Cyber bullying is no longer a new or fresh concept. The internet is now a place to voice opinions and meet potential love interests. You can buy a dress or do your grocery shopping at the click of a mouse. It’s made everything so easily accessible including people. Snapchat is a relatively new concept for people. It’s fun lively and a another platform for what should be light hearted and uplifting. It is also I know an arena to help raise awareness about things that are perhaps not so light hearted. And this of course is equallly important.
The practicality of the Internet is great. The reaching out factor is amazing. But as an adult the amount of people that think it’s a platform for ridicule and pathetic mockery astounds me.In my view comedy or skit shpould be a victimless thing.
I am a woman and it really worries me that in 2016 there is a whole tribe of mean girls out there. People that would never be direct and say something to your face but would take to a platform and try to mock you. I’m 37, married and self assured. I have a weekly column in a newspaper and have in the past written for magazines and online publications. I have a job I love which involves making people feel good about themselves every single day. I’m a good friend , I’m a great laugh and can see the funny in almost anything. In a word I am positive and grateful for opportunities that I’ve created and been given. But here’s the thing. I’m a straight talker. If I feel something isn’t right I say it. I hate injustice and cannot abide senseless mockery.
In life I don’t take myself too seriously. My Instagram is a mixture of products , quotes and selfies of my make up. Recently enough ahead of attending a launch I did a little make up chat on snap chat. Let me tell you about the day I had that day. I got up in great form at the promise of cocktails after work.my husband dropped me to work and enroute I picked up some coffees and breakfast for my colleague and I. She was booked out that morning and had to catch a flight so I wanted her to eat. On my lunch hour I got my eyebrows done and my nails. I also got a curry chips for my lunch. Not something I regularly indulge in at lunch but the smell got me. My day was going well. Before I got home that day I had done some masques in the clinic I work in I was feeling good. On my way home I met a homeless man who was crying and extremely distressed so I bought him a meal and some cigarettes.i was so upset leaving him but he had stopped crying so at least that was something. Then I had a shower and snap chatted part of my going out routine.~I rang a friend and ran into a neighbour on the way home.I told the neighbours about the homeless man and satrted bawling. They joked at me that I had always been a softie, these are two of my peers people I have lived near my whole life. They know me well. So the Snap chat that day was basically me getting my brows done, masquing my face and applying my make up. This is standard stuff for a beauty blogger or for a normal woman. It’s not really anything unusual. I didn’t share the fact that I had bought a homeless man a meal, myself curry chips or the conversation i had with my friend or neighbours. Nor did I snapchat any of my workday really. I try to keep my snapchat light and interesting.
I went off the the launch and had some great laughs with some really positive women. I of course overindulged in the cocktails and in true Mary-Jane spirit offered to get up and make one. The craic was mighty.
And here are two screen grabs to the subsequent Twitter posts. I have a couple of thousand followers on all platforms. I get tweets from other bloggers,writers men ( product obsessed ones) normal gals like myself and get snapchats and a lot of DMs and emails. The people that liked the tweet above were a blogger , a teacher , a plastic surgeon , a model and two moms. I’m not a hard hitter blog wise because I’m too busy. I work full time have the writing gigs and an amazing social life. I also do a fair bit of charity work. I don’t blog for anything other than the hobby side of it. I can kinda take it and leave it. I don’t want to be famous or make money from it. If I did I’d be working at it a bit harder. The products or services I get sometimes are a good perk though. All of the reach I have is organic ( unpaid) so I enjoy the fun.
So recently someone that knows I follow them on a platform took to the platform to ridicule me and the post. Was it comedy gold? Not especially if I’m honest. Did I cry? No, because looking at myself I am happy. I am grateful. If i could lsit all the things I am grateful for one of them would be social mdia. I have made some awesome connections there. However I did take to my public Facebook page to post about it. I’m sure people thought it was funny. I am a tough old bird when it comes To social media. None of these ” friends” or ” followers” really impact my life one way or another. I use social media positively to engage with people and to help promote small businesses. I keep in touch with friends abroad and people I’ve met or reconnected with on social media.
I got a few messages from people afterwards saying how sad and pathetic the post was, and various other ones. The person involved must be rather unhappy to be so obsessed with what others are doing. I have this theory . If they don’t know you personally then don’t take it personal. I know this person(s) both professionally and personally. Could I critique them? If I thought about it possibly however right now I’m enjoying the first real day of Spring in my garden with a bowl of cashew nuts and a Diet Coke half watching our cat trying to terrorise a bird.
The reason for the blog post at all is that this month had international women’s day and a campaign by Niall Boylan to end bullying. For me although slightly hurtful I didn’t lose any sleep. I put myself out there to a degree and so can expect it to a certain extent. I guess the fact I’m self confident And not out to impress anyone means that I’m real on social media. The only thing you won’t see is my family my husband or my bunions . If you don’t like serums or face creams or eyeshadow I’m not going to lie .. You’ll be bored silly .
Another thing I spoke about only yesterday on Snapchat is people taking candid images or videos of people without their permission. I am not talking anout the infamous James Patrice and his Fron sketches or the person that calls their work colleague to look and says “say hi to snapchat” . What I am talking about is the person that takes a photo of someone going about thero daily life to rididcule them or share it on social media. This is also a form of bullying and there is a big difference between thinking “oh my god why is she wearing that” to taking a picture and sharing it on any platform. This is schoolyard bullying and it has to stop. So many people snapped me back and said that they had either been a victim of or had witnessed this kind of behaviour. In a country that has a mental health service that is on its knees and one of the highest rates of people taking their own lives in Europe it saddens me that these people don’t have the empathy or anything else more constructive to do than mock.
So here’s to strong supportive people. Confident people don’t hate and you’ll never see a hater doing better than you. Think before you post.