Stop saying “Be Kind” and just do it!! | Blog

Over the weekend we were faced with the devastating news that yet another celebrity has found that their only way out was to take their own life. Caroline Flack was just 40 years old when she killed herself in her London flat on Saturday 15th February 2020. We will never really know what pushed her to that life altering edge but it’s easy to assume what lead her to it and unfortunately it’s not just her that has felt like death was the only way out. In 2018 there were 6507 people who committed suicide. How many of those do you think were caused by bullying and trolling? It’s a stat that we will never really know but all you need to do is search death bullying trolls on google to be faced with article upon article about children being literally bullied to death.

When I was little if you were bullied at school then at least it stopped when you got home but it doesn’t anymore. Children gang up on people via social media, WhatsApp, text... it can be relentless and I can understand how for some children they get pushed to the edge. Only it’s not just children anymore is it? Us adults are meant to know better but we certainly don’t. Read the comment section on new paper articles about pretty much anything... read comments on high profile Instagram accounts... take 2 minutes to search a celebrities name on Twitter to see what people are saying. Adults certainly do not know better so it’s no wonder that our children follow suit. The trolls are the worst of the worst. They are the ones who write comments and reply to think with the sole purpose of getting a reaction. They send hatful, thoughtless comments with the full knowledge that it will cause hurt all in the hope so they will get some reaction and validation. Trolls are sad people with not a lot of joy and love in their lives. But I don’t believe trolls are the main cause of all of this online hate and hurt. It’s caused by you and by us.

The normal joe blogs with a genuine profile and who doesn’t spout hate comments like “go kill yourself” or “you should die” because they’d never dream of saying anything like that. But what they will say can be just as hurtful. They say things that are veiled as helpful or “just my opinion” which can be more hurtful as you know they are just a random troll looking for a reaction. I’ve been on the end of these hurtful kind of comments before and the trolls are easy to ignore but when Sarah from Nottingham tells me that I’m a bad mother because I let me son cry it out on the thinking step that makes me think. When Joanna from Suffolk comments on a post telling me that I’m a bad person for talking about weaning before six months and how my son will end up with digestive problems because of me, I worry and think about that comment for days. When rach.louise22 comments on videos I’ve done with brands saying I’m a fraud for talking about breastfeeding because I “only” combifed and how by working with me she’s lost faith in a company that she thought was reputable, I feel hurt and wonder what the hell I’ve done to make people dislike me?!? It’s the “normal” comments that when challenged people say “well it’s my right to say what I think” that hurt and you know they have some thought and meaning behind me. And what’s worse is that I can GUARANTEE you that these will be the same people that have been saying “be kind” all over social media over the weekend as they don’t see their comments as being unkind or hurtful as they are just sharing their opinions which they are well within their right to do... right?

Well technically yes, you can say whatever you want online. It’s a public forum and people are entitled to their opinions but what is the point if it’s not constructive or kind? What ever happened to the whole, if you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything? I feel that more people (myself included) need to think sometimes before commenting on things. Think about if whatever you are about the type is helpful? Is it needed? Is it kind? Would it hurt you if someone said it to you? Would you say it to someone face to face? If the answer is no to any of these questions then it probably isn’t something you should type and send. You never know the person behind the screen is going through and we need to be mindful of this. It’s been proven over this weekend and time and time again that sticks and stone may break my bones but words can really hurt me.

This new online and digital world we live it needs laws and protections that reflects the new culture we are in. If someone followed you around the streets calling you names and commenting on everything you did then what would happen? It would be harassment and the police would get involved and they’d tell the person to leave you alone. If they didn’t and it got worse then you could get an injunction or a restraining order put in place to protect you and stop the constant harassment. What happens in the online world though? In the summer when I went through a horrendous load of trolling and where someone contacted brands about me, what could I do? I didn’t know who was doing it? I had no names or faces. All I had was fake profiles and messages. I could have taken that to the police but they are so over stretched and the threats weren’t live threatening so what would they have actually done? There needs to be more consequence for people words online. It’s too easy to be anonymous and hide behind hurtful words. Words that can cause serious repercussions but yet our media and our society think things are okay as they are. The media can write what they like and people comment hurtful things every day with no repercussions. Something needs to change! If you agree then please consider signing this petition here - https://www.change.org/p/celebrities-exploiting-people-in-the-public-eye?recruiter=1043078149&recruited_by_id=f9302730-505b-11ea-b922-2181c12388a3

By most importantly, be kind. Consider the impact of your words. Think about how you’d feel if they were send to you or your loved ones. Would it be okay? If not then just don’t say it! Be kind and be thoughtful.

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