person is either a) jealous of your abilities b) insecure about their own c) lonely/sad or d) all of the above. DO NOT for the love of all that is holy take whatever is being said personally. Instead, focus on the positive comments or simply focus on that feeling of pride that initiated the post to begin with. Hold on to that feeling as though it were a stuffed animal from your youth. I promise. Don’t let the voices of trolls take down unicorn such as yourself.
Step 2: Say No Evil: Don’t Respond
This is probably the most important step towards stopping a troll dead in his/her tracks. The goal of an internet troll is to get a reaction out you. DO NOT LET THAT HAPPEN. Share the comments with your friends if you must. Do basically anything except respond. In many cases you may also opt to block and/or report said troll (I know I personally had to do this a few times, most recent being when a person began calling me names, asking me a lot of personal questions like where I lived while continuing to make fun of me and calling me more explicit names). Trust me, internet battles can get real ugly real quickly especially when someone is solely out to make you mad. Do not engage. Ignore the little ugly trolls.
Step3: Hear No Evil: Let your Follows Be Your Voice
The main objective of a troll is to get YOU to react. By allowing your followers to, “stick up for you” you are not allowing the troll the satisfaction of getting his/her objective, however, you are still allowing for your own peace of mind. Whether you have 20 followers or 20,000 followers, people care about you and they will stick up for you. Let them. That being said, make sure that the comments don’t get abusive. Regardless of who this troll is, there is a threshold to consider and you certainly don’t want to cross that line. If things get out of control you have many options. You can delete the whole thread (or in the case of Facebook, you can turn off or disable further comments on some forums). You can talk to your friends and respectfully ask that they stop. You can also do some combination to the two. Go with your gut on this one. The “grey zone” is a large one in this scenario but going into the “black” is only going to make things worse or turn you into the bad guy. Be careful and tread lightly.
Internet trolls are the trash of the universe. They prey on your insecurities in an effort to stroke their own ego. Be smart, be kind, and don’t feed the trolls.