We’ve all seen virtual catfights. Sometimes there’s a slow build up of purposely vague posts and other times there’s no warning before it strikes, but when you mix people with more people….a catfight is sure to breakout somewhere. Whether it be on our personal social media pages, in the press or even in our office, the best thing to do is be prepared. After witnessing many a knockout, comment frenzied, online fight we’ve compiled these 5 ways best to respond to someone (or someones) trying to infect you with cat scratch fever.
Just like your momma always told you, “Ignore the bullies.” Sometimes the best way to win is to be the bigger person and not respond. Don’t feed into the chatter and don’t get involved. If you’re a business or a business professional, it may make you seem unprofessional to be seen in an online argument (especially if you’re instigating it). If you have a job – look out! Companies have been turning to social media and other sources to determine if their employees are good representatives of their company. Don’t let a social beef ruin your career.
Make it a private affair
If the topic or discussion is truly something you feel strongly about then send a private message or pick up the phone. Let the other party know you don’t feel comfortable airing your dirty laundry online, but you’d be happy to speak one on one in order to clear up a situation you feel is important. If you don’t know the person well enough to be able to pick up the phone, send an email, text message or (brace yourself for this one) send a written letter, then perhaps you don’t have enough reason to carry the conversation any further regardless. If you can’t make it private, does it really have enough weight on your life to get worked up about?
Neutrality is usually a safe way to go. If it’s not your fight – butt out. We can’t even count how many times we’ve seen people, wholly unrelated to the fight, get sucked into virtual drama. If something doesn’t directly affect you or your business, just stand on the sidelines or remove yourself from the situation (by this, we mean uncheck the “email me when there are new comments” button to the thread or post).
Be a “one and done” person
Sometimes a quick acknowledgement that someone’s comment or side was noted can be enough to pacify them. We all, deep down, just want people to know who we are (hence the “social” in social media). We’ve found this way to be one of the most effective responses to preventing or responding to hostility. A quick, “Thank you for your input. I (or we) will make sure to take it into consideration,” is often all you need.
Dazzle them with your wit and creative response to the point that you confuse them into an inability to respond and effectively declaw your opponent
We’re going to say upfront, that we don’t recommend this one unless you are a character from the Big Bang Theory, one of the writers for the Epic Rap Battles of History, or a professional comedian. If you fall into one of these two categories, please tag us so we can read your (probably) amusing response. If you don’t fall into one of these two categories, you might be the one exposing yourself to more fire and banter than previously anticipated. (Or you just made yourself look dumb….really, really,dumb. Epic fail.)
Whichever way you choose to deal with virtual catfights, remember the Internet it supposed to better our world and understanding, not be a platform for squabbles.
And here are some other words and memes that sum up how we feel about virtual drama.
Don’t start nothing, it won’t be nothing.