It’s important to stand against Social media bullying
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It’s important to stand against Social media bullying

a 16 year old boy died by suicide

In light of the recent news of a 16-year-old boy who died by suicide, a self-taught makeup artist, it has come to attention that he received many negative comments on his Instagram page. He was a 10th class student from Ujjain, MP who lost his life on November 21st. Before his death, the teen queer artist faced severe online harassment and bullying over Instagram. This event has ignited how people’s lack of awareness of their words can affect another person’s mental well-being in society. Consequently, over 2,000 individuals took part in a gay pride event held in New Delhi. People were seen waving rainbow flags and multicolored balloons, celebrating sexual diversity in India.

Power of words in the digital sphere:

The challenge of the new-age social media world is that people express their thoughts and opinions without much consideration of the consequences. Many overlook or forget that there is a human being on the receiving end. In this article, we will try to look into how we could deal with these challenges in our complex social-media world

How can we be better social media citizens?

Cultivating empathy and self-awareness in our digital/social interactions:

The digital age has redefined the way we connect, communicate, and relate to one another. It is crucial to uphold the values of empathy and kindness, as every comment and message has the potential to either uplift or diminish the human behind the screen. Before making hitting “send” or “post”, take a moment to consider how your words may be received or be felt by another person. Put yourself in the shoes of the person reading your comment and reflect the emotional resonance of the message.

Understanding that behind every screen is a human being with feelings, dreams, and struggles:

Behind the screens is a person who has his/her/their own life. Just like you, they have their own insecurities and fears that they have to deal with on a daily basis. The curated nature of online profiles conceals our own vulnerabilities that everyone experiences.

LGBTQ Awareness: Embrace Diversity:

As humans, we should recognize and appreciate the diverse spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities that exist in our society. It is crucial to understand that people’s sexual preferences, orientations, and gender identities are diverse and not limited to specific traits or behaviors. Let us create an inclusive space where anyone; regardless of where they come from, who they are, and how they look.

How to deal with Social media bullying?

1. Detach yourself emotionally from the comment:

When you come across a negative comment, recognize that their hate is their filtered version or perception of their own beliefs and values, which have no relevance to you or your worth. Though it can be challenging, understanding that the hate is rooted in the harasser’s personal issues or perceptions allows you to emotionally detach and prevent a comment from impacting your sense of worth.

The cyberbully is probably a jealous, frustrated person, often trying to escape their own problems. Their goal may be to have control over your feelings so that they feel tough and powerful, and you feel as unhappy as they do.

2. Respond in the right way and Report Profiles

No matter how hurtful or untrue a comment is, it is important to not respond to any messages or posts written about you. Understand that further engagement in any kind of negative comment will only make the problem worse or make you indulge in someone else’s perception that serves no purpose in your life. Reporting profiles that continuously write negative comments. Social media platforms have reporting tools for harassment and inappropriate behavior. Screenshots of those comments and profiles can be saved for evidence in case you want to report.

3. Block, Mute, and Share your feelings about cyberbullying:

    You can use the block feature to prevent specific users from interacting with you, and also mute or filter keywords to reduce exposure to any harmful comments. You have the option to report their activities to their internet service provider (ISP) or to any other social media platforms they utilize to target you. Express your emotions regarding cyberbullying by discussing it with a friend or family member. Venting out your feelings can be therapeutic and contribute to making you feel better. Talking to a counselor, coach or religious leader can also help you with some level of guidance to approach a situation where you are unable to direct yourself.

    4. Understanding Constructive Criticism vs. Unnecessary Hate/Negativity and Practice self-acceptance

    It is crucial to discern whether a person is constructively criticizing you or personally attacking you with their negativity. Constructive criticism aims to provide helpful feedback to improve and focus on actions rather than personally attacking someone. In the age of filters and photo-editing, we can make ourselves look however we choose. Social media is filled with manipulated photos as people like to create and show their “idealized” versions of themselves. A cyberbully criticizing your appearance may tempt you to use tools that will hide your imperfections. This has the potential to damage your self-esteem. Practicing self-acceptance can make you stay grounded in your true self, acknowledging that your body is unique and that everyone has their own set of flaws.

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