Try to ignite healthy conversation rather than trying to make everything controversial and confrontational. Confrontation is good when engaging online but make sure it is respectful and purely because of the discussion at had.
As a part of my interview series about the things we can each do to make social media and the internet a kinder and more tolerant place, I had the pleasure to interview Daniella Flores. Daniella is a software engineer, serial side hustler, blogger, and cat/dog/tarantula momma.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I am a 30 year old Virgo with a passion for cats and art. I run the blog iliketodabble.com in my spare time on the side of my full time day job at a FinTech company and when I am not doing that I am helping my wife with her guitar flipping side hustle and finding more ways for us to build our passive income streams.
We are on the road to financial freedom and full independence from a full time location dependent corporate job. Through our savings, investing and passive income strategies, we hope to become completely financially free, location independent and move to our dream area to live — the PNW while we also will continue to travel and have adventures.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
The most interesting story is the actual action of me starting my blog as a business. I never thought I would have any type of entrepreneurial aspirations until I started reading up on it and thought how stupid I was for kinda putting my life on autopilot. A corporate job was killing me and I desperately needed a creative outlet outside of my paintings. Using my web development skills and designer brain, I was able to put together quite the site and little side business (with the help of the couple of people that I’ve networked with, outsourced work from, helped me out for nothing in return, etc).
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest mistake I’ve made in my overall career was one time I accidentally gave an entire company admin access to their site. It was back when I first started as a web engineer at a startup and I didn’t double check my sql…and wah-lah — 150 people had admin access and someone got a notification that set off a domino effect of questions. I quickly rolled it back but it was funny to see the instant panic.
When one reads the comments on Youtube or Instagram, or the trending topics on Twitter, a great percentage of them are critical, harsh, and hurtful. The people writing the comments may feel like they are simply tapping buttons on a keyboard, but to the one on the receiving end of the comment, it is very different. This may be intuitive, but I feel that it will be instructive to spell it out. Can you help illustrate to our readers what the recipient of a public online critique might be feeling?
They might be feeling attacked and it might take them all the energy they have just to be awake today and breathing. When they read something that crushes their spirit when it is already crushed, they feel defeated. We are all emotional creatures so we have emotional reactions to things, especially harsh things that hits home.
Do you think a verbal online attacks feels worse or less than a verbal argument in “real life”? How are the two different?
I think a verbal one feels different but an online one can also feel just as bad if it is with someone that means something to you. And when those words are said online, they may not go away unless you delete them so you can re-read them over and over again, causing more anxiety and pain. Verbal arguments can sometimes be hard to remember all the details and words. But when online, they can easily be taken out of context.
What long term effects can happen to someone who was shamed online?
I definitely think that is someone goes under enough online shaming, that they can eventually get PTSD or a minor PTSD sort of reaction to certain online things. Think of how much of our lives are now spent online and on our phones? The long term effects can trickle through data history and multiple social media accounts and even pop up on your “timehop” to remind you of memories you rather not remember.
Many people who troll others online, or who leave harsh comments, can likely be kind and sweet people in “real life”. These people would likely never publicly shout at someone in a room filled with 100 people. Yet, on social media, when you embarrass someone, you are doing it in front of thousands of even millions of people, and it is out there forever.
Can you give 3 or 4 reasons why social media tends to bring out the worst in people; why people are meaner online than they are in person?
1 — The people who are usually mean online is because they have no other outlet to hash out their anger and they end up pouring out online and taking it out on “no name” strangers.
2 — They lack empathy. Much like #1, it is hard for them to see people online as real people.
3 — If they know you, they don’t have the guts to say it to your face. I notice a lot of the people who have shamed me online that I knew in real life were fake nice to me and wouldn’t even look me in the eye. Cowards.
If you had the power to influence thousands of people about how to best comment and interact online, what would you suggest to them? What are your “5 things we should each do to help make social media and the internet, a kinder and more tolerant place”? Can you give a story or an example for each?
1 — Don’t assume. Every one’s life and story is different and so are their circumstances. Their reasons for making certain decisions are personal and not your business. We are all just doing our best.
2 — Try to ignite healthy conversation rather than trying to make everything controversial and confrontational. Confrontation is good when engaging online but make sure it is respectful and purely because of the discussion at had.
3 — Listen to each other. Don’t listen to react or respond, listen to understand. We are always waiting on how WE will handle something or how WE will respond. And we often respond depending on our preconceived notions either about ourselves or the other person. Emerge back into critical thinking, listen to everyone fully without judgement. Listen to others how you would want to be listened to (I still have some trouble with this).
4 — Offer suggestions but don’t try to solve someone else’s problem completely. Sometimes people don’t want a resolution, they just want someone who listens to them. They just want to get a frustration off their chest until they can deal with it. Don’t stress them out even more.
Freedom of speech prohibits censorship in the public square. Do you think that applies to social media? Do American citizens have a right to say whatever they want within the confines of a social media platform owned by a private enterprise?
No I do not. I don’t think they should because that is when a lot of misinformation comes from. If it is opinion only, then yes. But if it is from an emotionally charged belief (or political “rhetoric”) that is historically inaccurate, then no. If it incites hate and violence, no.
If you had full control over Facebook or Twitter, which specific changes would you make to limit harmful or hurtful attacks?
I would add more support resources to both of those platforms that can deal with support questions and reports that come from the platforms when people encounter less than ideal experiences. From my own experience, their support resources take forever to do anything and never respond so I figure they have limited numbers of support employees.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
This one from Life of Pi –
Santosh Patel: I much rather have you believe in something I don’t agree with than to accept everything blindly, and that begins with thinking rationally.
Because this quote says so beautifully and simply the importance of thinking for yourself.
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
I would love to have private brunch with Grimes. I love her music, her style and her creativity. She would be fascinating to talk to for an hour or so!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
They can follow me at @iliketodabble on twitter and facebook, @iliketodabbleblog on instagram and @iliketodabb0327 on Pinterest
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!