When The Going Gets Weird

Twitter is a fantastic resource. It’s also a fantastic place to be.

Most of the time.

This week, more than any other in recent memory, I’ve been reminded that, much like any other large social network or internet gathering, it’s becoming home to a lot of others, too.

You know – good, old-fashioned weirdos.

A few days ago I received a message from one user who announced that he was blocking me because I “retweeted garbage about panties”. I’ve never seen or heard of this individual before, and we’ve had absolutely zero interaction. But clearly panties were his limit. Forget anything I’ve ever done in the past.

Another guy couldn’t wait to tell me how I was clearly “too stupid” for having an opinion that differed to his own, and was nice enough to deliver it via an open tweet.

At least half-a-dozen other folks thought it would be fun to come oozing out of the woodwork and try to nuke me with almost completely random bursts of spittle, profanity, dogma and strangeness.

When faced with these kinds of situations, you have to remember a couple of things.

  1. Be nice
  2. Be professional
  3. The block is your friend

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Remember: if you’re polarising opinion, you’re doing it right. You should expect (and welcome) different points of view. But you also need to set yourself limits, because allowing yourself to be endlessly exposed to negativity isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Be a pro. And when in doubt, block first, and ask questions later. The weird are always going to be out there, waiting, but you’re under no obligation to give them even a moment of your time.