Dealing with hate (meaning negative feedback from one’s audience) as a content creator could be upsetting and overwhelmingly detrimental to one’s mental health. It goes without saying (yes, I’m aware that I’m saying it, but still…) that derogatory, hate-crime, sexist and anti-semantic comments—just anything that aims to hurt someone else—are not only uncalled for but also are unnecessary. If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all. Nevertheless, we live in a society where there are people that would disagree and give some long-speech, or not. Still, the point is that there has been a recent surge of hate comments posted underneath content creators’ pictures. That is not to say that negative comments are solely done on Instagram, for one could experience it on Tiktok, Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter.
For instance, even though she would not call herself a content creator, Chrissy Teigen had recently deleted her Twitter account, and all of her other social media accounts, due to relentless bullying. As a result, she admitted that the persona she had portrayed to the outer world, strong, quick-with-the-comebacks, resilient, was not truly who she was as a person. Instead, she had been greatly affected by comments that were meant to inflict pain and, basically, bully her until she cracked. Which she did after being on social media for 10 years. Before deleting her Twitter account, here was her final goodbye: “Hey For over 10 years, you guys have been my world. I honestly owe so much to this world we have created here. I truly consider so many of you my actual friends. But it’s time for me to say goodbye. This no longer serves me as positively as it serves me negatively, and I think that’s the right time to call something. My life goal is to make people happy. The pain I feel when I don’t is too much for me. I’ve always been portrayed as the strong clap back girl but I’m just not. My desire to be liked and fear of pissing people off has made me somebody you didn’t sign up for, and a different human than I started out here as! Live well, tweeters. I encourage you to know and never forget that your words matter. No matter what you see, what that person portrays, or your intention. For years I have taken so many small, 2-follower count punches that at this point, I am honestly deeply bruised. I have made my mistakes, throughout years and in front of hundreds of thousands, and been held accountable for them. I’ve learned an incredible amount here. God I have said fucked up shit and killed myself over it as much as you killed me. But one thing I haven’t learned is how to block out the negativity. I’m just a sensitive shit, okay!? I don’t wanna be this way! I just am! But I love you guys and I cherish our time together. I truly do. I also hate you.”
Despite Chrissy Teigen’s exit, there are countless other high-profiled celebrities, or content creators so to speak, that have or are going through the same experience on these social media platforms. When it comes to bullying or negative feedback, here are a few steps that one can incorporate into their daily routine.
Step one: Sit in it.
For this step, I believe Chari Mari, who is a blogger, Youtuber, and has her own podcast, DesignLife, said it best: “Without a doubt, the hardest hate to recover from comments that mention a flaw you already see in yourself…. When this happens, I find acknowledging the emotion to be helpful. How has this made me feel? Am I sad right now? Frustrated? Angry, even? You should for sure ignore their words and not take them to heart, but ignoring your emotions is never healthy. Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you’re feeling in order to process it.”
Step two: Delete and Block
Like Charli Mari, she also struggles with dealing with hate comments, which is something that I think a lot of people in society battle with. One never knows whether to delete the comment or ignore it. But I’m here to tell you, if it does not feel right, not only delete the comment but also block the person. Also, “It’s up to you, and only you, to decide where your line is…. There’s no hard and fast rule about what is acceptable and what isn’t here… Blocking may feel extreme (especially when you’re trying to grow an audience!) but I promise you that your own mental health and the way you feel about yourself is more important than a vanity metric. And by deleting and blocking, you’re eliminating the possibility of you seeing that specific piece of negativity again. It’s one less piece of hate in the world for others to see when they read your comment section too.”
Step three: Move on
I know it is easier said than done, but it shouldn’t be totally off the table. When you move on, it does not mean you are a punk or sensitive. It just simply means that you are in a place in your life where you would rather not tolerate negative energy in your life. And also, if you really think about it, for someone to leave a hurtful comment under someone else’s page is pathetic and says a lot about them and who they are as a person. Clearly, you would not have hung out with this person if you were around them. Yet again, the majority of the time, the person behind that account would not have the balls to say that to your face. For that reason, move on! On top of that, Marli added her own experience when she had decided to move on: “I’ve found that the more I process my initial reaction though, the quicker I’m able to move on from it. Sadly too, just like your heart-rate recovery time gets quicker the more you exercise, the more you deal with hate the easier it will be to let it go. And you do have to let it go. Because the haters don’t deserve you expending any more mental energy on them than you already have.”
And I leave you with this: “Letting a concern about the potential for hate hold you back from creating content is like staying in your house 24/7 to avoid being hit by a car. Sure, you’ve eliminated the ability for it to affect you, but you’re missing out on a lot of potential positives too. And the world is missing out on your content; your point of view.”