Dan and I are in Paris! Let the guest posts continue!
Today I have the honor of sharing my platform with Marisa Mohi, who blogs at her self-titled website. She is a college instructor in Norman, Oklahoma. If you’d like to hear more of what she has to say, you can buy her a cup of coffee and she’ll talk your ear off. Otherwise, you can check her out on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
Last month, Brita wrote about feminist fatigue. And it’s definitely easy to feel feminist fatigue when you feel like you can’t make a difference, or when you feel like women’s progress is taking a step back. Or, hell, when you’ve witnessed any element of the past presidential election. It’s easy to feel like you’re under attack when you express a view on the Internet, and doubly so when you express your feminist beliefs.
And even though you can’t stop people from making rude comments that derail the conversation, or personal attacks against you, you can control how you react to that sort of thing. That’s why today I’m bringing you five ways feminists can take care of themselves online.
Step away from the big conversation, and find a smaller space.
If you’ve ever posted a feminist message on social media, you know that it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the sheer amount of negative comments it can bring. It’s easy to tell yourself that you should just ignore those comments, but we all know that can be nearly impossible.
But that’s the great thing about social media. There’s enough space for everyone. So, if you find that posting something to your Facebook page brings a lot of negativity and conversation derailing nonsense, don’t hesitate to go to a smaller space, like a Facebook group. Closed groups are a great place to not only reach an attentive audience, but they’re also a great place to really connect with like-minded people.
Similarly, Twitter chats are great for the same purpose. And while a Twitter chat will show up in your regular timeline, you’re still directly engaging with the people you want to be talking to, which keeps the conversation on track.
Block with reckless abandon.
I’m a big advocate of the block button. Some people think it’s childish to block others, but I say go for it. When someone responds to a tweet with a very negative reaction, I know a couple of things about them.
- They probably shouldn’t be following me in the first place. Twitter is where I speak what’s on my mind. If they don’t like what’s on my mind, they don’t need to read it.
- They are probably the type of person who searches for a specific word or phrase so they can start fights with strangers on Twitter. And nobody needs that sort of troll in their life.
Don’t get me wrong. I respect confrontation and healthy debate. I do not respect mean jerks trying to bully their way into my feed by saying terrible things to me. So when I get those tweets, I block that person fast.
Find well-moderated spaces.
It’s easier to avoid negativity on your own social media, but what about sites that you visit? If I’m going to read a news story, I make sure it’s on a site with well-moderated comments. Usually, the bigger publications do this really well.
Local news channel websites, however, seem to be a place where civility goes to die. I’ve found that those comment sections tend to be where people like to tell female professional journalists that they should smile more, or lose a few pounds. And while I can’t respond to every commenter that says something like that, I can boycott a website until they fix their comment moderation policy. In the online game, page views are as good as currency. So I make it a point not to give my “money” to a site that doesn’t deserve it.
Go off the beaten social media paths.
Stay with me on this one.
I’m about to tell you to go to Reddit, which typically isn’t a place people associate with feminists. But here’s why you should.
Reddit is definitely full of trolls and conspiracy theorists and misogynists. It’s also full of a lot of really good subreddits (or forums) devoted to feminism and surrounding topics. Don’t let the Reddit stereotype deter you.
Reddit is huge. Just like the real world, there’s enough room for all the different types of people. And even better than the real world — you don’t have to interact with people you don’t like because each of the subreddits are moderated to keep out people who shouldn’t be there. In places like this that I find new perspectives on topics. Plus it’s always a nice break to get away from Facebook!
Know when it’s time to step back completely.
There are just some days when specific news stories break, or when something controversial happens and you can’t get away from it. On those days, I highly recommend taking a break from social media all together.
Sometimes the best self-care is knowing when to step away. Luckily, I’ve got you covered when it comes to offline self-care strategies!
How do you take care of yourself and your mental/emotional health online?