Be Kind Online

Friday, 13 November 2020

Did you know that Brits can check their phone up to 28 times a day and spend on average around two hours a day on social media?

A huge 40% of the world now uses social media, meaning we can connect and learn with all kinds of people all over the world. 

The pros of social media are endless from finding communities to discuss hobbies and interests, meeting new friends and even dating. However, the negatives can sometimes outshine the positives online and social media has come a long way from the days of small internet forums where you could maintain a private profile in such a public forum. 

With the likes of apps such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it is now easier than ever before for somebody to find out your personal details. Be wary about how much personal information you post, check your privacy and security settings and make sure your memorable information, such as your date of birth or hometown, is only visible to you.

Privacy is important, but it fuels a rise in ‘keyboard warriors’ and online ‘trolling’. These terms are used to describe a person who makes abusive or aggressive comments online. Most of the time these comments are unnecessary, and no remorse is shown. Being anonymous or hiding safely behind a computer screen offers people protection to say whatever they want, be it constructive or abusive.

We can’t control the keyboard warriors or those who seek to damage others through social media, but we can control the way we feel about them and it is important to remember that they do not know us personally and therefore such hateful comments are not personal. 

Especially during these turbulent times, it is more valuable than ever to take care of our mental health and really stop and think before comments are made that could potentially hurt people. 

When you are next scrolling on social media and feel like engaging in a conversation, think of the following: 

  • Would you say the same remark to somebody if you were face to face with them? 
  • How would you feel if someone treated you or your family and friends that way? 
  • Is this information you’re commenting on from a reliable and trustworthy source? 
  • Can you back up your opinions from a reputable source?  

‘FOMO’ or fear of missing out has played a huge part in affecting our mental health online. The feeling can cause a great deal of anxiety and depression by thinking you have to constantly compare yourself to people online. In reality, no one has the ‘perfect life,’ we all face our own problems and you cannot believe everything you read or see online. 

Being kind is not just something we do in the ‘real world’ with many more people working from home and spending more time online. Being kind is now more vital than it ever has been, so uplift your online friends, promote their online business’, like their selfie, share that article of something good that has happened in the world and lets all work together to be kind.

“In a world where you can be anything, Be Kind”

– Joseph Maley