Hashtags can be extraordinarily powerful in addressing the social media Mean Mob Mentality. All Australians saw the power of #illridewithyou after the Lindt Seige
Humans are unique in that we are the only animals that can conceptualize and think about ourselves abstractly. We are blessed with the ability to imagine ourselves in hypothetical situations and contemplate the impact our actions have on others. Yet in the word of Charles Bubowski “We are terrorized and flattened by life’s trivialities: we are eaten up by nothing. ‘We are all going to die- what a circus! That alone should make us love each other, but it doesn’t.
I was never bullied as a child and didn’t experience it until I joined Twitter. But I am not blaming Twitter. It’s not Twitter that’s the problem, it’s the bullies and the mean mob mentality it attracts.
So how do we as individuals and as a collaborative collective do our bit to limit the damage it does and gain emotional resilience for ourselves and those around us. How do we reframe the experience, so it affects us less? How do we help young people embrace the mantra “The more I peer into the darkness, the brighter life gets, the quieter the world becomes, and the less unconscious resistance I feel to, well anything” and stay emotionally resilient?
My experience showed me
- Bullies will never go away. They don’t think they are doing anything wrong. They think it is their right to express their opinion no matter how hurtful it may be to others
- Bullies attract followers. I don’t understand the Mean Mob Mentality followers. Perhaps in my case they were people who didn’t like me or what I stand for and saw it as a way of telling me very publicly.
- Your social media supporters can be a lot smarter than you. They don’t engage the bullies. They start their own hashtag. In my case it was #strongwomen
Some strategies I have include:
- I cultivate healthy, genuine friendships. People who care about me. People who don’t judge me. People who support me
- I have some great mentors. Professionals whose career journey gives them the expertise to support and advise me
- I read great books that help put it all into perspective and embrace it.
Some wise words I have drawn inspiration from
- Legacy – The Story of the All Blacks by James Kerr
- The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
- Composure by Zoë Routh
- Moments by Zoë Routh
I have a mentor who told me that the higher profile you get, the more polarising you will become. Expect half the audience to love you, half the audience to hate you. In the end it is about them, what you trigger in them, that is causing the emotional reaction. Keep showing up in service and sharing.
This is the challenge that the #stopbullying and #doitforDolly campaigns are tackling They are sending a strong message around the world that many, many people are putting their hands up to be part of the solution. Well done , what a great legacy you are leaving – I am barracking for you
If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide get help immediately. Choose life Call Lifeline 13 11 14 or 000 if life is in danger.