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  • Writer's pictureElisabeth Richardson

That time someone dropped hate in my comments ...

Years ago I taught writing to high schoolers. I know students worried about likes--and being liked in general.

Social media can magnify insecurities or even create one that wasn't there before. And for kids, really for anyone, that can be brutal. So this is a friendly reminder that you are more than likes. If your feed stresses you out, take a break or unfollow people. You can control what you see and it can be liberating.

I used to feel bad about unfollowing someone. Not anymore. If they're stirring a pot, spewing hate, or stressing me out, I remove them from my feed.

About a year ago I was in Fort Mill to meet with a client and I stopped at Starbucks for a quick cup of coffee. I posted my latte with a cute caption and moved on with my day. A few hours later one of my Facebook friends--someone I've only met a few times in person--dropped hate in my comments because he thought I was a loser to buy Starbucks when so many small businesses were hurting. What?!

I was stunned. Of course, I support small businesses. This was a photo of a single cup of coffee that I bought more out of convenience than anything else. He made wild accusations. But I didn't reply. I mean, I hardly know him; I'm not going to debate a cup of coffee on Facebook with him.

Then a few days later when he'd forgotten about his vitriolic post, I unfriended him. If the only time he shows up in my comments section is to berate me, then perhaps we're not friends--on any level.

When I'm on socials--whether for business or for personal reasons--I'm there to connect to brands and people I love. After all, I can always turn on the news if I need to be yelled at.

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