By Anusha Bapat

When you put yourself out on the internet, you will be susceptible to a whole spectrum of criticism. Along with the positivity that encouraging messages bring, you will have to battle the negativity that comes with the naysayers. Trolling can damage your self-esteem if not dealt with the right way. 

Here are three tips to combat online negativity-

Don’t bother responding: 

The first thing to remember is that internet trolls do nothing but hide behind fake accounts on their computers and go out of their way to cause misery to people enjoying their life. They want to bring down people who are successful and happy because they aren’t. They are projecting their insecurities on people who are doing better than them. You must be doing something right to get a reaction from them.Trolls exhibit a psychological trait known as ‘negative social potency’. They thrive on hurting others and receiving attention from other trolls.Trolls get pleasure by upsetting a person, so responding only proves it’s affecting you and encourages them to continue.

Let the social media app deal with the problem: 

Block and report the troll and ask your friends to do the same. All social media apps have guidelines against harassment. Let them do the job of removing the troll from the platform for good. A lot of trolls go to the extent of creating new accounts. Instagram has introduced a new feature that allows you to block all current and new accounts a person makes. Using the ignore feature or comment moderator hides all comments/ certain words and messages from trolls. 

If the trolling is causing you too much frustration and anxiety, it’s a good idea to take a break from the toxicity. Keep social media usage to the minimum if you can’t take a complete break from it. You can’t control the things trolls say but you can control the time and attention you give them. 

File a police report if things get serious:

If a troll threatens you by revealing private information or starts sending you death threats, call the police. Make sure you screenshot or screen record the evidence of them harassing you so that you can take proper legal action. Identify your closest cyber cell and lodge a complaint. You can file an FIR at a police station if you can’t locate a cyber cell. Your online safety is important and you should be aware of your rights. 

At the end of the day, it’s essential to realize that receiving hate is a given when you use social media. Try taking the criticism with a grain of salt and ignore the mindless hate. The trolls most likely don’t even know you personally and will get bored when they realize you’re unbothered by the hate.