Hatred hurts. Where did the social [media] go?

Edited to add: As I got a few few comments and questions I wanted to clear up any potential confusion [sorry for that!]. Neither have I personally been target of any online bullying nor is my post exclusively directed at any specific websites or forums though I do see a lot [like the threats mentioned below] of it happening on Instagram.

Warning ahead: Certain happenings go me thinking again and there are lots of words ahead. Yet it’s an important issue I feel all of us have an opinion on or experiences with.

Let's talk

Faith in humanity. It’s constantly shaken aback by incidents that make you doubt its existence all over the world. However, it’s not merely through actual terrorism.  happening daily. Right around is in what is actually called $$ social $$ media but makes you wonder if some people leave their kindness at the login buttom or commenting form.

A few snarky comments aside I haven’t been victim of this very anti-social part of social media yet. But I’ve heard of and seen the reality of what is happening …

Gossiping and rumors.

Accusations.

Death threats towards people

The problem that can also be a blessing is: words are not just words. They’re powerful. Just like the unexpected surprise of a kind reader’s mail saying the enjoyed your recent post can brighten a bad day an accusing mail or overload of critical comments can turn said day even worse.

Think before you speak – the old rule applies still in the new age of social media. Or it should. Even if we disagree with others – and yes, I do occasionally, too – there are other options than hate. In fact, why not see it as a challenge and training for real life situations that enrage you: can you voice your criticism in a way that allows the other person a reaction other than tears and feeling hurt? A way that opens up a respectful discussion?

Truth is: yes, as bloggers we are opening ourselves up to criticism. But not all voluntarily. There’s no ‘social media light’ option: all the fun and community without the hate. If there was everybody would opt for that, thankyouverymuch. And: there’s [constructive]criticism and then there’s [hurtful]criticism. It’s okay if you can’t understand somebody’s choice and ask for their reasoning. But it’s definitely not okay to threaten to kill somebody’s dog [as seen on Instagram,yes] or the person herself [as read on a popular blogger’s media outlet]. Gossiping wasn’t cool in school and it’s definitely not on the much larger scale as the whole internet as your school yard. Or neighborhood.

Garden

In a food-centered social media world it’s not too surprising which topics leads to heated debates most often: diets. I’ll paint a slightly exaggerated picture for illustration of examples I actually witnessed:

If you choose to eat vegan/paleo/HCLF and talk about the amazing benefits nonstop you’re a superstar and have many devotees.

If, however, you do the above and suddenly notice you’re actually not feeling supreme anymore, hence decide to introduce a few non-diet-conform foods or – heaven beware – give up said diet for good: beware of the haters.

Once again: I talk about dietary-induced conflicts but the issue I’m talking about happens on a much larger scale involving criticism of people as a whole. Whatever you do and or/talk about – especially if you have a large following – you have to expect harsh criticism and bad rumors every minute.

What also makes me sad is knowing there are places/websites with the sole purpose of fuelling hatred and hurtful gossip. With the most popular one being the Lord Voldemort of the blog world I will not write out its name but I’m sure most of you know which forums I’m talking about. I’ll admit I’ve been reading up a bit every now and then there – curiosity always wins, right? – and became more and more disgusted. Like I said: criticism is one thing. But what these people feel they knew about others or try to find out borders on stalking. It is not normal to discuss somebody’s eating behaviours and doubt the truth of what they say or show. Not normal to make assumptions about a blogger’s family or the state of their relationships from a single picture of a few lines in a post. Not normal to discuss possble eating disorders or other illnesses of bloggers you don’t even know personally. Not normal to tear apart every post or comment somebody makes, dissecting it for some ugly truths worthy snarking about.

Everybody is entitled their own opinion? Absolutely, yes. But note the difference: everybody is entitled their own opinion not entitled unreasonable and endless hatred towards people of different opinion or living lifestyles you don’t approve of. But tnat is the reality of social media these days.

Candles

We’re all nosey, I get and admit it. But there’s a line to be crossed and it has been in many cases. Did you watch Mean Girls? It’s like that on steroids. Times ten.

If I was granted one wish for Christmas it would be for more kindness in the world. Or at least the world of social media. Especially as we know there’s a huge wonderful part of it, too. Let’s show the haters and the internet skepticals that love and respect still exist these days. We’re not that awful of a society and generation, are we?

 

Happiness-inducing today: Coincidentially receiving a letter from a fellow blogger. Call me old-fashined but real letters > e-mails any day.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

 

Hatred, hurtful gossiping and even death threats: how do you experience this on social media? Share any thoughts you have on the topic.

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21 thoughts on “Hatred hurts. Where did the social [media] go?

