Although social media is an excellent source for sharing information, it’s also means that harassment and hateful messages can happen online too. Internet trolls are people who intentionally start arguments online. Alison Franklin, Director of Counseling at Utica College says, if you find yourself flooded with uncomfortable messages then try to not take things personally.
“[It’s] not usually a personal attack towards you, that it may just be a different opinion or maybe a political interest, or just an interest in general. To try to take time to reflect and take a breath before responding. Not to respond when you are super emotional. And to, as best as you can, take time away and to try to. . . unplug, as often as we can.” – Alison Franklin, M.S.W, Director of Counseling, Utica College
If you see something, say something. Facebook and other social media outlets allow users to report potentially dangerous content. In some cases, it’s best to take things a step farther and contact local authorities.
“If they see something that is imminent or they’re really worried about somebody to either alert their parents or local authorities or if they’re a college student, alert an instructor or staff they feel comfortable with. And then allow them to look into it further if need be.” – Alison Franklin, M.S.W, Director of Counseling, Utica College