Strong people don't put others down. They lift them up.

This weekend has really got me thinking about the way we treat each others.
When I was doing my psychology A level, many moons ago, I learnt about a term called:

"Deindividuation" - A concept in social psychology that is generally thought of as the loss of self-awareness in groups. This is when a person doesn’t feel accountable as they are a part of a group Therefore they cannot be blamed for something as they feel there are no consequences.

You can relate this to mob mentality. At football matches, if everyone is chanting something rude, why not join in. You personally aren’t being offensive, you’re a part of a group, so it doesn't feel like you personally are complicit. 

Social media has turned into a breeding ground for mob mentality. 
Trolling has always existed, be it the awful ‘New Of The World’ ‘The Sun’ etc. I remember when I first started secondary school there was a website called “Mouth to mouth.” It was a forum in which to bitch about people anonymously. Back then, most people were only allowed 20 minutes of internet usage a day, and yet still resorted to attacking online. 

Social media can be a wonderful thing. It can be a place to share love and support in a way that reaches an incredible amount of people. It can be used for so much good. I've seen people raise exceptional amounts for charity, cheer on their friends and create a livelihood. But there is a dark side to it.

Recently, it has become a breeding ground for people to hide behind their blue light smoke screen to bully and torment others. This isn’t just a celebrity issue. I personally don’t use Snapchat, but I know my younger cousins do. Imagine being a young teenager. There are a number of things that can be incredibly embarrassing and exposing. Imagine, that one day you are feeling particularly vulnerable and someone posts a picture of you on Snapchat that is less than flattering. Just because it disappears after 24 hours doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. I can’t even begin to imagine my secondary school years with that much pressure. I was a chubby teenager with terrible skin who was so deeply self conscious, I wouldn’t even want to think about how social media would have made me feel back then.

Celebrity trolling unfortunately has always been something that the general public feel they have a right to. The printed press can be unbelievably harsh, but back when I was growing up, it was easy to ignore. Imagine now getting thousands of messages direct to your phone saying how terrible you are. 
Some may say “Oh, but you don’t have to look at it, it’s part of the job.” Unfortunately, having a social media presence has become almost imperative to having a job in the entertainment industry. Instagram can be incredibly lucrative. 
But at what cost to our mental health. 

Ordinary people are the problem in this social media war. Tabloid journalists have always been nasty and vile, but as the general public, we choose how we should behave. Just because no one can see you through your screen doesn’t mean your actions don’t have consequences. I’ve had the odd nasty comment on social media. When it’s one or two, you can laugh it off. I have next to no following, so I feel relatively removed. Some of my friends have much bigger online followings, and whilst most are huge fans of their work, some take it upon themselves to voice their negative opinion.
You can have thousands of positive messages, yet it will be the one negative one that you will always remember.
I believe everyone is entitled to their opinion. There is a difference in saying something constructive vs saying something like “She looked fat.” “He needs to go the gym a bit more.” “They should disappear.”

Your words have consequences.

We all just need to remember to be kind to each other. Kindness costs us nothing. You could be that cherry on top for someones bad day. Just because someone smiles on social media doesn’t mean behind the screen they aren’t crying. 
I would love social media to remain a highlight reel as I want to see positive things. I want to see people having fun and being proud of their achievements. You do not have to bring someone down in order to feel better about yourself.

There are huge lessons to keep being learnt when it comes to the lesson of human kindness. Give someone a compliment today, you never know, it might just make their day!

Big love to you all, and remember your down days don’t have to last forever. 
Talk to people and crying is OK! 
Don’t let the bastards bring you down!

Em x


No comments

Post a Comment

Comments :)

© Emma Kingston
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig