Did it ever so happen with you that you had incomplete or distorted knowledge or understanding of facts and you went on to express your opinions on any of the social media platforms?
What happened next? Did you get away? Or did someone with accurate facts come and make a LOL out of you?
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Guess what, almost everyone who spends a substantial amount of his time on social media has incident like this. And this problem is so chronic that John Oliver of ‘Last week tonight’ did an entire section of an episode on this, It was called “Corporations on Twitter”. Here’s the video clip of that episode for your reference.
But the fact is, no matter how many times ‘John Stewart’ shrieks on his show “Don’t fuc*ing mess around if you don’t know what’s happening”, people are always gonna make mistakes. Wait did I just say ‘John Stewart’? Its John Oliver LOL.
So whats next? What after you have made a mistake?
You can just go on and keep making a lol of yourself till everyone is bored of the topic, or you can handle it wisely and save your day. Because you definitely do not wanna be the person they laugh at. Even if you would like to think ‘They are not laughing at me, they are laughing with me’.
Here’s what you should do
8 out of 10 cases you will get away with a trollable mistake. But on the 2 off chances that you will be caught, the people who catch you will be either Fact obsessors or people whom you have hurt with what you have said. People who are obsessed with ‘Facts’ don’t really care much about the subject but are rather picking a fight because ‘What you said is not true’. On the other hand there are people who are deeply emotionally connected to the point being discussed. Ex- You say something that’s deprecative towards them or their business. Something like ‘You were really behaving like a Je*k today’ or ‘Your website sucks’. When you say these things especially on social media, if you are right people will generally be receptive about it but if what you say is based on some distorted / incomplete understanding of facts/circumstances people will rightfully be hurt and angry. And fightback is natural. So in that case the key to resolving is: once you know that you ‘might be’ wrong, you wanna start listening and thinking about what the other person is saying. Because: You might be wrong!!
Once you know that you made a mistake, stop arguing
Once you start listening, soon you are gonna realise you did make a mistake. And what you said was wrong. Remember one thing ‘Any fool can argue even if he knows he is wrong, It takes a wise person to reflect and understand that no one is invincible.’
Once know that you were wrong:
Accept your mistake
Once you stop arguing, I can assure you one thing. Things can not take a turn for the worse. Because now you already understand and accept that you made a mistake. Now it’s no more you against him. Let the ego that caused the whole thing erode.
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Understand that making a mistake is not a crime
Many times after you understand and accept that you made a mistake, you start feeling ashamed about it. The bigger the brawl the more you feel like ‘Where do I hide my face’. You have to understand that it was a mistake and that’s all it was. Yes you picked a fight, but you ‘shit happens’ and it’s not just you. It happens with everyone. So you just gotta get over it.
Go back and check your facts
After understanding that you wrong about something, the first thing you should do is, go back and check ‘What’s right’. Few of the most interesting things I know today are because I picked fights on social media with incomplete knowledge and then went on to check the facts for example- I picked this fight when someone said that the coldest inhabited place on earth was in Russia. I was like, are you NUTS. everyone knows it’s Antarctica. And then after the brawl I finally decided to find out what’s true. And guess what? The coldest place on earth is ‘Oymyakon, Russia’. And Antarctica has the coldest place on earth but it’s not inhabited per se.
What’s really interesting about the incident is: I would never remember what’s the coldest place to live on earth if I read it in some sixth grade G.K Book. But due to the circumstances under which I got to know it. I can never forget ‘Which is the coldest inhabited place on earth’.
Don’t make some stupid lame excuse
What I used to do after making a dummy of myself with incidents like that on social media was ‘Give a lamea**, stupid excuse. Something like- ‘Antarctica is the coldest place on earth and it’s not as if no-one lives there, I mean at least scientists and researchers perennially live there. So technically I wasn’t wrong.’ While I knew it very well throughout the argument that I WAS WRONG. I missed the whole point of the argument which was about “Which is the coldest inhabited place on earth”. And by saying “So technically I wasn’t wrong.” I am repeating the mistake I did the first time.
When actually, what I should be doing is:
The word ‘Sorry’ is arguably the best invention of the English language, The reason: ‘It has the power to put any argument to rest and resolve any conflict.’ Obviously, you don’t just have to SAY SORRY. You must mean it. If it has to work. Because once you apologize, it’s no longer a fight or even a conflict.
Try apologising publicly
In most cases of trolls a personal apology is enough to settle things, but many times, you might end up hurting people with what you say and especially when it’s so public as when it happens on any of the social media platforms like Facebook, twitter or any of the other ones where both your and his/her friends know what happened, A personal apology might not be enough and if you truly feel sorry for your mistake writing a post or a tweet to apologize should not be very hard. And a public apology is the strongest way to show that you really ARE sorry. And there is no one who will not forgive you after that.
Use humour to your advantage
Many times a public apology might not be an option because depending on your stature it might be too self deprecating. So what you can do instead is, use humour to your advantage. Like
Cure fine, But try to PREVENT trolling yourself
This whole post was about ‘What to do when you make a lol out of yourself on social media?’ Doesn’t mean you have to do it. The option is to prevent anything like that. And if you wanna ask ‘How to do that?’ Pretty simple, check the facts before you speak. and speak to convince people, not to prove your point. Because, even if you do manage to prove beyond doubt that you were right, no one is gonna listen to you or at least no one will empathise with you. Just because, you were being too much of a jerk.
Share your experience with trolls on the internet so that I can feature them into the next update for this post.
Don’t forget to share. It might prevent someone from becoming a LOL.
Enjoy! Have a great weekend. See you next time.