Let’s face it, the world isn’t exactly in a positive, happy, sunny space right now. There are violent, terrible acts committed on a daily basis and atrocious crimes carried out by the worst amongst us. The LAST thing we need is for the rest of us to start ganging up on each other, saying terrible things to one another and making the world an even worse space.
As many of you know, I am the co-Editor of a blog called What Would Kate Do. On a daily basis, we see rudeness, cruelty and disrespect within the community in which our blog operates. We see people shaming others, people judging and being incredibly starkly rude to one another. It’s just uncalled for. If you don’t like someone, or their ideas/thoughts/life – MOVE ALONG! You can choose to block the person, unfollow them or just not engage with them rather than spewing hateful, hurtful comments at them. Look at what happened a couple of weeks ago to Leslie Jones, from the Ghostbusters movie, who had some TERRIBLE things directed at her on social media. They are too awful to repeat.
I’m not going to lie to you and say that I’ve not been tempted every now and again to call someone out online. Someone who posts about having no money and hits people up for donations only to then turn around with tons of new purchases, the staunch anti-monarchists who call people who watch and report on Kate terrible words or even just the people who don’t like the editorial slant of a story we ran. But you know what I do when I get angry and want to say something back? I don’t. I block the person who made the comment and move along. Why do I want to engage with someone who is so hateful?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I will stand up for things that are just plain wrong, like negatively commenting on someone’s weight. Even if I don’t agree with your opinions, it’s your right to have them and express them in a way that doesn’t assault, harrass or harmfully target someone else. Last week, I saw a comment on a girl I follow on Instagram’s feed calling her a “fat cow”. What that person didn’t realize is that the woman in the photos has been working for 6 months to lose weight and is doing a terrific job. The comment made her depressed and feel fat again and she fell off the wagon before realizing that that person was a jerk and moving on. Calling someone fat is never acceptable in my books.
I also understand that people have different opinions and lead different lives with different views than mine. What my views on abortion are, for example, are not the same as everyone else. My thoughts on LGBT rights, religion, Black Lives Matter, third-world poverty, royalty, race relations, ISIS, Donald Trump… They are not universal. And while some people’s opinions make me sick to my stomach, I try and never post a comment on a social media feed about it. There are other, more productive, ways to influence social change rather than arguing with people spewing hateful, hurtful speech.
The Kate community is a great example of where people should show each other compassion and understanding. We all have a common interest and are generally all women of the same age group. We are adults who should be able to understand and appreciate that people have different views and opinions on life. We’re women who should be sticking up for each other rather than tearing each other down. We should be respectful rather than conniving, deceitful and angry.
We now have a zero tolerance policy on harrassment on the blog, and the reason we keep doing it is for the positivity we have seen in the community. I see the hurtful comments (and report them! I’m sure Instagram hates how much I report rude/harrassing comments) and move on. I am choosing to live a luxurious version of life, which frankly doesn’t leave me any time for rude people.