HOW TO DEAL WITH CONFLICT ONLINE
Digital Wellness - Bits & Bytes
Have you ever noticed how conflict can get blown out of proportion online? What may begin as a small difference of opinion, or misunderstanding, can become a major issue very quickly.
With that in mind, here are 5 helpful strategies to use (and/or share with your child) when you come across conflict online:
Don’t respond right away
When you feel hurt or angry about an online post or message, it's best not to respond right away. You may want to write a response immediately, to get it off your chest, but don't hit send! Sleep on it and then reread and rewrite your response the next day.
Choose whether or not responding is a good idea
Remember, not responding is an option. You may be too upset to respond in the way that you would like, or it may not be worthy of a response
Discuss the situation with someone you trust
Ask them what they think about the post and the response you plan to send. Having input from others who are hopefully more objective can help you to step back from the situation and look at it differently
Choose your words carefully
Do your best to keep in mind the person on the other end. You are not physically or virtually present with them to clarify what you meant, and they can't see the kindness in your eyes. They must rely entirely on your words to interpret your meaning, intent, and tone. This is why it's important to choose your words carefully and thoughtfully.
Take the conversation offline
One of the biggest mistakes children (and adults) make is to respond online. Pick up the phone or meet the person face-to-face. You can then ensure neither party is misunderstood and resolve things more peacefully.
Remember that conflict is a natural part of life. Even as adults we can get into heated email exchanges or text arguments. These can be good examples to share with your child to talk them through how you deal with conflict in a healthy manner.
Conflict in Cyberspace: How to Resolve Conflict Online by Kali Munro
Handling conflict in an online environment (good vs bad) by the Center for Academic Innovation