The start of group chats’ awkward moments are not always intuitive. A controversial post can quickly spiral out of control as a troll is all that is needed to turn the tides., true to the instant and viral nature of social media. Before long, what started as a tiny glitch can gain local and global attention and even attract media and legal recognition. Here are some tips for handling potentially hostile chats and heated situations in group chats.
Take it offline
Your digital footprint matters. Your potential employers can check your social media profiles when they consider you for student jobs. It can be in your best interest to move heated arguments and unsightly chats offline. Sometimes, by moving the conversation away from the public sphere to private chats, calling, emailing or in person; you can eliminate sensational fuel from fellow users taking sides and growing the disagreement.
Thanks to technology advancements, groups can incorporate several participants. In moments when conversations go downhill, keeping quiet can save you a lot of drama and help to diffuse arguments. It is also worth noting that for the most part, fights can die out if they are not fuelled by drama. Don’t take sides or try and play mediator as that too can make it worse.
Excuse [cheat] sheets
Come up with a “believable” excuse to exit the conversation in moments when you feel the urge to leave the chat or to stop talking until the tension cools off. Something like your phone is about to die, your data is about to expire, or you need to attend a family lunch. There are a host of damn good excuses you can use to give yourself time to cool off, reflect and calm down.
Laugh it out
If all else fails, you can try to find the silver lining by incorporating humour. Only do this if you have the personality and can diffuse the situation in a way that promotes safety and in a chilled manner. Be sure that the humour is not profane, does not encourage night-time confessions and cause even further gossip. Humour can often work but needs to be handled with care so that it does not cause more damage.
These safety tips can help to diffuse tension and should be applied and practised. In time, it will get easier to deal with such issues. Remember that what you do – on social media platforms and even in group chats – can easily have an impact on the rest of your life and career prospects. So strongly think and rethink your posts, before you press send.