Nicole Sullivan’s job is to make the internet run better, which means that much of her day is spent interacting with people on the internet. Doing so has given her a great deal of insight into interacting with people both on the internet and in real life, and she’s learnt quite a bit about dealing with trolls, uncovering your own biases and communicating effectively online.
Her insights include the title of this post:
If you only respond to ass-hats, your life will soon be full of ass-hats.
The talk is largely a reframing of “Don’t feed the trolls”, but throughout her talk, Sullivan includes more subtle pieces of that advice that you may not have considered. For example, “softer, gentler, more considered opinions tend to get lost in the fray” when you direct your attention to trolls, and the result is that you develop fewer meaningful relationships online. As such, she also recommends making an intentional effort to redirect your attention to the non-trolls, and when you do respond to trolls, to respond only to the human part.
Her talk (embedded above) is 12 minutes long and worth watching if you spend a lot of time interacting on the internet, whether on Facebook, Twitter, comment sections and so on.
Don’t Feed the Trolls [Stubbornella]