Written by: Emma T.
Social media can be a Wild West of negativity and hate. Even on seemingly innocuous posts about puppies, babies, or baby giraffes people use the opportunity for a public forum to attack other people. It could be for anything, really– the way they dress, look, believe, anything. Kindness Week is the perfect time to consider how everyone can be a force for good online, instead of evil.
- Be a good online citizen! Think twice before you post, react, or retweet.
- When you see something disturbing, report it. Each website has its own guidelines, but if a comment or photo is hurtful, violent, or graphic– it probably violates a rule.
- If someone you know is being rude or hurtful, talk to them about it. It might not be a conversation best-suited for over the web, so try meeting them for coffee or talking with them over the phone.
- Show support – If one of your friends (or even a stranger) online shares something important to them, don’t be afraid to leave a kind comment of support or a reaction. Kindness isn’t just removing the negative, it’s spreading the positive.
- Remember that for better or worse, behind every Twitter handle and Tumblr post, there’s a real person with thoughts and emotions.
Being kind online doesn’t have to be difficult, but it can take an emotional toll. Make sure to take care of yourself in this week before finals. When you spread kindness online, it isn’t just nice for the person you’ve directed your message to– it’s also a positive example for everyone else on the ‘net, too.