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The valuable lessons I keep learning from my online friends

By Nina Steele 

Online friendsOne of the many things I have learnt since being active online, is that the Internet toughens you up, at least as far as I am concerned. I remember a few instances when I had to deal with trolls and if ever there was an example of negative experience online, that would be at the top of the list. People who because of deep seated pain they are too afraid or incapable of dealing with, take what they see as the easy way out, by lashing out at anyone, particularly anyone who happens to disagree with them.

Naturally, regardless of how strong you believe yourself to be, there is an element of shock at being attacked for no valid reason. Then the shock makes way for reflection and then acceptance that regardless of how decent and honourable you are as a person, you will always have your detractors.

In complete contrast, you have the people whose contributions are always meaningful, even if sometimes you may disagree on some issues. Like you, they are keen to inspire and make a difference.

Of course I would rather not have to deal with toxic people, be it online or face to face. However, when you do what I do, it is best to get used to all types of situations. I mentioned in another article that I had to ban a Facebook user who insulted my husband. At first, I was so shocked that I wasn’t sure how to respond. She was a regular contributor to my articles. However, most of what she wrote often didn’t make much sense and as a result, I ignored them. It seems that this may have triggered her nasty side. She felt ignored and was lashing out to attract my attention. I knew that responding would only make things worse, and so I ignored the comment and decided to sleep on it. I was still debating whether or not to delete it. The following day, I had made up my mind and deleted it, along with banning her as well.

3 years on from the time when the website first went live, I am still learning and growing from my online interactions. Naturally, my number of online friends has increased exponentially and with it the amount of resources that I am exposed to. Every day brings with it a gift, whether wrapped in positivity or negativity. I have to see beyond the veil and get to whatever valuable lessons there is to learn.

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