Unless your only experience with the Internet is browsing and not interacting with anyone, you have most likely experienced harassment on some level. It’s just hard to avoid, no matter your intentions. The big question is how you react to it.
It can affect everyone from teenagers to adults to people on social media to gamers. In fact, a recent survey reported that 65% of online gamers experience “severe harassment.” How do you deal with online harassment?
Sayak has a “sticks and stones” policy for interacting online. “If I find something I don’t like, it’s so much easier to tune out.” He believes it’s the way the Internet was designed. Yet, he also believes we may all be better off with a “good riddance” policy sometimes.
Last year he deleted his Quora account, as every time he logged in, he’d be “greeted by a new collection of mean-spirited comments.” He found inner peace deleting that account. Being that he finds a different experience with Reddit, he believes harassment is platform-specific. “If you value your time and mental peace, stay away from any online platform that sucks your energy levels.”
Miguel reports he mostly shrugs his shoulders at it. “The best way to counter real danger is to keep significant distance between your sensitive information and the rest of the world.” If someone is going to harass him on the phone, that’s one thing, but when he gets a death threat from “some lowlife on social media,” he couldn’t care less and doesn’t see the issue.
Simon is one of those 65% who experiences harassment while gaming, but he adds he utilizes a mute feature these days. He mutes them, moves on, and tries not to think about it. “If I find myself muting people a lot, the game isn’t for me!”
Fabio blocks as many as he can using whatever means necessary, but admits, “There are times when I’m like, whatever.”
Phil has a zero-tolerance policy. If someone harasses or tries to provoke him online, he blocks/unfriends/reports them, as it’s pointless trying to ignore it all. “Best form of defense is to cut ’em off without a second’s hesitation.”
I use a mixture of all the above strategies. I do try to ignore at some point but admit there are a few occasions where I will get pulled into a confrontation, as I can get very defensive. I try not to let it get to me, however. But if I can’t shake them? Yes, I’ll block, unfriend, or report them as well.
I was doing daily entertainment commentary on YouTube, and the comments were brutal. Not even “harassment.” Just flat-out brutal. The worst was someone saying I deserved the cancer I had a few years ago because I believe in children getting vaccinated. This was followed with a video with me as the subject with the person calling out to their followers to harass me.
Do you have a policy for your own tolerance of harassment? Do you ignore, block, unfriend, etc.? How do you deal with online harassment? Chime in and add your thoughts and experiences to our comments below.