I don’t have thick enough skin to handle the kinds of conflicts that come when people who think everything must be done their way don’t get their way.

I got stuck in one of these this morning, and I am reeling right now.

A bit of background:  I’ve administrated the Facebook and Twitter accounts for Little Brother’s school for the past year and a half. Because our principal is cautious regarding cyberbullying, it was agreed that any comments made to the school’s Facebook page would be deleted.

facebook logoIn 18 months, I have never seen anything but positive comments (and an occasional question) but I remove those comments anyway.

As a courtesy to the people whose comments are deleted, I take the time to send them a message like this one:

“I’m sorry; I had to remove your comment from the school Facebook page. I realize that it was a positive comment but per the school administration, no comments are allowed on the page. Unfortunately Facebook will not allow us to set the page up that way. You may “like” but not comment. Thanks for understanding!”

Because of the way Facebook works, sometimes these messages wind up in people’s “Other” folder, where messages from people they’re not connected with on Facebook land. But sometimes I get replies to these messages, and usually they’re simply apologies and the whole thing is over and done.

Not today.

I removed a positive comment and sent my standard message and got a very angry response.

“It’s a sad world we live in…I don’t like you sending me a personal note…that is a shame…you shouldn’t even have a website…tell that to the principal.”

An attempt at a courteous response resulted in nothing but Feeding The Trolls.

And now I am sitting here trying to keep a lid on my emotions because a nasty message on social media has me all wound up and overwrought. I’m clenched and shaky and holding back the tears.

Social anxiety, anyone? (Social media anxiety…?)

All because someone I’ve never met in person (and am not likely to, as her children have already graduated from the school) was less-than-gracious when I dared to uphold a school policy.

And I don’t know how to make this go away, this reaction that is completely out of proportion to the situation I’m in.

4 thoughts on “Vulnerable

  1. That stinks for you. It kind of seems like an impossible job you have. Seems like the no comment rule is a little over the top! 😉 Sorry you got stuck in the middle of it.

    • Normally it’s just a hassle. I understand the caution, because I was a witness to the online discussion that the principal also witnessed that led her to the conclusion that we needed to ban comments. That said, it’s the comments that put the “social” in “social media.” I am going to ask at school tomorrow (I’m subbing) about the possibility of posting a message in a sticky on the page that describes the comment policy. Maybe that will help. Or not.

  2. Been there, too! Complete with the shaky upset feelings. Thank you for doing the thankless task — I appreciate the parents who maintain my son’s college’s parent FB page, knowing that it takes work and that at any moment one may be called on to stand firm against the trolls.

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