Social media seems relatively new, yet, I find it hard to really remember a time before our thumbs weren’t incessantly scrolling through content – adding, sharing, liking, commenting – the excess of it can leave one in a dizzying, anxiety laden frenzy. Not only has the general public caught on but if you are a celebrity you are told that it’s important for your “brand”. To invite your fans into an intimate portrait of your life. An instant message to your key audience and an instant understanding of what your key demo is telling you is the zeitgeist. What your fans are craving. What your fans are following. What your fans are consuming. This seems like such a wonderful tool. Well, not always. You see, in the genesis of social media I don’t think anyone has really taken into account the bullying aspect. Sure there is the delete button, the block button, the “report card” but the minute you read horrible comments they become a scar etched in to your skin. Insensitive feedback that you carry with you throughout your day and unfortunately a comment that you might carry throughout your life.
Those in the public eye become unique targets for people to fire rapidly without much thought.With a vast amount of followers, there are hundreds to hundreds of thousands of people ready and willing to attack. Words that are degrading, gratuitous and sometimes down right dangerous. But you don’t need me to tell you. You’ve seen it yourself. It always shocks me that a person takes their time to tear a person down. Someone they have never even met and most likely will never meet. A person that they know absolutely nothing about and yet feel like they have this burning hatred inside them that must come forth. One might believe that because a person decides to be in the public and share intimate parts about their life it gives people free will to hurt. Like somewhere along the way they lost all human emotion or feelings. But it’s just not true.
As humans, (celebrity or not) our first instinctual reaction is to retort. We innately want to defend ourselves, our family and our children. When this has happened to me in the past, I’ve realized that you can’t . Most of the people who wish ill will on social media have private profiles. Funny how that works. I find it a common pattern. Just like bully’s in life, bullies on social media don’t want to be accountable for putting people down. They feel invincible hiding behind a wall. They become cowards and hide behind that mask, a conscience vail and social media has become a perfect platform to do so.
Social media has given us a voice that we all so deeply crave. A voice that can cut deep. It can cut sharp. Don’t get me wrong, I love that everyone has a platform for their voice to be heard. Use it. I just think that we have the opportunity to use our voices to uplift, come together and if used correctly, change the world. So let’s stop the bullying behind our “private profiles” and band together for change. Stop hiding and start inspiring.