The internet is pretty sweet right? We can all agree on that. But for people who are dealing with online hate, it can be a really rubbish place to spend time. The comments section on most articles, photos, YouTube videos and and celebrity Instagram’s are pretty much a minefield of tough to read insults or outright lies, and when that is directed at you, it can feel overwhelming and pretty damn lonely.
The most important thing to remember if you are going through online abuse is that you are not alone. We’ve got your back and that’s why we’ve created a toolkit of how to deal with online hate.
Getting angry after receiving some nasty comments is pretty unsurprising, especially when a lot of them are written just to upset you. Using breathing techniques will help get your emotions under control and give you a minute to think about what you want to do next.
Try following the GIF below – breathe in as the circle expands and breathe out as it gets smaller, and repeat. It might not have you feeling completely chill, but it should help to take the edge off and clear your mind a little.
Being a keyboard warrior can be a good thing when it comes to saving the planet, or fighting injustice, but not so much when it comes to dealing with online hate. It’s natural to want to jump on your phone and start tapping away a reply that is both hilarious and devastating, but you might find yourself quickly stuck in a feud that even a drama channel would probably stay out of.
So, instead of insulting them back, think about what you really want to happen as a result of this – the chances are, a long drawn out argument in your DM’s is probably not the one.
3) Report it
Everyone should have a pretty basic understanding of when and where to report stuff online and on different platforms. You can find a super quick guide to where you can do it on the big 3 (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) in our Ultimate Guide to Cyberbullying here.
You can also report it to us here if you have already tried reporting to social media sites with no luck and we will get it taken down for you. Basically, we’ve done all the work for you so you can just get it sorted!
4) Take a Break
If it’s on social media, take a break from it. We know it’s often easier said than done, when friends are organising their boss weekend plans in IG DM’s, but it will be pretty crucial to you feeling better. It can feel really overwhelming when you are dealing with online hate, but taking a break from where it is happening will help you realise that your world is much bigger than your inbox.
Try leaving your phone at home when you hang out with your pals or put it somewhere safe and out of sight when you are chilling with the family, an turn off your social media notifications. Trust us, a little bit of distance from it will make the world of difference.
If you have a big following who expect to see some new pictures uploaded every day, try using a scheduling service so you can still take your much-needed break without your audience getting rowdy for their avocado toast pic.
4) Take Care of You
Dealing with online hate can be really stressful. Try some stress management techniques to make sure you are looking after yourself through it all. This epic list of 101 Ways to Chill Out and Reduce Stress will give you some super speedy suggestions for getting on top of it, and you can also read our Ultimate Guide to Stress to understand a bit more about it.
A bit of self-care goes a long way when you are dealing with online hate. Make sure you take a bit of time for yourself to do something you love or that you find relaxing that doesn’t involve being glued to your phone.
Why not try taking a long walk, practising a new makeup look or hairstyle, invite a friend out for a kick about or watch your fave movie complete with a gigantic bowl of popcorn. Doing what you love will help you focus on yourself rather than the situation and remind you that you are so much more than the hate you’re getting.
6) Talk to Someone
Getting online abuse can make you really angry but it can also make you feel pretty lonely. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone in this, and we’re certainly here if you wanna get it off your chest. Click here to join our community and get advice from real people like you and our trained mentors.
Otherwise, talking to a trusted friend, parent, teacher, or colleague will help you have an outlet for what is going on and ensures you will have someone to support you through it.
Want to learn more?
This article is part of our #GamersUnite series. Visit the hub for more advice, tips and ways to support other gamers.