17/02/2020

Why do people think it's ok to be a dick to others?

Why do people think it's ok to be a dick to others? I really wish I knew.

Putting yourself out there on social media, in today's society, is a risk. You open yourself up to scrutiny, criticism and bullying - and that's not ok.

Social media, when used properly, can be an amazing thing. It raises awareness of campaigns and good causes, helps to find lost people/pets, and raises money for vital fundraisers. However, the minority ruin it for everyone else by using it as a way to bully others.

Just because someone is in the public eye, or because their profile is open to public viewing, does not mean that we know every single detail about their life. It is not an invitation to pass judgement or to be mean.

It is possible, believe it or not, to see something (or someone) that you don't like on your news feed and keep on scrolling. If you passed someone in the street and didn't like their outfit, or their hair, or their glasses, you wouldn't stop and tell them. So why is it ok to do it from behind a keyboard?

Why is it ok to bully someone? And do so in such a faceless way.

It's cowardly behaviour.

It’s 2020, yet STILL people take every word in the tabloids as gospel. They eat into the clickbait culture and hound people when they’re at their absolute lowest ebb. 

Trolls - who aren’t even brave enough to use their own names/accounts - BULLY people online relentlessly; just because they can.

The media feeds this vile culture. You only have to look at the comments section on Mail Online to see a fraction of some of the disgusting, unthinkable abuse people are subject to. That’s just a tiny proportion of it.

The media decided Caroline Flack was guilty of assaulting her boyfriend before Christmas. Despite the fact she appeared before court and entered a NOT GUILTY plea. Her boyfriend also vehemently denied that anything happened. Yet they continued - ripping into her at every available opportunity; fuelling those evil keyboard warriors to do the same.

Nobody knows what anybody is going through behind closed doors and it absolutely breaks my heart that there are people out there who are so unhappy with their lives that they see no other option but suicide. I’ve seen nothing but an outpouring of love since the news broke of her passing. 

No doubt if she’d known how many people loved her, she might have taken a different course of action. Instead, the trolls won. The hate - once again - overpowered the amount of love. Why?! Why can’t people just be nice??


We’re on a vicious cycle where someone high profile takes their own life, everyone says we need to be kinder, but it’s all forgotten when the next “scandal” knocks on the door of the press and another person’s life is left in tatters.

My heart breaks for Caroline Flack’s family and friends. And the family and friends of anyone else who has ever lost someone because of suicide.

People calling for Love Island to be banned as a result of her suicide are only serving to add to the problem. The problem is not Love Island.

In fact, the people that are in South Africa appearing on the show at the moment are probably in one of the best situations. No phones, no access to the outside world, no access to social media, and no way of seeing the poison that’s been written.

The headlines “game” last week showed just how damaging they can be, when the couples got upset about things written about them that weren’t true.

The problem here is not the show. The show is called Love Island, not Troll Island. It’s about love. It’s about friendship.

It all goes wrong when they enter the real world which, unfortunately, doesn’t seem to be as focused on love, kindness and friendship.

Taking Love Island off our screens won't fix this problem.

There needs to be tighter regulations on social media. And tighter regulations on how the tabloids operate. IPSO is there to regulate the media, but I feel they have some work to do when it comes to bullying people via the press.

They need to rein in their hateful articles, but maybe stop allowing people to comment. The comments section on Mail Online is like some cesspool for trolls. It’s vile.

I don’t know what it is about the internet that makes people think that they can say whatever they want about a person. I used to hate it when Tom had to do Facebook live videos for work because every time, without fail, the comments would be SO personal about him. Even on articles that he’d written, they’d write horrible, horrible things. He was never bothered by it, but it always upset me.

These nobs have no conscience and no concept of how their words affect not only the person they’re aimed at, but their family and friends, too.

None of this is caused by a TV show that’s about love.

It’s caused by a society that suddenly thinks it’s okay to be dicks to people for no other reason than you don’t like/agree with them.

And until that underlying issue is fixed, nothing else will be.

It scares me, the way the world is going. We can protect our children from almost anything. We can vaccinate them against diseases, keep them safe in the car, hold their hands when walking down the street, teach them about stranger danger, teach them to swim, teach them to ride a bike without stabilisers... but we can’t protect them from themselves and their thoughts. And we certainly can’t protect them from vile, horrible trolls who will beat them down quicker than they can ever get back up.

The world is a dark, dark place at times; and right now feels like one of them. I hope, finally, this is the catalyst for change.


No more lives should be lost this way. Please, just be kind to everyone.


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