I want to share my voice, I won’t be forced to be silent. However, I don’t want to have to accept the fear and anxiety that comes with being personally attacked.
This post was a difficult one to write because I don’t want you (my readers) to think that I throw my opinions around without thought and get angry and upset when someone responds with an alternate view to my own. I understand and respect that everyone is entitled to an opinion and I am not implying that just because I hold a different opinion to the mainstream that I should be immune to others responses. I do however believe that if I raise an opinion that is educated and not an attack on any person and/or group that I can expect to be responded to with an equally intellectual opinion. Unfortunately I am often attacked by “trolls” or “keyboard warriors” on a personal level – no direct response to the issue or event that I have posted about is provided.
My most recent “troll” attack was last night. I posted a personal opinion with an open ended question to Twitter about a recent world event that had a trending hashtag. I won’t discuss the actual event that I am referring to because it isn’t relevant to this post. Within 5 minutes of publishing my tweet I had 2 individuals posting negative replies to my tweet – that in itself doesn’t bother me because I believe social media is there to encourage discussion. BUT despite my non-discriminante response to these individuals comments I was met with downright nasty abuse – my presumed culture, religion and appearance were attacked in the most vile ways. I showed my husband these tweets and he was mortified and immediately told me to take down the tweet that upset these people. I didn’t take down my initial tweet however I did remove some of the more vile comments that were directed at me.
Having and sharing an opinion about an event or something that is important to you is great. Attacking an individual on a personal level for holding a different opinion to your own is NOT OK – I thought that was common knowledge.
My questions to you are, how should I respond (if at all) to these individuals? How do I cope personally with these attacks? And, is getting personally attacked just something I need to suck up and get used to?