Many times I’ve chatted with friends who have disclosed how uncomfortable a comment someone left on their social media post made them feel, only to see them turn around and show approval for the comment by liking it.
I have immense love and respect for every single one of my friends, and also for you, the beautiful human reading this post, which is why I feel the need to let you know how important it is to acknowledge the detrimental habit of offering immediate approval of shitty comments left on your social feeds.
You might be thinking, whatever, who cares, it’s social media, turn it off or ignore it. To that, I say social media is the prime source of connection and collaboration these days. By collaboration I mean it’s a place where we come together and create new empowering views – where we learn and evolve as human beings, together as a community. Which is why it’s a powerful place to set boundaries and standards for how we wish to be treated.
Forgoing the need to please people who leave passive aggressive or inappropriate comments on your personal posts is hella important.
Even more so is not letting your desire to not have issues with anyone come before calling out people when they belittle, minimize, or generally just act like ego maniacs on social media.
I’m not asking you to get busy figuring out a way to school a person who left a shitty comment. I mean ideally, a conversation would be great, so that you could set a boundary and let them know you’re not OK with what they’re up to. But that often leads to us putting a lot of effort into trying to communicate with people who just want to argue all the ways in which you’re irrational when you assert yourself. And that’s exhausting and unproductive.
Suffice it to say, some folks aren’t up for turning a conversation into a chance to grow, which is why I say sometimes it’s best to not try to communicate with them and just stick to not pressing the like button.
The best way to get people to question their unnecessary and unsupportive comments on your posts is to stop liking them.
You don’t need to put out the effort to ensure everyone who contributes their opinion to your social media feed is comfortable having done so. You don’t need to try to make something denigrating acceptable. As Clarissa Pinkola Estes speaks of in her book, Women Who Run with the Wolves,
“This early training to “be nice” causes women to override their intuitions.”
We need to unlearn our training. If someone posts something unsupportive or rude or misogynistic, let them be responsible for it.
Let them wonder why you liked the comments that showed support, but not theirs;
Let them get confused over why you deleted their comment or sent them a message letting them know it was appropriate;
Let the commenters question their choices and live with their feelings that stem from the inquiry process.
Until you’re ready to insta-delete comments posted to serve the commenter and minimize you, or confront the instigator (’cause let’s be real, that’s what they’re doing: instigating) stop using the like button so much, ok?
I’m specifically talking to the ladies.
We do this all the time, and we are contributing to pervasive ignorance and the diminishment of our wellbeing when we do it. Therefore, we are contributing to the denigration of society. Therefore, we need to stop.
I care about you and want you to be empowered. When you stop showing support for unsupportive comments, you not only empower yourself, you empower others women, too.
So make a conscious effort to put an end to normalizing the acceptance of shitty online behavior, OK?
Let’s commit to doing better, here and now, so we can do better later and in other departments of our lives.
Because acts of empowerment enable more acts of empowerment.
Summary: If someone leaves a shitty comment, keep your fingers away from the like button. And don’t be shy about using the delete button, either. 😳
You are loved. Happy weekend. That is all.