How to handle an online squabble

The world is full of arguments and that is true whether you are online or offline. We inevitably get into squabbles. That is ok, but how do you manage one that happens online and in public view? That is a challenge. There are a lot of factors in play when it comes to that. In real life, the audience is restricted and hence damage control is easy. But online, the scene is completely different and not so easy to manage. So let us look at this touchy but very important issue todayRemember that every time you are online, the big search engines are watching and recording everything you do and say. That way, just deleting a status update or a tweet will not suffice. But that later, right now, let us look at the situation that leads to a squabble and what happens after. That will help our understanding greatly. Very generally looking at it, there are only a few situations that lead to a squabble. What are they?

  1. You know a person offline and do not get along well and they decided to take it out on you online too
  2. You became friends with someone online and then met up offline too, sometime later something went wrong and it went messy online
  3. You said something radical and the general statement hurt someone and they took it up with you on a big scale
  4. Someone you know online lent you money offline and there was a delay returning it and they became agitated and publicize it
  5. Someone else said something radical and you didn’t like it and the whole thing went south

So whatever the case is, it is time to let it go and think rationally. Never play the victim, if you are at fault, own up in the same forum and fix the issue. If someone else is at fault, take it up in a civil tone and settle it. If someone is just being plain stupid and hell bent on screwing up your online life, then you have to do the following

  • Tweet or update the truth on the forum publicly
  • Inform your friends/followers that this is not what it looks like and put your side up
  • Appeal to the other party to let up
  • If they do not, block/report them and move on

There are a few things that you should NEVER do, they are

  1. Stay silent – when you do that, what the other side says becomes true and then the whole deal is lost.
  2. Delete the conversation from your end – This will leave the conversation cached everywhere on the search engines and available when a future employer looks you up online. That will certainly not end well at all.
  3. Block them without clarification – this means that the other party keeps on talking and only you cannot see it. Results same as point above

So think thrice before getting into a spat and remember if it is worth having a spat over. Never every drunk tweet or drunk update, the walk of shame online is too embarrassing.

So there, that is all I know about this, if you have any experiences to share, do comment and enlighten me. More the merrier!


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