Everyone loves gossip whether it’s true or false.
I saw a friend today link to a couple of “Gossip” twitter accounts for a local school district. Her concern was warranted. But what can you do?
People have been talking shit about other people since the dawn of time. About two-thirds of all human conversation is gossip (Dunbar); informal, trivial chatter, usually about the lives of other people.
The problem now with gossip is that it’s electronic and doesn’t go away or is it as easy to ignore. When I was in high school I could escape school when I got home. Now it’s 24/7 access.
Gossip is not a trivial pastime: it is essential to human social, psychological and even physical well-being. The mobile phone, by facilitating therapeutic gossip in an alienating and fragmented modern world, has become a vital ‘social lifeline’, helping us to re-create the more natural communication patterns of pre-industrial times. Source -> Evolution, Alienation and Gossip
The role of mobile telecommunications in the 21st century
What people really want to know is how do we protect our kids
The first thing you must accept is You Can’t. You can’t hide them from the world.
Once you have accepted that you cannot protect them you then can move on to the next stage. You teach them good strategies for dealing with haters/trolls/gossipers/shit talker/assholes/etc. Which you then will realize, this is protecting them.
Ideas for ignoring the trolls.
- Teach them first that people will ALWAYS talk shit about “you”.
- Help them get a thicker skin. There will ALWAYS be people that are mean to you. Even at 42 people talk shit about me.
- Explain to them that Gossip is normal.
- IMPORTANT – Teach them to NOT FEED THE TROLLS
Feeding the trolls means responding to them. If you respond they immediately know they have hit your button and will keep do it more.
- Have a louder internet voice than the trolls
If kids/people search your name you can work at having a stronger internet presence than some kid talking smack on some flash in the pan social platform wont be found in a internet search.
- Don’t use the internet
HAHAHA, like that will happen
You can’t ban them from being online. If a kid wants to do something and you vehemently say NO, they will find a way to get online.
The main thing to learn is that you cannot control the ‘cyber-bullying’ / gossip / trolls / or whatever name you want to call them. Just like a business has to learn to “deal” with haters. Your children will have to learn to deal with them.
One last idea:
Have them celebrate their first hater. See example of a business celebrating their first 1-start review and follow that mind set.
If a person posts something nasty/untrue about “you”. Celebrate it like you’ve become famous.
Some of the links in all posts may be affiliate links, which means I may get a commission if you end up purchasing their product or service. You will never pay more by using my link compared to what you would pay if you went directly to their website; in fact you may receive an exclusive discount. And it helps me keep the site running!