Ask TS : Social Media Trolls

Ask the Trail Sisters Panel of Experts is made up of inspirational and knowledgeable women who share a love for trail running, hiking, and the outdoors. These women volunteer their time and expertise to help others enjoy a better experience on the trails.

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I’d love to hear your advice on dealing with trouble causing comments that are made to discredit race or adventure efforts on social media. I recently posted about an FKT I accomplished and was proud of, but received comments on how it wasn’t fast, that it was an easy course, and other things that stole the joy from my effort.


Congrats on your FKT! That’s really awesome.  I hope that you can recoup some of your joy and pride and really celebrate that accomplishment. People who try and siphon your joy are wrestling with their own demons. They will always show up when we are being awesome.  Don’t let that deter you.  One thing I think about before sharing accomplishments is my gratitude for any support I received and also taking the time to commemorate my own feelings!  We share on social media because we are excited or want more connection around these really big life events.  If, after being vulnerable with your joy and pride, people decide to rain on your parade, that’s on THEM, not you.  My personal strategy is that I only share that kind of thing with a proven audience.  The sharing of my news is reserved for the people who helped get me there. Sometimes it’s in a bigger online group, and sometimes it’s a group text to just a few people.  I think it’s rad that you were courageous to go for that FKT.  Bring it on, Trail Sister!


YOU are a bada**. You worked hard to get to your event’s starting line, so own it. Soak up every ounce of your finish/FKT/start/effort…. and know there’s a million more of us behind you singing your praises who are proud of you!


I’m sorry that people have said those kinds of things. That sucks. You should be proud of your FKT! Fastest is fastest. Period. Unfortunately, there will always be some people who feel like they have to put others down to feel better about themselves. What you accomplished is real and remarkable.


Those comments aren’t helpful and although it might steal the joy in the moment, try to ignore them and not let negativity take away from what you’re proud of. 


In the current age of internet warfare, I try to remember that everyone is coming at everything from their own experiences and that will color their interpretations. The way someone feels about something you share may not be your intention, but even the most introspective person, at times, can’t help but see things from their own point of view. Instead of wasting my time on defending and explaining myself, I use it as an opportunity to flip things back on myself and practice my own mindfulness. Other people’s growth is not my responsibility, but my own is! Why is the comment so hurtful to me – was it something I doubted in myself, or did I work particularly hard not to come off a certain way and still was? It’s not to say, at all, that it isn’t completely crappy that people are commenting that way and its certainly not to place any blame on yourself. It’s just more of an understanding that there’s not much you can do to change the way a person is going to behave (in this case, straight up trolling) – they’ll likely do it again – so may as well focus on how you can use the experience to better serve yourself. 


Aside from the fact that haters are gonna hate, don’t lose sight of what matters to you. Not everyone will be excited to see you enjoying yourself in the outdoors or taking up space out there. That’s just a fact. Racism is not new, and it’s not going away anytime soon. However, your accomplishments are new, and they’re yours. Embrace those achievements and don’t let some stranger’s – or anyone’s comments – undermine your victories. Also, go back and look at what other people of color have had to endure as a means of survival in dominant culture over the years. May it lend you strength and confidence, and encourage you with the reminder that there were many unsung heroes before us who paved the way – long before social media and TV! Keep pursuing your passions, keep posting and telling your stories – and use that blocking function whenever you want! – knowing that you are not alone and your personal FKT is yours. Celebrate it! 


It is very disheartening to receive yucky comments or feedback after any effort you feel proud of, especially an FKT. I would try to ignore those comments, remove those comments if you could. You could even try to respond in a positive way to negative comments to show them how much joy this effort brought you. Unfortunately, some people just don’t have anything nice to say and they should keep those thoughts to themselves. 


I’m so sorry that some people were not supportive of your effort! Social media, and the things people say on it, can really steal our confidence and joy sometimes. To those people who question your FKTs and their “validity:” I would give them nothing — don’t give them an audience, your energy, or your time. You chose to go for an FKT for a variety of reasons, and none probably had anything to do with validation from others. Relish in the achievement and plan another audacious goal!


Ignore them. Seriously, that is my answer to this. That negativity doesn’t deserve any of your time and shouldn’t be given the power to reduce your joy. What a waste of time that person even took to arm-chair judge like that. Delete it if you need to. Your efforts and the positive energy you put in to the world needs to shine!


CONGRATULATIONS on your FKT!  What an exciting accomplishment!!!!  Social media is a blessing and a curse.  We get to connect with others who are supportive, encouraging, and share in the excitement of our accomplishments.  On the flip side, we are opening ourselves up to ALL comments.  When I see comments that are diminishing or dismissive of any of my efforts, I remind myself that those comments are being generated from a place of someone else’s judgement, insecurity, and/or negative head space.  It doesn’t take away the sting of the comment, but it helps to reframe that the comment isn’t about me.   Keep celebrating your accomplishment despite the negative comments and reconnect with your “why” that led you to setting that goal and being a goal crusher that day. 


I would say that you can just focus on the good comments you see, I am sure there are so many people who were happy about your accomplishments and putting great positive comments on your social media.  You did such an amazing thing that you are proud of, that matter!!   There are always some critical people out there, but don’t worry!


Don’t let random folks on social media take that joy away from you.  Stop giving them the permission and the power to take that pride and sense of accomplishment. Their opinions don’t matter.  What matters is that you accomplished a goal you set out to complete, and that you are capable of great things.  You can do hard things.  That said, for anyone who has the audacity to comment on your FKT pace, invite them to run the same course and beat your time.  Isn’t that what FKTs are about?  Anyone who is that outspoken should be prepared to walk the walk, as they say…or run the run!  In the meantime, feel the pride you deserve to feel in having accomplished a feat that many are unable to, and ignore the noise.  You do you.

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Ask the Trail Sisters Panel of Experts is made up of inspirational and knowledgeable women who share a love for trail running, hiking, and the outdoors. These women volunteer their time and expertise to help others enjoy a better experience on the trails.

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