I had one of my TikToks go viral, reaching 13 million views. This led to an article by Yahoo News and my own episode on the Something Was Wrong Podcast. While I am used to dealing with online haters and trolls, the success and wide reach of this story brought even more negative comments and criticism. I learned a lot from this situation. Cyberbullying and trolling unfortunately come with the territory of being a Creator, and it's important to be aware of the toll it can take.
Here are some ways trolls can impact Creators:
Drain your energy: Negative comments and criticism can be emotionally exhausting. But what is even more exhausting is engaging with them. Responding to these kinds of comments can take up a lot of time and energy.
Make you doubt yourself and your content: They can make you question yourself and the things you do thus taking the fun, freedom and passion out of creating.
Distract you from your goals: Fear created by trolls can potentially derail Creators' efforts and prevent them from posting content, impacting productivity.
Affect mental health: hate comments can cause anxiety and depression, which can negatively impact Creators' mental health and well-being.
After going through the comment section of my viral video, I took a break from social media for a few months. By not creating, my career was on hold, and I wasn't reaching the people I had cultivated such a meaningful online community with. During this time, I had a great interview with Tiffany Reece from the Something Was Wrong Podcast. We talked about dealing with trolls and came to the conclusion that they are only keeping you from doing good. That is what sharing on my TikTok is all about—spreading positivity, awareness, kindness, and laughs. 200,000 people out there care about me and what I have to say. I do it for them! And, I do it for myself. No one else matters.
How to deal with trolls:
Remember who they are: They are called trolls for a reason. Most of them don't even have real profiles and are likely projecting their own insecurities and jealousy onto others.
Block them: You have the power to block or report toxic users, so take advantage of it.
Ignore them: Don't engage with them or respond to their comments. You don't owe them anything. You don't have to explain or defend yourself to anyone. As long as you are happy with who you are and the content you put out there, their opinion of that doesn’t matter.
Make it a joke: Responding to negative comments with a clever or funny remark can sometimes help defuse the situation and show that you're not taking their negativity to heart.
Focus on the positive: It’s easy to focus on the negative, but don’t forget to look at all the positive comments! Focus on the positive feedback you receive, and let that motivate you to keep going.
Stay true to yourself: Being an influencer means being a good influence in the world. Don't let trolls bring you down and keep you from doing good. Stay true to who you are, and the right people will appreciate you for it.
One person can make a difference. If you think social media is a negative space, do your part to make it better. Show your support to the people you love. Leave likes, positive comments, and share content that you enjoy. Message them and tell them you appreciate them. I call my TikTok followers my “support group” because we truly have created such a beautiful place of positivity, relatability, and love for each other.
Social media can be a beautiful place to connect with others around the world. We have the power to make the world a better place, let’s do it.