One thing I learned in my 40-something (can’t remember the specifics) years on this earth is that you will never regret being kind. Imagine how beautiful the world would be if everyone just had something positive to say. Wishful thinking? Maybe. But I still believe in the good of humans and I still want to always see the best in people. Social media and online bullying sometimes make that tough to do.
I love what I do. And I love sharing my life within our City Girl community. But I don’t love haters. I don’t love internet trolls attacking my five-year-old for living authentically in this world. When it’s pointed toward me that’s one thing. But when you come after my son? That, I won’t stand for. When I see a negative comment about Brody or myself or any other member of my family, I always wonder what’s going on in that person’s life. I wonder why they feel entitled to share an opinion on someone they’ve never met. I just don’t get it! So in honor of the haters, I’ve officially launched a National Check Yourself Day!
About 37 percent of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online. Thirty percent have had it happen more than once.
The Social Media Switch
When I started my blog all those years ago, social media was a different place. I didn’t log in every detail of my life on Instagram, I didn’t have as many followers as I do now, and my five-year-old certainly didn’t either (he wasn’t even born yet!). But for better or for worse, and I like to think for absolute better, our social media platforms have developed into what it is today—a place for us to communicate almost instantaneously, a place to be creative, to get inspired.
But with all of that good, comes some bad. The negative comments. The online bullying. And the judgment. It’s so much easier to stay safe behind your phone screen and say cruel things knowing you’ll never have to face that person. Social media has given us that power. I just wonder why some choose to use it.
More kids experience cyberbullying on Instagram than any other platform at 42 percent. With Facebook following close behind at 37 percent. Snapchat ranked third at 31 percent. YouTube was only responsible for 10 percent.
Ignoring the Haters
I don’t want to spend my time or energy on the haters, but I do think they need to be acknowledged. For as many lovely, supportive, awesome comments we get from our community, there are always a handful spewing hate. And when you spew hate and ill words to other human beings, you’re keeping yourself engulfed in a toxic cloud! What a shame! I can’t imagine living so miserably.
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One million children were harassed, threatened, or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year.
What I’m Teaching My Kids
Most importantly, I’m making this a teaching moment. Moving forward I won’t shine a light on people’s hatred but I will encourage my kids to always treat people with love and compassion and that they rise when they lift others! It starts at home! Instilling a sense of kindness and respect in our children is mine and Bobby’s biggest lesson. The golden rule holds true for a reason—treat others as you wish to be treated and only kindness can follow!
I think we can learn so much from our kids, those who naturally want to love and accept people as they are. So on this National Check Yourself Day, please check yourself, stay kind, and take a page out of Boss Baby’s playbook and just dance it out!
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Girls are almost twice as likely as boys to be victims and perpetrators of cyberbullying.