Tough topic. I haven't had "hold my purse" moment on social media since Online Communities became Social Media. Sure, there are the crass people who only post "Buy My Stuff" or CAPSLOCK EVERYTHING. They're easy enough to unfollow or ignore. I'm fortunate; I haven't attracted the real trolls to my public feeds. I'm still below their radars. I'm a teeny tiny fish--plankton, even.
Now, I've had plenty of volleys launched at me in private groups, which--for the record--are public forums. Most of the flying turds were due to me being the voice of organizational change. The implementor. The official communicator. The person holding the proverbial fan. While there is nothing wrong with voicing objections; there is an art to doing it in a professional and/or inoffensive manner. Unfortunately, there were more than a handful of folks who shared their displeasure via personal attacks. Fortunately, I chose not to take them that way.
Mother always said, "Consider the source."
If someone can't present a contrasting view/opinion from a position of logic, they aren't open to logical discussion. Emotional attacks are diatribes not debates. They are issued from positions of fear. Fear is something that cannot be eliminated via text.
Fairly simple, right? Not always.
There are times it takes me longer than it should to move past my initial rage and bristling defense in order to calm down enough that I can see it's not about me. It's about them.
In that way, succeeding as a writer is perfect practice for succeeding with social media. We have to have thick skins and solid beliefs in our very cores that rejections and bad reviews aren't manifestations of our personal flaws. We can choose to look at them as opportunities for improvement...or we can ignore them.
As the spokesperson for the leadership of those forums, the best I could do was acknowledge the attacker's concerns and thank them for being a member of the community. Some folks would leave it at that. Some took it as fuel and burned brighter and more publicly. I offered no further response. I let them burn.
Their fear is no cause to create fear in me.
Unless...doxxing. There is never an excuse for that. That's the time to get IRL authorities involved.