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  • Valérie Gillet

Let's stop being d***s on social media



Lately, I've been posting less on LinkedIn.


Basically, I'm shocked by the way people, including me sometimes, are just mean on social media.


It's distressing to check your phone and find comments from people who've never met you and who think they know everything about you because they've read three lines you've written.


Last week, I wrote a post about how it was difficult for me to have a constructive discussion with my dad at the moment because we don't see eye to eye on most political and social subjects and he's getting more intransigeant as he gets older.


I underlined the importance of maintaining a dialogue with the people surrounding us, even those we disagree with. In this day and age, and as we grow older, we tend only to talk with people who share our opinions.


A guy from nowhere with no profile picture or credentials commented on my post, accusing me of being a horrible person who doesn't love her dad and a filthy leftist who, like all my peers, spits on right-wing people without trying to hear and understand them.


I replied to his condescending and patronising comments, calling for more nuances and explaining that my post pinpointed that as we grow older, we should become more open to listening to what others have to say even though we don't agree with them instead of discarding the points they make just because they disagree with us.


But trolls are not on social media to read what others write and react with sensible arguments.


Trolls want to argue, attack, hurt and aggress.


The worst thing is that often trolls don't even realise they are trolls. They just react as they see fit, judging, harassing and insulting people they don't know just for the sake of it.


Because they get used to it. It becomes their normality.


This reality has become the new normal, not only for common cyberbullies, but for most of us.


We all tend to enter pointless arguments on social media, becoming meaner until we become trolls ourselves.


I blocked the man who commented that I was a horrible abusive leftist who doesn't love her dad and who treats older people like sh*t.


I deleted his comments under my post.


It's not the first time I erase aggressive or mean comments on my social media, including from friends and family.


Those are my accounts and I choose what appears on them. If you want to be a bully, do it on your own wall or in real life.


Even though I am happy to argue about anything in a constructive manner, I hate open confrontations about personal matters when all you intended was to discuss political, social or philosophical issues and not what you're worth as a person.


I don't know whether I'll continue posting things on LinkedIn which are not strictly limited to how I earn a living.


But it's a shame.


Picture: My dad talking and my younger self already not agreeing back in the 90s... ;-)

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