Internet messaging is a convenience with lots of ups and downs

Social media messaging, emails, Skype and texting are efficient and cost-effective methods to communicate with friends, family, clients and business associates across the globe. The internet has changed the way we interconnect with each other forever. When I attended high school in the early 1980s, our computer science teacher tried to enlighten us about the prospects of computer messaging. In a world before Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, Mr. Pauls told us how internet communications would transform the world in the future with computers speaking to each other via a cable network. In 1982, the possibilities for digital intercommunications through the use of computer technology seemed incredible, promising and maybe farfetched like a science fiction story written by Ray Bradbury. However, in the 21st century, emails, texting and social media posting from portable laptop computers and smartphones are routine. The networks available via computer technology have become essential for work, social communications, purchases and other numerous reasons.

But yes, there’s many occasions when internet communications have become much too fast and overtly accessible. A common theme in comedies of the past involved hapless workers retrieving angry letters they’ve sent to their bosses from mailboxes after sudden moments of reconsideration – this was a frequent plot driver in sitcoms and cartoons. But these days, it’s much too effortless to send out toxic emails without having a moment to ponder the consequences. It is possible to pull out a hastily written email from the digital mailbox, but the time sequence to cancel unwanted emails rapidly ticks away.

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In her article, Avoid Email and Texting Misunderstandings, Peggy Bud outlined some ideas to consider before dispatching emails. She advised senders to read and re-read emails before mailing them. Bud said reviewing emails is especially important when writing to professionals, clients and colleagues. Before the messages travel into cyberspace, Bud recommends users to save drafts of emails and revisit them before they’re sent to avoid confusions and misinterpretations. Prior to being posted, all internet-based correspondence should be spell and grammar checked, especially when attempting to make great first impressions. Bud also suggested senders should give specific reasons whenever commenting, making requests or replying to statements. Most importantly, Bud said emails and texting aren’t actual conversations. Rather than having lots of back and forth emails or texts, Bud, a communications specialist who is the founder of Speaking Skilfully, advised frantic emailers to phone the person or have face-to-face conversations instead. 

However, there are those amongst us who purposely seek to argue, insult and threaten others on the internet with passive aggressive intentions. Trolls receive thrills from abusing others on social media platforms. We should know how to respond to trolls in the best possible way by unfriending them, blocking their messages and reporting on their activities. There is no genuine need to answer back to online trolls, as this is merely squandering energy. Plus, since trolls often have cheerleaders to back their vitriolic words, the victims could make their situations much worse by responding to them.

Trolls are thoughtless goons who frequently create wars in packs. Trolls are known for ranting, using hate speech and attacking a person’s character. Trolls, who have a preference for anonymous tags, could either be living down the street, or they might be dwelling several kilometres away in locations overseas. Trolls might be followers on Twitter, or they could be friends on Facebook. They’ll study the user’s messages and posts then respond with aggressive insults and intimidating language. Trolls never offer intelligent arguments based on research. Instead, they’ll spew out an emotionally-driven statements. Trolls don't have conversations, they prefer conflicts, so it’s best to always be the first person to shut-down negative online attacks by blocking them after sending reports to Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, or whatever platform is being used.