Welcome to Miami: Home of internet trolls and beautiful people

 

Miami was ranked 3rd most Instagrammed U.S. city by Holidu who counted 49,657,76 Miami hashtags. As we all quickly check who came in above us (New York: 148,693,770; Los Angeles: 69,471,084) it is no wonder Miami is 3rd given that we live in a beautiful, diverse community that is hard not to share. As bright as 3rd place in this study is, Miami holds other, less great, distinctions like rudest city, worst drivers, and, on the other side of the social media spectrum, most toxic commenters.

It’s interesting that Miami has such a complicated relationship with social media, given that Miami and social media are similar in many ways. Social media, like some parts of Miami, can be a swamp. Beautiful things come out of swamps—like Orchids and interesting animals (depends what you are in to). However, flesh-eating bacteria and some pretty scary animals (again, depends on what you are in to) can be found in swamps. We have all seen the Orchids of social media: being able to share our experiences, pictures, and life with friends and family near and far. But we can all admit that there is a flesh-eating-bacteria side to social media as well. And lately it seems the flesh-eating bacteria is taking the form of online comments. Maybe you are not one who comments often, but it is hard to not get drawn into reading the negativity and back and forth bickering. And living in Miami seems to be one of the worst places, since, according to a study by WIRED and Disqus (which includes a fascinating map), Miami ranks 3rd in negativity online.

How to overcome the haters, online and IRL

The study also found that just 2 people in Park Forest, Illinois managed to get the Chicago suburb’s online toxicity meter up to 34 percent. My advice is to avoid these two people (and those like them) online as well as in real life. Below are two strategies to help navigate the online swamp which can leave you feeling like:

Be mindful:

Often social media can be an outlet for a tired mind that needs a little entertainment, so we let our thumbs scroll freely. However, it is important to be mindful of how posts and comments are making us feel. If there is one person that continually posts things that are upsetting to you or hurtful to others, it is okay to unfollow that person (unfollowing is not the same as unfriending, and they will never know that you have chosen to not see their posts anymore).

Avoid clickbait:

It is so easy to get sucked into the swamp of social media. Try to limit the articles you click on, make sure you are getting the news you need from legitimate sources. And try not to get caught up in the comments. Nevertheless, I still click on the comments at times because I want to know how others are reacting. This should be done carefully because much of what can be found in the comments can leave you feeling upset and isolated.

Miami is a beautiful place to live and obviously so fun to share online. Just look at how much Will Smith enjoys it:

 


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