Earlier today, my husband’s phone vibrated and sung loudly, more than usual. The flickering light indicated that notifications waited for him. What he did not expect to receive were a few spiteful, harsh and demoralizing business reviews.
What prompted such an uproar?
The prior evening, he had completed his regular social media marketing, except this time, he accidentally posted his business information to the wrong Facebook group, a lost/missing pet group for the Riverside area. A simple mistake that caused an uproar and prompted a member from said group to encourage other members to leave poor reviews on his business page.
After reading over the reviews and realizing that he indeed had a made a large mistake, he immediately wrote a post explaining how he had simply added the information to the wrong group but did in fact have a missing pet (our beloved dog Simba, has been missing for over a month now).
Take a look at the exchange below:
I immediately became upset. Are people so detached from humanity that they cannot allow someone to make a mistake online? Has social media corrupted them so badly that people are naturally angry, and become instant trolls?
Instead of attacking his character and business, which, by the way, is how he takes care of his family and helps countless others achieve their dream of becoming homeowners, someone could have reached out to him in a respectful and tactful manner to let him know that it was not the correct group for such a post (which they would have quickly learned was an accident).
I understand how it looks in context, especially because the page was for lost pets. and we know how much people love their pets. But to play devil’s advocate, had it not been an accident, did their trolling and bad reviews warrant trying to ruin someone’s livelihood?
He had every right to be a member of that lost pet page. As I stated earlier, we’ve been joining those pages in an effort to find our family dog.
But the bigger issue at hand is social media trolling/boundary crossing. Some people take things way too far and make some issues bigger than what they should be. Justice does not have to come served cold with intentions of closing down or harming your business.
As he stated in the post, social media can be both a gift and a curse. As a multi-tasking parent and husband, one small mistake taught him a large lesson: pay closer attention to where and what he’s posting. I wish I could say there were lessons learned for everyone involved in the exchange. Even after he edited his original post to let them know it was an accident, he continued to be attacked because it wasn’t worded the way a specific group member wanted. So, at what point does this all end?
I could argue 'til I’m blue in the face about how wonderful a person that my husband is. After almost 13 years of being together, I could easily describe his character, morals, beliefs and work ethic in an effort to dispel every single claim made against him — but I don’t need to. It all speaks for itself. And those that know him can testify to that on his behalf. This piece is to bring awareness to bigger issues at hand and to serve as a reminder to never get comfortable.
No matter what you are doing or building in life, someone is always waiting to stake claim or bring you down. Never let your guard down and always be ready to defend what’s yours. My husband is strong and has built his business on a strong foundation.
This is a case of the downside of social media, and as its popularity continues to increase, I believe genuine human communication and interpersonal skills will continue to dwindle. I pray that I’m wrong.
I’m curious, have you been a victim of trolling? If so, how did you handle it?