Photo by Cash Macanaya on Unsplash

You need boundaries: why I don’t reply to comments

Before we deep dive into this, please know I’m coming at this conversation as a social media person, professional business coach and internet user for more than a decade. I am on all social media platforms, and I’ve seen amazing influencers come and go. The internet is a toxic place, and if you expect everyone to give you the grace and appreciation you deserve with every piece of content you create, it will end in heartbreak.

Going, doing, got it, good?

Social media-land 101: comments are engagement. They tell a web application or social media platform that this post is interesting because people are replying and have something to say. This does not mean you have to reply to anything the people are saying on your post. You can like a comment, or delete, or block users that are off-topic or being shitty. They don’t have to stay on the post.

You SHOULD reply to kind questions, compliments that feel genuine and anything that makes you smile, there’s no harm in this. But playing into the antagonizing comments and trolls is what they’re after, don’t spring the trap, just walk away.

I feel AWFUL when I see tiktok users spending hours in the comments correcting information and standing up for themselves. I know how impossible it can feel when the waves of criticisms come in and your personal livelihood is at stake. This is when you become the mean moderator. You turn off the comments, or block the users.

I know filming replies to comments is a form of engagement, and answering fun questions or compliments is a great way to keep positive energy flowing through your content. But giving the trolls a piece of your mind feeds the nasty beast of the internet. If you have something specific to say, turn it into a series or an argument, and turn the comments off. Speak your piece, after all, it is YOUR account, not a collaborative or collective.

Youtuber’s began this concept of crafting an “online community” of their audience as they grew in popularity. This is another ploy to create a false sense of closeness among internet users. A community is a group of people you can trust. The internet, the entire online world, is not your community. There are people who will randomly discover your content and come to complain or pick a bone because that’s what they consider to be fun. They don’t care about your emotional well-being, your mental health, or the FAQ video you’ve filmed a hundred times covering their criticisms.

Block them, beloved.

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Liz Brinks

Hey, I’m Liz Brinks (they/them) I’m a queer gender-non-conforming writer, business coach & cat-parent (@itsjuustliz everywhere) based out of Wisconsin!