Online Survival Guide
There is nothing that shows our human fallen nature faster than reading comments on YouTube video. People can express their unsolicited options in the harshest of terms. Anytime you express yourself or share something you believe in on social media, from fashion to faith, you run the risk of getting some painfully nasty comments. Here are six ways to survive engaging hostile people online:
- Prayer: Praying isn't the "easy way out." Rather prayer will invite God into the conversation. Ask him to focus you on who/what is really important. (Hint: it isn't the angry post). Pray for wisdom and for a response (or non response) that will be pleasing to him.
- Do Not Respond: It is so tempting to respond to a person posting the raging ranting, bashing, or degrading comment. Such comments push our "internal justice button" and we want to tell them all the reasons they are wrong and mean! Usually nothing good comes of responding. As it says in Proverbs 26:4, "Do not answer a fool according to his folly or you will be like him yourself." Most times these comments really aren't personal, so do not view them that way. Instead, if the comment is really ugly, delete it, pray (!) and move on.
- Respond: This may seem like a contradiction to the above statement, yet, there will be times when an angry comment is made because the person has been misinformed. In this case, take some time to think about how to respond. Good responses can take some time to formulate so that your tone doesn't come across as harsh or condescending. Also consider what source or links you might want to provide. Remember you are working to correct the misunderstanding, not to correct the person.
- Reserve the Right to Block the Offender- Some people practice a random hatter commenting, and others will persist in their attacks. If you have a person who strongly opposes your online evangelism efforts, you can always block them. Their negative comments don't only affect you but have the potential to hurt others as well.
- Be Honest with Other Christians: Sometimes, even when we try not to take comments personally, one will still get to us. Be open in sharing this with a Christian friend- offline. Let them know what hurt you, and ask for prayer.
- Prayer: Again. Seriously. Pray for the person who offended you. It is hard to hold onto anger when you pray for them.
Here are six simple ways to survive a harsh comment online. What else have you found?