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Tea with Nadine

It’s that time of the week again; the start of the weekend! Sit back, relax and let’s have a bit of a heart-to-heart in this week’s installment of Tea with Nadine. This week, I decided that I wanted to tackle cyberbullying.

As a child of the late ‘90’s, I have grown up with the internet around me. It has been an everyday occurrence in my life for as long as I can remember. My primary school even had a mandatory computer class dedicated to teaching the students how to send emails and use Microsoft Office. (Although it was mandatory, we loved it!) Considering the exposure I had to the internet from a young age, the next generation will obviously have far more contact with the internet and have a far greater knowledge as far as making use of the internet than someone my age or older was back in the day. I have already seen it happening. These days you see young children walking around with iPads and cellphones and having a better idea of how to use it and the apps available for the electronic device than most adults do.

While that is rather impressive, what concerns me is how unfriendly the internet can be. After watching videos on YouTube, I really enjoy reading the comments on the videos. What upset me the other day was that, when reading the comments on the videos of popular YouTubers, I saw so many derogatory comments such as “She has no boobs.”, “She isn’t even that pretty.”, “These people are just looking for attention.” and “Why to these people even have subscribers?” to mention a few. I know the internet is a platform where you can say- and upload whatever you want to but what I don’t understand is why people would post comments like these when they know the person they are talking about is going to see it and likely feel hurt by it. I don’t understand how another human being could purposefully act maliciously towards someone whom they don’t even know from a bar of soap.

I understand the whole bully-logic in the sense that they are trying to make up for- or hide their insecurities but what puzzles me about that logic is that surely, rather than their behaviour making them feel better about themselves, it makes them feel worse.

I must say that I feel social media websites and applications are just as guilty in the current cyberbullying struggle as any hateful commenter is. Many social media platforms have a ‘dislike’ button as an option next to an upload. That, to me, is enabling this bully-behaviour. Why on earth is there a dislike button?!?! Think about it this way; after spending hours preparing, filming and editing a YouTube video which you post once you are happy with it, are you going to feel good about the effort you put in if you see someone pressed the dislike button? Certainly not! In fact, you will most likely feel defeated and gutted. You will probably feel like your hard work wasn’t worth it. Why not take away the dislike button? That way, if someone doesn’t like what you have done, they just don’t give you the satisfaction of giving you a ‘like’ rather than belittling you and undermining your work. GET RID OF THAT DISLIKE BUTTON, SOCIAL MEDIA!!!

It is unnecessary to post a rude comment about what you disliked about the video too. If you do it in a constructive way such as saying something to the effect of, “Your videos have such potential! I struggled to hear you though. I think you could really take your videos to the next level and be amazing if you spoke a bit louder.” That is constructive criticism rather than saying something like, “You speak so softly that you may as well just stop trying to make videos.” That is just rude and unnecessary. The person is far more likely to respond well and prosper as a result than if you are unpleasant for no apparent reason.

Another thing about rude comments; they tend to make people who care about the person you are being rude to retaliate and start arguing with the bully. Although defending someone’s honour is a noble cause, these arguments tend to get heated and often turn the defender into a less-than-noble example of an internet user. They usually end up being rude to the person who was rude and that just creates such an unnecessary negative energy. Really, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. That is an old and cliché saying but it’s still true.

As a blogger, I spend a lot of time on the internet whether it is social media, my blog or any other platform such as websites I visit when doing research. For that reason, I really want to find a way to make the internet a safer, friendlier place to be. To start, I would like to create a platform to promote positivity on the internet.

My current idea to promote positivity is to pay homage to someone you admire greatly. This person doesn’t have to be well-know. They don’t have to be a blogger, vlogger or any other form of an internet personality… My idea to pay homage to someone I admire is to write a post about someone inspiring saying why they inspire you or why you think they are so admirable. If you want to join me, you can acknowledge that amazing person in your life by writing a blog post about them and why they inspire you, posting a Tweet or even a photo with a caption about why you admire them on Instagram. Go crazy and spread the love. It could be literally anyone you look up to whether they have an account of sorts somewhere on the internet or not.

If you want to, you can tag me in the post if you are using Twitter or Instagram and I will go retweet or like your post. If you are posting in the form of a blog post, please tweet me a link. I would love to hear all about the wonderful people you admire. (My links: InstagramTwitter)

I am going to start this “movement” by telling you who I really admire; Karen from Confetti and Curves.

Karen and I started blogging around the same time (October of 2014) which we quickly bonded over. I fell in love with her cheery beauty articles, her brilliant blogging tips and her innovative article ideas such as her ‘Behind the Blog’ series.

Karen is not only one of the friendliest, most kind-hearted individuals I have ever come across but she is also a mother to a beautiful little girl, a brilliant blogger and an inspiration to so many. She especially inspired me with her #TakeBackWhatsYours Campaign article. After reading her amazing journey to self-confidence, I was immediately driven to open up about my own struggles with self-image.

Karen has followed my every step on my blogging journey. She has supported me, she has encouraged me to strive for greatness and she has been a brilliant role model to me and everyone who has the privilege of knowing her and following her blogging journey. She is a true inspiration and a perfect example of someone who is beautiful inside and out. She is the kind of person whose genuine goodness could inspire the end of something as rampant as cyberbullying.

Join me in making the internet a more positive, friendly environment by acknowledging someone who provides a brilliant example of how we should treat- and inspire others.

With love,

Nadine

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