Online attacks are on the rise. It is so easy for someone to sit behind a keyboard and threaten someone else or destroy their confidence.
Of course, it is an unkind thing to do, but people do not always consider the consequences of their actions. However, in typing out a message of disgust or disapproval of someone’s actions, character or lifestyle, there is time taken to contemplate the words you use. Spoken words are different in that they can be an immediate reaction, but written ones take longer and this implies they are more likely coming from a place of truth and unkindness.
So, I’m sharing part of my story. Not all of it as there are so many private details that are no one else’s business but mine. However, I’m sharing the loose details as I feel equipped to do so.
A few years ago, I woke up to a vile Facebook message. Not only did it lie about things I had supposedly done, but it also wished death upon me. This message came from someone I had considered to be an acquaintance. Occasionally, we moved in the same circles and so we had fallen into the Facebook friends trap quite unwillingly, but I tolerated her (and likewise) all the same. My instant reaction was not to get angry or even to send threatening statements back to her. After all, for the nasty things to have been said, she must have been in a pretty dark place. In fact, and I’m still not sure if this was the right thing to do or not, I sent her a message telling her that I understood her pain and that I was here to talk if she ever wanted to.
I had hoped that the despicable behaviour would end there. Unfortunately, it did not. In fact, I sought advice from the police because her lies were being spread and my reputation was in tatters. Luckily for me, I have a solid group of friends who all knew that, although I can be daft and wild at times, this was not me and her lies held not an ounce of truth.
There have been no vicious attacks directly sent to me since, however, I do know that she still writes untruths and diatribe about my situation on social media. I would never ever tell my friends who they should and shouldn’t be friends with either in the real world or in the world of social media. However, when they see lies about me, they usually share so I am prepared for the next round.
The ‘Be Kind’ campaign, since the premature death of Caroline Flack through suicide, has certainly gained ground with countless people editing their profile pictures on social media to feature those key words. And, for me, those words have always been a part of who I am. Yes, I make mistakes; I am a human being, but I always try to act in a way that is respectful to others and, above all, kind. I don’t need to sing my own praises (I know my own strengths and weaknesses), but I would like to extend to every single one of you out there that being kind does not cost a penny. Not only can treating others with respect and thought make them feel better, but it can boost your mood too. Thinking negatively about each and every situation cannot allow for a positive frame of mind. Let go of the past… smile and be kind. I do.