When social media turns on us — Scope | Disability forum

When social media turns on us

Zec Richardson
Zec Richardson Member Posts: 152 Pioneering
edited April 2017 in Coffee lounge
I use social media a lot, I use it to chat to friends but I also use it to share my reviews and blog posts. I also run a group on Facebook for bearded guys that has over 1200 members and I love posting and chatting. 

But recently social media turned on me, without going into specifics I was involved with some messaging that became confrontational, it then became the topic on some pages and due to pain and disability, I no longer have the ability to cope with stress and confrontation and so it made me unwell and I'm now having a flare up. 

So what can we do when this happens? 

First bit of advice and I didn't do this, stop reading what is being said about you! 

Also, even though it's tempting, don't engage with them. Some people love this and it will only be drawn out further. Sometimes the best defense is doing nothing, just like if whilst you are driving and another drive is going mad at you, just smile. 

If it is in a group, contact admin and explain what is happening but also why it's upsetting you. Some people may not understand why something is upsetting you. 

Block, Block, Block. 
Yep even if this person has been amazing for the last few years, block them if they don't stop. You could even do this temporarily until it all dies down. 

Report it. 
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all allow you to report posts or comments that are offensive or threatening. Although Facebook seems to need a massive thing before it is deemed to be offensive but even so, it puts a back mark against that person's name somewhere in the Facebook office and it may help someone else in the future. My report of someone calling me the C word and saying I should be hit with a shovel wasn't threatening but he is blocked now. 

If you are anything like me you will way overthink this type of thing, when we are already dealing with illness, disability, pain etc it doesn't take much to affect us. That's okay, there is no shame in being upset at things, even if you are 6' 4" and 20st, we're human and we all struggle. 

Tell someone, let someone know what has happened, talking helps. 

Remember Scope, this is a safe place and very well monitored and so you can always retreat to here and post, people will reply and help you or just listen. 

Stay safe, the Internet is a strange place. 



  • Sam_Alumni
    Sam_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 7,674 Disability Gamechanger
    Im really sorry you are having a tough time @Zec Richardson - I have teenage kids and your advice is the same as what I say to them. Block, ignore and move on.

    I am a blogger in my other life and so I put myself out there, as a woman I am open to abuse on social media.  I get weekly messages (unfortunately usually from men) abusing me for my looks, my opinions, my ethnicity, my weight, my feminist values and occasionally just photos of their genitals! 

    I could waste time worrying about all of these people or just ignore and spend time speaking to the rest of the world who are generally pretty lovely folk.

    I hope you are ok and I am glad you feel safe here, we work really hard to make sure everyone feels safe and happy on the community.
    Senior online community officer
  • Geoark
    Geoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,384 Disability Gamechanger
    edited May 2017

    @Zec Richardson and @Sam_Scope

    A few years ago I spent a lot of time on a parenting forum which would regularly get confrontational. One of the posters I had the greatest respect for was a woman who would always disagree with me. She would always keep to the point and not make it personal.  In the end I posted to her in a new thread, making it clear that I was not looking for an argument and asked how she was doing and the family. in the end we became good online friends, and fought our view points like cat and dogs.

    I also found a lot of inadequate individuals who could only feel good about themselves by bullying and putting others down. Or what the internet call Trolls. They are really not worth the effort, but must admit to enjoying the odd Troll baiting.

    One of the things I love about the internet is the fact I often know very little about the people I talk to other than what they choose to share. In general I have no idea if they are disabled or not, white, black, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh male  or female, or if they are LGBT. It is about interacting with individuals with different experiences, different viewpoints and different concerns. It is a chance to get to know people as individuals without preconceptions or prejudice.

    I had to laugh Sam when you mentioned people sending pictures of their genitals, if that is what they view as the best thing they have to offer another person then it really doesn't say a lot for them.

    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • SeanRyan
    SeanRyan Member Posts: 66 Connected
    Dont let the [email protected]#st's get you down Laugh every day @Zec Richardson  that last paragraph powerful stuff mind if I nick it and share Please . I am new to this forum stuff but seeing as we are all in it together I hope you dont mind.
  • hayri8756
    hayri8756 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi @Zec Richardson! I'm so sorry you're going through a hard time right now. It's tough when people abuse us for our looks, opinions and everything in between - but don't worry about them because there will always be another day (and sometimes more than one). Talk instead to the rest of humanity out here on social media who are generally pretty awesome...plus they might actually help brighten up your day ;)
  • Biblioklept
    Biblioklept Member Posts: 1,344 Pioneering
    Yep you're totally right @hayri8756!
  • woodbine
    woodbine Member Posts: 7,463 Disability Gamechanger
    The best advice would be if social media or even a forum was affecting you in a bad way is to take a break for a few days.
    Be extra nice to new members.