Ways to make social media a kinder place to be…
Social Media Kindness Day is in memory of Caroline Flack and is held on November 9th, which was her birthday. It’s an important reminder to always be kind online, not just today, but every day.
Why It’s Important To #BeKind Online
There’s a dark side to social media – a place where trolls lurk and faceless keyboard warriors wait to strike with poisoned words. Nasty messages and comments are posted on photos and sent through the internet without any thought for the damage the words can inflict on their chosen target.
We should all be able to use social media without fear of negativity but sadly this isn’t the case.Whether it’s on a celebrity’s latest Instagram selfie, a friend’s story, or even your own feeds, we’ve all seen trolling, bullying and nasty comments. People would never say these things to a person’s face and yet they don’t think twice about typing out hurtful comments and hitting ‘send’. This type of negative and nasty online behaviour is unacceptable. It’s damaging. It can even be dangerous. And it’s time we all put a stop to it.
How To Be Kind Online
We can all do our bit to make social media a more positive and safer place to be. Keep these five kindness tips in mind when you next log on…
- Kindness Reminder
The Social Media Kindness Day website has lots of great kindness reminder memes you can download and post whenever you see a nasty comment. It’s a visual reminder to the poster of just how damaging their unkind words can be. Click here to take a look.
- Choose Your Words
Always choose your words very carefully and consider if they could potentially offend or upset anyone. Be kind with your words and don’t write anything online that you wouldn’t say in real-life. Treat others as you would like to be treated.
- No Pile-Ons
Try to stay balanced and fair when dealing with someone who is being mean online. Goading or inviting others to ‘gang up’ on the person won’t help. A person who trolls is already in a negative mental space – it won’t help to push them further into isolation. Do your best to avoid getting into the thick of a heated argument and keep a level head.
- Consider Your Input
Will your involvement in an online argument or situation help? For example, will your comment make other users feel safer? Or might it inflame the situation? Sometimes, it might be best to mute, remove, block or report a person. It may even be best to ‘walk away’ and remove yourself from the situation to protect your own mental health. Always weigh it up before you weigh in.
- Check In
If you see someone being targeted or trolled, check in with them to make sure they’re OK. You could drop them a quick message or simply post a ‘checking in’ meme to let them know that you’re there for them. Click here to download a checking in meme you can use online.
Get Involved With #SMKD
Show your support for Social Media Kindness Day by sharing a selfie of you doing the love sign. Post your selfie on social media and tag three friends with the words:
I’m supporting Social Media Kindness Day with my sign for love. Let’s all play our part to be kinder online. Are you with me [tag friend 1], [tag friend 2], [tag friend 3]? #SocialMediaKindnessDay
Click here to ‘Make Your Pledge’ and to follow Social Media Kindness Day on their socials!