Social media plays a large part in our daily lives; however, the internet gets a bad rep as a place full of negativity, trolls, and people looking to bash others. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Every time you log on, you have the power to impact other people. It’s time to bring kindness onto the internet in order to impact people in a more positive way.
Why be a troll when you can make someone across the country smile? Why type a rude comment when you can brighten someone’s day? It’s easy to be kind in real life, but it’s even easier to be kind on social media.
It is for this reason that Social Media Kindness Day was created. It is also in memory of the late TV presenter Caroline Flack, being held on what would have been her birthday – 9th November. It is through her message of being kind that this day is connected to her.
Here are some top tips for being kind on social media.
Think before you comment. A lot of online negativity is caused by people jumping the gun in the comments; they make a bad assumption, get angry, and spew negativity into the comments section. Anyone else who reads their comment is going to be brought down by it. When you see something online, try to put yourself in the shoes of the person who posted it. Ask yourself: do I understand
where this person is coming from? Keep in mind that a lot of posts are made when people are vulnerable and emotional. Give them time to cool down and collect themselves before you jump all over their posts. This doesn’t mean that you can never interact with others online, just be smart about what you’re saying and how you are saying it.
Internet users are often quick to jump to name calling when someone posts something that they don’t like. When you come across a post, assume positive intentions behind it. That person has probably had a different experience than you and is just trying to express it. Don’t attack the person without stopping to consider what they are saying and where they are coming from.
When there is a screen between you and the other person, it is easy to forget that on the other side of that screen is another person just trying to do their best. Before you make a comment, ask yourself: would I say this to someone standing right in front of me? If the answer is no, then you should not say it online either. Depersonalised online interactions make it easier to get into fights and to be cruel, so always remember that behind every avatar is a real person with real feelings.
It’s not enough to avoid being mean online; it is also important to be kind online as well. Many people think that acts of kindness are only for everyday life, but you can easily bring your kindness online too. On social media you have the power to connect with people from all over the world, so use this opportunity to spread positivity. If someone posts a selfie, take the time to tell them how much you appreciate them. Use the magic of instant communication to reach out to old friends to send them positive messages.
Every day is a new chance to be kind and to make a positive impact on others. When you practice kindfulness online, you can spread the joy and make others feel more positive. Why make a snappy remark online when you could make the person on the other side of the screen smile instead?
We are asking you to join in and pledge to play your part in making social media a kinder place for
all. This means, if you see unkindness on social media, you kindly point it out – rather than scroll on
by and let it magnify! Then to check up on the person receiving the unkindness to make sure they’re
You can add your pledge here: https://bit.ly/3rDlIRt
Some messages and posts on social media may be upsetting, distasteful or express an unpopular view but are not necessarily criminal. You should report abuse to the social media site administrators.
The police will only deal with messages which are:
- a threat to a person’s life, safety or property
- targeting specific individuals, including persistent harassment and ongoing abuse
- a breach of court orders, including identifying people protected by law
- grossly offensive, indecent, obscene or false and of a malicious nature
When reporting to the police, keep a record or screenshot of the messages, who sent them and when.