Let the haters hate. That’s something I’ve been hearing a lot of lately.
But why? Why is the general consensus that we should be silent when personally targeted by ‘trolls’ on the internet?
So you’re a blogger or a vlogger or a writer, or anything that’s possible to exist as an online profile with personality. When you sign up for exposure on the internet, no matter how large or small your social following you are opening yourself up for all to see and granted – they aint all gonna love you honey, that’s for certain.
I focus on the lovers a lot – you know, the ones who make everything wonderful and support you. Because honestly my blog makes my life better, it makes me better and I’m always thankful for that; regardless of how many people are lovely, each comment, like, favourite is a spoonful of sunshine in my life.
But one thing I won’t be sorry for is speaking out when haters (gonna) hate. Recently I’ve experienced a fair amount of negativity towards my blog and YouTube channel.
I wear too much makeup
I’m so ugly without makeup
I’m trying to be like Zoella
I’m lying that I have anxiety to get more blog hits
I’m the most boring person on the internet
I talk too much
I don’t have an original bone in my body
My voice is annoying
My acne is repulsive
The list goes on and whilst they’re not the worst comments in the world, really, truly they hurt. But I won't justify why that's a load of tosh, it goes without saying that I don't need to prove myself to you.
A lot of effort goes in to my blog and YouTube and I totally welcome constructive criticism and the fact that everyone has an opinion (I WANT TO BE THE BEST VERSION OF MYSELF!) – but when did it become okay, acceptable even, to be such a nasty person and just get away with it because, well, that’s life? That is wrong on so many levels and is the reason why so many people are afraid to take chances in life; because there are vile, insecure humans hiding behind a computer, bringing others down.
Of course, I don’t mean that wallowing in self pity is the best way to tackle it, but I do believe that currently, if we do speak out, all we are faced with is: ‘Just shrug it off, you’re better than that’.
Well I think everyone knows that deep down, you can’t just shrug it off – it’s not possible, we are humans. Each nasty jab, be it fleeting or totally personal takes an inch of the confidence you’ve grown and it’s near on impossible to ‘ignore’.
What we should be doing is feeding off the negative. If you’ve got someone’s attention, good or bad, you’re probably doing something right.
But be mad, sad, get angry, tell people about it – just because you’re not pooping rainbows every second of the day doesn’t mean you’re an attention seeker. It’s okay to show you’re hurting sometimes and I’m sorry but I will just never believe that putting on a brave face is the best way to fight it.
I suppose the more popular you become on the internet equals an ability to ignore/not acknowledge the ‘hate’, on some level, because it would probably become mentally exhausting to keep taking notice. But for people like me, I just can’t let it be and I don’t feel I should have to.
I know that acknowledging it means we’re giving those people what they ‘want’, but what happens by just bottling it up? Someone who is sad and slowly becoming less confident and not willing to try? That doesn’t sound much fun at all.
Or should we speak out and have the support of others and reaffirm that it’s NOT OKAY? There needs to be a platform for victims to come out and speak their mind, feel they have a support that isn’t just liking their latest video or commenting on their latest blog post. We are human, we love, we bleed, we laugh, we cry, we need others.
I don’t know how we get there, but I’m making it an objective for this year, to try and change the lax and quite frankly, frightening approach to online bullying – even if it’s simply finding and directing people to something that already exists as a support network.
We may not be able to control those bullies rearing their ugly heads, but together we can change the way we deal with it.