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thanks, Kaila. It’s really not just that website, though. At least I haven’t seen death threats like on Instagram there. Though any hate is unnecessary and I can’t see why anybody would spend their time snarking on others. We all like to gossip, I guess, but only to a certain extent.

  1. GiGi Eats Celebrities says:

    I’ve definitely heard about cyber/blog bullying before and I don’t get it. I have never been a victim to it, because I don’t take anything personally and laugh at everything… But I just don’t see the point of people attacking one another. Ugh.

  2. Amanda @ .running with spoons. says:

    I’ve never been able to understand the mindset that someone has to be in to actually take time out of their day to spread so much negativity and hate. I mean, I can understand not agreeing with everything you see online, but then why keep reading? If I don’t like something, I just… don’t read it. Apparently that’s a difficult concept for some people to understand. As for Lord Voldemort, I stopped reading 2+ years ago and it was seriously one of my best blogging decisions.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      So true. I don’t think a little bit of gossiping – behind closed doors – hurts anybody but why people take the time to leave hurtful comments is beyond me. And I’m like you: if I don’t agree with somebody I just unfollow.

  3. katalysthealth says:

    I will never understand why people feel the need to tear other people down, just to make themselves feel better. What do you really accomplish? DO you really feel better after? But some people are just mean and cruel. It is unfortunetly, part of putting ourselves out there and showing the world your true self. Not everyone will like it. Instead of just NOT commenting and never visiting their blog/twitter/instagram or whatever, they attack them verbally? I don’t get it.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Does it really make some people feel better to hate on others? I’ve wondered this for quite some time already. And yes, we can’t get only sunshine and rainbows when sharing part of our lives with the world. I just wish more people opted for the unfollow button instead of hating.

  4. mylittletablespoon says:

    Okay. This sounds awful and cruel and mean and.. awful. Call me naive in the blog world, but I have no idea what site/forum you are referring to. I’m almost scared to ask. Whatever it is, putting people down – in any manner of life – is a sign of their own self consciousness. I choose to just be the better person. I sure hope you’ve never been the victim of such cruelness.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you, Cora. I noticed I’d been unclear and no, I haven’t been victim of online bullying before. The final incentive to write this post were death threats I’d seen on a German Instagram account. There’s a line drawn when this happens for sure.
      You’re not naïve or missing out on anything for not knowing that forum I mentioned. I wish I’d never found it myself.

  5. Kate Bennett says:

    I am appalled when I see the things people say to celebs on instagram. It is hard to believe some of those words can come from a human. I guess because I choose not to surround myself with those kinds of people, I am somewhat naive to the kind of evils out there in everyday people.
    Now, do I think that there are blogs/instagram accounts out there that cause more harm than good? Yes. However, being rude and hateful to those people changes nothing.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      There’s nothing naïve about being unaware to this but it actually shows you’re actively staying away from negativity. It truly is hard to believe some people spend time hurting others. Constructive criticism helps, hatred doesn’t change a thing.

  6. Eilish says:

    I have been a victim of cyberbullying, both by people I know personally and random strangers who read my blog/followed me on Instagram. I will never understand what inspires people to act how they do. One of these forums has “affectionally” named me “sprout” – because I used to eat a lot of brussel sprouts when I was active on Instagram. They’ve never said anything too bad, but it’s the fact that, like you said, they borderline stalk you and seem Hell bent on talking about you. It’s bizarre.
    I hope everything is okay with you personally. I’m always here if you need to talk!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      I’m sorry you’ve experienced this hatred yourself, Eilish! Like you said the fact of knowing some people take apart your private life online alone is appalling. Thanks for offering me an open ear. I haven’t been victim to any of this but if you ever need to talk: any time.

  7. Morgan @ Managing Mommyhood says:

    Love this. Seriously, I never understand people who have the time or energy to legit stop and make someone feel bad about themselves. It’s VERY common in mom blogs and FB groups where anonymous people will just rip a woman apart for something. And I can almost guarantee they’re really only saying it because they’re behind the safely of a screen.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thank you, Morgan! I haven’t read any mom blogs or the likes but I can imagine how some people might feel superior to others/being ‘better’ moms. Also, I completely agree in guessing most of these people wouldn’t have the guts to say any of what they do online in real life.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Thanks, Carmen! I only read about it but luckily didn’t have it happen to myself. The reason I wrote this post was thinking nobody should experience it – I think all of us have empathy with those affected even if we’ve never been victims of hatred ourselves.

  8. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says:

    Online bullying is real, whether on Facebook or in the blog world. Some how, you have to just distance yourself from that nonsense and surround yourself with the good things you see. There will always be haters, which is really just someone unhappy with themselves so they take it out on those around them. Remember that too. It’s just a sad soul in the end, not worth your time or energy.

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