‘And I still don’t have the right look, and I still have the same three friends’ – Bowling for Soup
Although victims of physical abuse can claim compensation through the likes of CICA UK, online trolling and bullying is a relatively new epidemic and with Jesy Nelson’s documentary recently airing to rave reviews, it seems the issue of online trolling is back in the forefront of everybody’s mind.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again a million times over; I am SO glad that social media wasn’t around when I was at school. I was teased and name called enough without having to worry about who had followed or unfollowed me, or how many likes I got on a selfie. At least when I came home, anything bad that may have happened that day stopped, and I was able to just be a normal 14 year old in her bedroom listening to The Backstreet Boys. Which actually brings me nicely to the point of this post.
You’d think by the time we all grew into woman in our late 20s and early 30s the petty immature nonsense that comes with being a boyband fan would stop. How naive I am. When I was 14 the boyband one-upmanship was terrible; if someone had seen them live more times than you or had been front row when you’d only been third suddenly somehow made them a better fan than you. This of course all happened in a yahoo chat room or via msn messenger and even then, I was only allowed an hour a day on the internet, so was shielded from it most of the time.
Since the boys embarked on their latest sell out world tour, the jealous swipes at other fans or name calling seems to be worse than ever. And the biggest problem with all of this? It’s constant. It’s not limited to an hour a day, it’s on your Facebook feed or in your Instagram comments or your twitter timeline. Now, I’m a grown woman of reasonably strong mental health right now. So when I got a message from a Texan lady )claiming to love the Lord in her bio and with a billion kids in her profile picture) telling me she’d watched all my insta stories from the last BSB show and that my husband would be ashamed of me acting like a 12 year old child, I was able to see the funny side, and block that negativity from my life in an instant.
The offending video in question…
But what if you’re not that mentally strong? Or, as in Jesy’s case, what if it’s not just a one off message, it’s thousands of messages on every picture you post or tweet you send? That’s got to wear you down hasn’t it? It’s easy as well to think that your comments may be anonymous or just go unnoticed in a sea of other things but I reckon it’s the nasty ones that stand out the most, and I know certainly for me, they’re the ones that stay with you for the longest. I had a comment on a fashion post of mine years ago which was ‘you dress like you think you’re thinner than you are’. And obviously I know that’s a really dickish thing to say, but, as it’s not the first time I’ve mentioned it, it’s clearly stayed with me, and it did make me think twice about what I posted in future? Was that true? Did I dress like I thought I was thinner than I was? I’m not sure I would be able to get through life successfully if I got comments like that regularly. Not without having some kind of eating disorder that’s for sure.
The bottom line is I think it’s important to remember 2 things. 1. There is a person on the other side of the comment. Is what you’re saying truly helpful or is it just mean? Would you say that to someone’s face? And 2. Nothing and I mean nothing, not even Instagram likes is worth you feeling bad about yourself.
And for what it’s worth I don’t dress like I think I’m thinner than I am. I dress exactly like Carrie, and she dresses amazingly!