Remember last month when I wrote about that unfortunate incident on Twitter in which a bully ridiculed my looks? It was a sad situation, but rest assured, friends! I did what I do best and got my feelings out in a new essay! Why? Because getting bullied on social media should never happen to anyone!
My essay “What It Feels Like Getting Bullied On Social Media” was published on Ravishly last week and I’m really proud of how it turned out. Although I was a bit scared to share my story and be raw to the whole world, I knew that it was something I needed to do. As I’ve found time and time again, the vulnerability was so freeing. It felt as if I was letting go of all those negative emotions. I was able to say #ByeFelicia to that misguided bully once and for all.
Here’s an excerpt of the essay, in which I warn of the dangers of letting your online persona bleed into your real life…
Unfortunately, the Web moves fast, and as blogging became more mainstream, the culture of the Internet was born. Comments sections flourished and became the millennial generation’s answer to the malt shop.
It wasn’t long before I started noticing a trend, though. It was a subtle shift at first, quickly morphing into an alarming phenomenon that couldn’t easily be ignored. Everyone seemed to have an opinion — on what I did, what I didn’t do, even something as innocent as my love of Mountain Dew. Otherwise harmless conversations became observations. Observations became criticisms. And criticisms became hate. To say that these words didn’t hurt would be a lie. They did hurt, yet I became pretty good at shrugging them off as nothing more than mindless hate from some Internet trolls.
You can set the tone. You can set an example. You can show people that there’s a right and wrong way to treat others. This goes for both online and offline interactions. What happens when who we are online becomes who we are offline, in the “real world”? What happens when we start tossing around hate and insults in real time?
You can read the full essay here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo