Verbeet believes that politicians should protect themselves more against hate comments on social media. Because not only the many hours of work lead to stress, but the online threats also cause a lot of worries.
Member of Parliament Corinne Ellemeet (GroenLinks) also drew attention to this this weekend. “What really kicks in is the hatred, aggression, contempt and insults that you regularly receive,” she wrote on social media.
Politicians who dropped out due to a high workload:
Esther Ouwehand Ockje Tellegen Pieter Omtzigt Bas van ‘t Wout Harry van der Molen Rens Raemakers Elbert Dijkgraaf Han Ten Broeke Zihni Ozdil
Hate messages can indeed have a major impact on job satisfaction, stress expert Suzan Kuijsten knows. “Being good enough is important for your chances of survival in a group. That’s how we feel. But if you get hate emails all the time, it’s extremely threatening – sometimes even life-threatening.”
The fact that we can feel so bad about these kinds of insults is because the brain doesn’t respond well to them, says neuromarketing expert Tim Zuidgeest. “That has to do with the phenomenon of ‘prefrontal asymmetry’. That is how your brain reacts to positive and negative things,” he explains to Editie NL.
“Positive emotions create an approach motivation and negative emotions create an aversion motivation. For example, when we see something tasty – that is positive – we long to approach it. When something scary happens in a movie, you want to leave.”
The latter is what happens in your brain after negative comments. “Your brain wants to stay away from that negativity.” It hits hard, especially when it’s unexpected. “That can really be measured with a special headset. Then you can see a dip.”
Not only celebrities such as politicians and artists are insulted online. Young people between the ages of 18 and 25 in particular indicate that they are being bullied, stalked or threatened online. In 2018, a total of 140,000 young people were involved. Of these, 43 percent suffered from emotional consequences. They often thought about it, slept badly because of it or were very angry about it.
Source: Digital Security & Crime (CBS)
But what do you do when you get such messages? “The reaction differs greatly per person,” says stress expert Kuijsten. “One freezes and does nothing, the other just tries harder.”
Lack of solution
According to her, there is no really good solution. “Sometimes it can help to shut down, like Usain Bolt does. He posts photos on social media, but never reads the comments.”
But this also varies from person to person. “It has everything to do with resilience and resilience. To what extent are you convinced that you are doing it right? Do you not care or do you think: maybe they are right? In that case, your stress system will intensify. “
Deleting your online accounts is also a good idea. “Sometimes just not feasible, because social media also serve as information and self-promotion. It is more difficult than it seems.”
Reporter Gerben Kamphorst uses a headset for Editie NL to test how his brain reacts to hate responses. You can see the outcome tonight at 6.15 pm on RTL 4.