Having had some sort of presence in the online world since the days of Myspace and Bebo I'm [sadly] all too familiar with online hate. And it's something that's so prominent in the blogging world and lately, it's been on my mind a lot. It's something we're all aware of and we've all probably experienced at some point and it's something that has weirdly become ok and acceptable when it really isn't. Hate isn't something I like to discuss as it's not a nice conversation but it's a very important one and we need to stop making it acceptable online.
IT'S NOT OK AND IT'S SERIOUS
At school, I was bullied and it made my teenage years so awful that I didn't want to go to school. Even over 10 years later what those bullies did still affect me and I still remember the cruel things that those people said and did. And online bullying and hate can have the exact same effect and can often be a lot worse because unlike getting bullied at school, you can't escape the online world whereas you can leave school. Just because the cruel things aren't done to somebody in real life doesn't mean they don't have an effect. And it's all too easy to think that they don't. It's almost a given that you'll to tell yourself that those things shouldn't affect you and try and brush them off but in reality, it's not that easy. I cannot think of any feasible reason that anyone could say that would make leaving a vile nasty comment or do something so awful to someone that it might have a life long effect on someone acceptable. Real life bullying and cyberbullying are incredibly important issues and what one person might think is a throwaway comment or even 'sassy' could have a life long effect on someone's wellbeing.
NO-ONE HAS THE RIGHT
If there is one common theme that I've noticed with disgusting hurtful comments is often the person making them thinks that they have a right to. And whilst we all have a right to an opinion there is a huge difference between an opinion and being rude. But people often like to pretend calling someone names or saying hurtful things is just a difference of an opinion. And it isn't nor will it ever be. And just because you don't share the same opinion as someone that doesn't mean you have to be aggressive or self-righteous about yours. There are so many ways we can share things that go against what the vast majority believe in a civilised manner that won't directly hurt someone It doesn't matter who we are or what we do none of us has the right to purposely hurt someone because we believe we're entitled to share our opinion.
YOU HAVE A CHOICE WITH WHAT YOU DO ONLINE
There are some things that I really don't like online, so I do the most logical thing and I don't look at them. I find it mind boggling that people take time out of their day to view something they don't like, it seems almost self-destructive to look at something you know infuriates you so much. Anything to do with social media or other people online isn't something that you have to view, it's all in your control. No-one online is being forced into someone's life, if you're annoyed by what you see online for the most part you've only got yourself to blame.
Whilst we'll never be able to escape people thinking they have the right to comment on absolutely everything and completely abuse their freedom of speech. We do have things out there like the block, delete, unfollow and mute buttons and it only makes sense to use them. There is no point in purposely making yourself endure people being cruel. Utilising them buttons isn't a bad thing it's the sensible thing to do. There is this weird stigma around deleting nasty comments which will never make any sense to me as so often where there is one mean comment more will follow.
CONSTRUCTIVE CRITISM VS HATE
Constructive criticism and hate can so often be confused for the same thing they're very different. Sometimes people can leave really helpful pieces of advice, even if something as simple as 'the music was a little loud in this video so it made it difficult to hear you'. There is absolutely nothing negative about the comment but because it's not a compliment people can so often jump to the worst conclusion. However, comments like 'kill yourself' or 'you're disgusting' are just vile, there is nothing constructive about this. They can't help anybody and it's only been said with the purpose to hurt someone. It's not always easy to decipher between the two as it's so hard to read someone's tone online but so often there is a clear difference. Handling criticism online is hard and it's easy to become offended when someone doesn't think what you've created is awesome but so often people have good intentions when saying something critical. But because people can be so cruel it's almost natural to become jaded and presume everyone has bad intentions.
UNDERSTANDING WHERE IT COMES FROm
It seems wrong to write this post and not talk about my own relationship with hate. Whilst I would never and have never gone out of my way to leave someone a rude comment I've certainly said cruel things about people online and it's not a nice thing to do. And I know why I've said those things and it's only been in a moment of annoyance and I think that's what a lot of online negativity is. It's a moment of annoyance and it's all too easy to get a little carried away and think it won't matter. And I don't think everyone who writes awful things to people online are truly bad people because there are so many factors to take into consideration. Of course there are some really bad eggs out there but it's not true for all cases. I completely understand a lot of the frustrations with bloggers and the whole influencer thing, and some of the negativity can be pinned down to jealously but for the most part, it's a very difficult world to understand.
Whilst I completely understand where some of the negativity can come from there are some things that I will never understand. Personally, I would never want to be the direct source of someone being unhappy as there are so many awful things that people deal with on a daily basis and they don't need anything more to handle when it's not necessary. Because no-one on the internet is having as much of a good time as you think you are. So when people make comments telling people they're disgusting, fat, ugly, annoying and a number of other cruel things it can be really hard to understand why. And I truly don't think the vast majority of us will ever be able to understand why people feel compelled to be so cruel. But one thing we can do is stand up against them.
I'd love to know your thoughts on online hate
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