Since when did verbally attacking people become okay?
Online trolling has been going on for years, in the early days of blogging, from online gaming sites to chat rooms, but as we grow more and more into a world saturated in social media I’m seeing more and more hatrid every day.
In the last few weeks in particular I’ve noticed people going out of their way to put peopledown, attacking their character, questioning their actions – all online.
In a time where people like Katie Hopkins makes a career out of being a bully, it’s no surprise social media has become a dark place.
We’ve all seen nasty comments under an Instagram photo, anonymous tweets etc and it seems people are completing losing their conscience as soon as they go online.
To give a few examples, we wrote a piece about Suzanne Jackson getting upset over her interview on TV3’s The Six O’Clock Show, when she realised a lamb that was in the studio was going to be slaughtered.
After we wrote the piece several other sites also wrote about the incident, and the comments on our article and others were mainly negative.
“Ohhhh give over! Anything for a bit of attention this one is looking for dry your eyes mate,” one person wrote.
“What a gowl bag looking for attention,” another added.
These were just some of the comments, would these people say it to Suzanne’s face? Not a chance in hell. If seen full on fights break out in the comments section of her Instagram posts, and she’s not the only one.
An even worse example for you, I was out with a friend who has a big following this week and she was subject to real life harassment.
Previously people had even Snapped and Instagrammed her completely slamming her, things I’m actually too angry to repeat.
But the other night in Dublin, in real life, followers shouted at her. It got aggressive really fast, and it could have ended badly for all of us.
I knew straight away that this could have turned into a physical fight, all because someone thought it was okay to shout at her and intimidate her – why? Because she shares her life online.
People seem to think they have a right to judge bloggers/influencers however they want, and not only share their opinion with others but give their two cents directly to the person.
I’ve seen a huge increase in bullying behaviour and it’s extremely worrying. Thankfully my generation didn’t have Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat throughout School, I honestly don’t know how I would have coped.
A few weeks ago I found myself being a target online, I am not an influencer or a celebrity in any way, but for a few days I felt what it was like to be in the public eye – and I hated it.
Because I’m not just talking about influencers and Snapchat stars, models and TV presenters get hassled online just as badly.
I was getting constant comments on my Twitter, new people added me on Snapchat just to attack me – it was unbearable.
For someone who is obsessed with social media I found myself hating all of my social media accounts. Strangers were snapping me saying things like “go on and block me b****”, some of the comments were so shocking and upsetting, I felt horrible.
I deleted my Twitter and set my Snapchat to private – I wanted to curl up in a ball and die, thankfully I had a trip scheduled to LA so I hopped on a plane and took my mind out of the game for a while. But why did any one think it was okay to talk to a complete stranger that way?
What people need to realise is that Snapchat stars, Celebrities, Bloggers, Influencers…they are all reading your comments. They’re seeing your rude remarks, your bitchy statements, and it hurts.
I’ve seen disgusting comments about Grace Mongey in the past, she even took a social media break before because she found the constant comments too much to handle.
I’ve seen horrible comments written on Joanne Larby’s social media pages too and I can name a dozen more women who have had to endure the same treatment online – and these are hard working people trying to make a living – maybe it’s all jealousy, but the hate is like a virus and it spreads and spreads all over the internet.
A mob mentality has snuck it’s way on to social media, and people are so quick to jump on the hate train, any hate train at all – especially if it gets them more likes or more followers.
If we’ve learned anything at all from Donald Trump’s election in the states, it should be that hate spreads like wildfire, and although it will get you a lot of attention, it will never end well.
Bullying has gone from the playground, from the office and moved to a much scarier place – social media and it needs to stop now before it gets worse.
Coming from someone who actually was bullied as a child and as a teenager, I can tell you one or two comments, one snapchat, that’s all it takes to make someone feel like sh**, to feel ganged up on, to feel attacked.
There have already been so many cases of suicide around the world stemming from online bullying, and if we continue to go down this road, to let our friends, family, colleagues, attack people on social media, then we’re getting dangerously close to really hurting people.
So next time you want to send a nasty message to a social media star, or send a bitchy tweet to a celebrity, take a step and ask yourself are you being a bully? If the answer is yes, but the phone down and get back to your own life or maybe just get a life in the first place.