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You don't have to engage with people on the Internet

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This is a lesson that was very hard for me to learn and I feel I should share this here for everyone to take a moment and consider. You don't have to engage with people on the internet. You don't need to hop into the comments section. You don't need to reply to that email.

You can just sit back and let people be wrong. Especially when it's about your employer.

Chances are, if you are reading this article you are on a development team or are in some position where you are not one of the primary spokespeople for your employer. You don't need to engage with the discourse if you don't want to. You don't need to reply to those comments. You can avoid it.

Cadey is coffee
<Cadey> There is no good way to add oxygen to a tire fire.

Sometimes people will engage in performative angst in comments about companies as a way to signal they are part of the "in-crowd" that totally hates everything corporations have "ruined". These views are not representative of the larger world. It is just them trying to get upvoted because they care about the internet point number.

You really don't have to engage with such things. Even if you are a formal spokesperson for a company, you don't have to engage. Engaging can make people feel validated in their feelings and can sometimes make problems a lot worse than if you just said nothing.

This has been a hard lesson for me to accept because in the moment it feels so right to want to correct some person based on your lived experience. Those other people are coming from their lived experience and as such given the same inputs there will be drastically different outputs.

You don't have to engage with people on the internet. It's okay to let people be wrong. It's not worth the psychic damage.


This article was posted on M01 18 2023. Facts and circumstances may have changed since publication Please contact me before jumping to conclusions if something seems wrong or unclear.

The art for Mara was drawn by Selicre.

The art for Cadey was drawn by ArtZora Studios.

Some of the art for Aoi was drawn by @Sandra_Thomas01.