It’s impossible to be liked by everyone. No matter what you say or do online you risk the potential of offending someone (or even just rubbing them the wrong way). But for a musician, writer, photographer or anyone in the creative arts it can get even worse. Your soul, your art, is on display… available for anyone to rip it to shreds.
Enter the world of The Haters. The Trolls. The Vociferous Nerds hiding in their parent’s basement behind a bag of half-eaten cheese doodles, whose job is to make everyone they encounter online feel worthless.
The Twitter Troll has taken things to a whole new level. With the speed of delivering a text message, your ego and self worth can be crushed by a simple tweet sent from someone completely unknown to you… and delivered publicly for the whole world to see.
Receiving negative feedback is hard. But if it’s honest feedback, most people can hold their head high and accept it for what it is; an opinion and potentially a suggestion for improvement. But if the tweet you receive happens to be from a gutless troll who does it for sport, your temper will flare quicker than they can lick the cheese dust from their chubby little fingers.
Your first reaction will be to fire off a quick (and probably juvenile) response, delivered in a crude tone similar to that of the troll’s. But you must resist. You must take the higher ground my young tweeter. You must take a moment and breathe deep… and remember these wise words: Think twice. Tweet once.
If their criticism has any value whatsoever (such as, “Your vocals are way too quiet in that song and makes it suck”), then you should respond to it. But… respond to it, not argue or fight about it.
For example I might respond with, “Hey man, thanks for your tweet. It’s tough deciding on that type of thing. I’ll keep your comment in mind during my next recording though.”
Even for a hater, that type of response makes it pretty damn hard to deliver a venomous reply. Problem solved.
But if the tweet you receive is clearly from a troll (such as, “Dude, you suck. I hate your voice and the noise that comes out of your head sounds like a wet donut fart.”), all I can say to you is… Do Not Engage. Walk away.
As tempting as it is to fight fire with fire, there is nothing to be gained. Ignore them. Even if the troll comes back for a second attempt, your refusal to engage will completely take the wind out of their sales and they’ll quickly move on to acquire a new (and easier) target.
Engaging in a war of words online is dangerous, especially on Twitter where your response can be instantly viewed by thousands. A childish reply can irreparably damage your career. You can lose the respect of both fans and the industry. You can come off as being childish and immature. You can come off as being someone who I don’t want to support or do business with. There is nothing to be gained.
Don’t Engage the Trolls.
Think Twice. Tweet Once.