Hey Trish: I have so many annoying comments from people I don’t even know on my Insta posts. Help!
Thank you so much for raising this important topic – and thank you to those of you who are following along, because by reading this/educating yourself, you’re equipping yourself to help others around you struggling with unwanted comments. And indeed, annoying, snarky, unwanted comments – often from folks you might not even know – abound on social media. Seeing those comments on posts or content you’ve created can be frustrating and sometimes saddening. With that said, let me begin by validating what you’re experiencing. It’s unfortunately quite common, and, I promise, is an issue that affects almost everyone, not just you. (I’ve been on the receiving end of some unwanted comments, too!)
It raises the question – what to do? Are we doomed to deal with unwanted comments? The good news is that the answer to that question is no. You can tackle unwanted comments, both by 1) leveraging social media tools available to you on popular platforms, 2) building a network of positivity online, and 3) never letting social media – and snarky comments – define you. In this post, I give you a brief overview of each of the three techniques.
I’ll begin with leveraging social media tools that can help you keep unwanted comments out of sight and out of mind. Many popular social media platforms, including Instagram – which was referenced in the question – have such tools. The most common tool is, of course, to delete comments. On Instagram, you can do that by simply swiping on a comment, then deleting it. On Insta, you can also hide comments you don’t want on your posts. Go to Settings, then Privacy, and then tap Hidden Words. Below the section entitled “Hide offensive content,” you can do exactly that for comments. (You can also unhide those comments, should you choose.) This puts you in charge of your posts – as you should be! If there’s a specific person you don’t want commenting on your posts (and in which case, I’m sorry; I know how tough that is – check out Ask Trish’s posts on taking on bullies!), you can also block specific commenters. On Insta, again go to Settings, then Privacy, and then Comments; in the section “Block comments from,” tap “People” and add the folks you want to block. These solutions, while certainly imperfect, can help keep unwanted comments away and give you the social media experience you deserve.
Another way to tackle unwanted comments is to actively and intentionally build a network of positivity online. Many cyberbullies are looking for a low-cost, high-impact way to say something rude or mean – so if they see your comment section is filled with positivity, they may be more hesitant to say something rude, or rightly realize that their words can’t compare to the positive, friendly culture you’ve facilitated. The easiest way to do this? Build a network! Write positive comments on your friends’ content, and have them do the same for yours. By building a positive network, you can not only deter folks who don’t have anything nice to say, you’ll have constant reminders – from the people you care the most about – that you are perfect, loved, unique, and special. Many social media friends already do this informally – but chatting about it (e.g. “Y’all, we should comment nice things on each other’s posts; it’s so sweet to see!”) can be a great way to solidify and strengthen your network. Good vibes only, please!
Finally, it’s important to remember: social media, while fun and an incredible way to connect with others, can also be problematic. It’s so critical, then, that you never tie your self-worth to comments online. Snarky comments are never fun – and I never want to say that you should “get over them” or “pretend they don’t exist” – we all know that that never works. Words matter – and can hurt. But remembering that folks that don’t know you – and who are likely struggling with their own issues and problems – could never, ever define you. It’s easy to get lost in social media, but by intentionally reminding yourself that you are better, stronger, and far more important than online critics, you can reduce their power – and maybe even show them that being mean isn’t such a great gig. #facts
Again, thank you so much for raising this topic and following along! I hope this post is a helpful resource as you navigate unwanted, snarky comments online. And now, for my end-of-post request: if you’re looking for answers to similar questions – or completely unrelated questions – please join the conversation! Share any internet-related questions, thoughts, or perspectives here (and your topic just might be featured in an upcoming TikTok/blog post!). Anything you’re experiencing is totally valid – and by sharing your perspective, you might help others in our community experiencing the same thing(s). 💙 One last thing: don’t forget that if you see an Ask Trish video you like, you should give it a like and share it on your social media. Let’s build our incredible #AskTrish community!
Thank you all,