Do you remember the old saying “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”? It seems that online that sentiment goes out the door. I am curious as to why people feel like it’s ok to say negative, nasty and degrading things online? Would you say these things to a person’s face? I would like to think not, yet when armed with a keyboard these “warriors” think it is OK to put other’s down.
In the past week numerous negative things have happened toward things I have posted online. Someone criticised the name of my book and business, I was degraded as a teacher after making a spelling mistake, many, many people went over the top with how terrible it is to have a shark in the water with a stickman surfer and on a public teaching page I was chastised for advertising and someone’s post asking advice about my book was deleted.
I mean no harm to anyone. I am more than happy to support and promote other people that are also helping Relief Teachers. I am merely trying to help and provide a service to Relief Teachers. I am also not perfect. I am human. I can be that person that picks out spelling errors (even on teacher’s work, shock horror!!!) but I would never condemn a person online about it. I’ve had a couple of lovely people notify me privately of my errors and I am always so grateful as yes, I do make mistakes. However, it seems not everyone acts that way and by trying to help others through this business platform it has opened me up to snide comments and negative criticism.
I have had hundreds of positive words and comments said about my work and how much it has helped people. However, it is those handful of horrible remarks that really stick with me. They give me a horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach, make me not want to log on to my computer or phone and make me doubt what I do.
I’m sure I need to get tougher skin, and hopefully with time that will come. However, I feel this is not OK. These comments are coming from teachers. People that are supposed to be teaching and showing compassion, understanding and kindness. Is this how they treat their students?
I know there are people out there copping it much worse than I am. Our children in particular are dealing with a tough time of cyber bullying and my heart breaks for them. If I, a confident, grown woman can feel so distressed by words that are nowhere near as harsh as what some children and online personalities are dealing with, no wonder we are dealing with an epidemic of mental illness and suicide.
I urge everybody to think before you type, as you would if you were having a conversation with someone. Because those words are aimed at someone behind that computer screen, and yes, words do hurt.