The ugly side of social media

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Chinese philosopher believes in the concept of yin-yang which means “shadow and light”. The concept discusses about the natural balance of the world, that shadow can’t exist without light which means that for every positive there is a negative.

I don’t want to paint a rosy picture about social media for you, this life concept does apply to social media as well.

Professionally, social media changed my life, I’ve met and learned from so many amazing people.

I have also blocked some who were negative and pain in the ass that were sucking energy of others too.

Social media is making businesses or people more transparent as well, this “exposure” is  giving opportunities for people to easily leave negative feedbacks or thoughts without having second thoughts as it is easy to hide behind a keyboard and remain anonymous.

A few weeks ago, Jemimah, a good friend of mine, had the opportunity to host a new show on youtube show called F-world. It is a video series where she and her friend, Andrea, discuss about the latest trends and tips about fashion in Singapore.

After the show ended, trolls started leaving negative and disrespecting comments, dissing her. She was devastated as she had never done something like this before and reading those comments  hurt her.

It even got her to write a blog post about it and she even responded to the comments through a series of videos.

During the Olympics, Tom Daley and his partner Pete Waterfield both synchronize divers from the USA missed out on an opportunity to win a medal for their country when they finished fourth in the 10m platform diving event.

Shortly after that, Daley retweeted a message which was sent to him saying “You let your dad down i hope you know that” and to make it worst, Daley’s dad passed away in 2011 from brain cancer. At the end, police intervened and the 18-year old troll have been arrested by the police.

Last week, a photo of a republican named Scott Van Nuzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza in Florida, bear-hugging and lifting President Obama off the ground was circulating around the internet.

Many who didn’t support Obama took yelp and flooded Big Apple Pizza with one-star rating saying things like

There were many who stood by him and gave him a 5 star rating as well to counter those 1 star ratings as yelp ratings can either help or kill a business. Thanks to their TOS, most of them are being flagged and has been removed.

Well, there is an ugly side to all parts and walks in life, whether it’s business, personal or social media.

When you put yourself in front of people, you’re sure to attract positive and negative people around you. Avoiding or escaping these situations is definitely not a solution, I believe the most important thing is knowing how to handle it


photo credits: by ell brown



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  • Lillie Ramage

    I agree with you. It’s all in how you handle it. Once you put yourself out there publicly you can expect both positive and negative responses. I believe if the criticism is constructive then responding is o.k. It it’s just someone spouting off negative nonsense I choose to ignore – or if it’s really bad – good-bye & delete! :)

  • David Warawa

    While understandable, it’s unfortunate that Tom Daley gave the troll an audience. In the case of BIg Apple Pizza, what great publicity. Lillie has great suggestions that hold true specifically if you’re a business owner handling social media comments.

  • Warren Whitlock

    First rule of publicity “I don’t care about what they say, as long as they spell my name right”

    The examples here are mostly people who got a lot of publicity. The girl who was new at it learned fast. Before social media, that process could have taken years and you may have never found out to write about it.

    Social media has changed the timing and allowed it to get very connected with some people who never took a basic writing class. But unlike that funny cropped face in my profile pic, this ugly fades fast

  • Aaron Lee

    Hey Warren (did I spell your name right? :P)

    Great to see you here. Yes she definitely learned fast, it was support from her friends that kept to continue doing it, and you’re right, it has definitely changed how people are connecting which is what I love about social media.

    BTW, I like your profile photo, it stands out. 😀

  • Aaron Lee

    Spot on Lillie, I believe in constructive criticism as well. I love your suggestion. That is why I removed some who were sucking the life out of others.

    The funny thing was, when I started blogging, I had people telling me I shouldn’t blog because I couldn’t write.

  • Aaron Lee

    I agree David, some are just being a troll for the fun of it. Ton Daley did give the troll an audience, now she has over 100,000 twitter followers and I believe still being a troll.

    Big Apple Pizza did get a great publicity, hopefully those who doesn’t agree with his views won’t avoid eating there.

  • Warren Whitlock

    If I had a pizza joint, I’d invite anyone to come have a slice, but must admit, I’d really go out of my way to let anyone famous drop in.

    I might be a bit worried about the Secret Service scrutiny and hassle for customers.. for about 2 seconds.

  • TribalStyleMarketing

    Very true, anything you put out there online today is fair game for any troll. I think people are venting partly, & I also think people are sabotaging their competitors. Either way, we should be rising up above tactics like this because sooner or later there will be no more hiding behind a keyboard.

  • Pavel Konoplenko

    My hope for the world is that social media and the inter-connectedness it promotes will help people become nicer to strangers. Then again, it’s a naive ideal, because many people really do enjoy Trolling, online and in real life. I guess ultimately there’s an ugly side of social media because there’s an ugly side to people.

  • Paul Daniels

    Isn’t Tom Daley from the UK?

  • ShopwithDex

    Interesting article. With social media, hopefully the pros outweigh the cons.

  • Aaron Lee

    Corrected it.

  • Aaron Lee

    Definitely it does. 😀

  • Aaron Lee

    Well said Pavel. It does promote great relationship when you’re at the right company. 😀

  • Aaron Lee

    Thanking so much for sharing your thoughts and adding that to the conversation.

  • Ellie

    Great Post Aaron. Sorry I didn’t get around to reading it sooner! And of course, Your conclusion is quite correct! :)

  • Rijk Willemse

    Thanks Aaron, for your positive view – as always – even on this nasty area… The only way to approach these matters.

  • Baxter

    Kate Jean internet troll

  • Elena DaCosta

    If I wud hav known to the extent I found out, the back stabbing lying..I wud hav rather just not got on Facebook. I.was hurt angry but I did mk some good friends so l wud love keep in touch with them.
    They had a very weird thing to me…thry said I think I am better than others that a big lie. Do I love mysekf yes! This DOES not mk my hate or put mysekf dwn…no way! Just be more mistrustfull and be carefull.

  • Elena DaCosta

    It seems lik when you were a teenager all this bkstabb behind ur bk & laugh smile in yo face! That teenage bs..not old 60 +
    Women. I have a theory women not all but a large amount too many women are insecure, instead of being helpfull another it ‘ just the opposite! IF FACEBOOK could open their eyes the reason people go on chat lines we are lonely! So don’t mk a bad situation