Why are some aspects of social media so toxic?

I personally struggle to understand why there are so many people who use social media platforms to do harm to others.

For me both Twitter and Facebook can be toxic.

As you know I’m a big believer of positivity, sending good vibes, providing encouragement to others, and looking for the good in people.

However, sometimes I feel like an island in the stream…

I guess the anonymity of social media emboldens many to say things that perhaps in a face to face situation would be far different.

This is particularly true when they are manipulating situations to cause harm through their words and behaviour.

In many cases negative comments or cyber bullying are driven by the individual’s insecurity within themselves.  They can’t bear to see someone happy, positive, and living an authentic life.

Instead of embracing their “friends” they choose to try and cut them down and harm them.

Growing up in Australia, prior to social media we had a similar phenomenon which is known as the “tall poppy syndrome”.

Traditionally if you were seen to be getting too far ahead of your social standing often someone would take it upon themselves to “put in your place” by sabotaging you in some way…

This may have been through spreading rumours, setting you up for failure and some form of public humiliation.  Again, this type of behaviour was rooted in their personal insecurity and their viewpoint of what they considered to be “right”.

It always struck me as strange, and even today that others think they can impose themselves, their opinions, or views on others as if they have some special right.

Clearly, this is both delusional and toxic…

The desire to bully others and to put people down is not a new phenomenon, but with social media it offers up a myriad of anonymous platforms to use to project their meanness and negativity.

You might be saying to yourself as you read this “toughen up Mister”, this is the real world and whether you like it or not it’s our reality…. True, but it doesn’t alter the fact that it sucks!

The worst part is that it often collateral damage by impacting those close to you.  Maybe that may have been their intent all along… who knows?

Intentions are everything!

Maybe I’m naive and believe that there is good in everyone, yet I often see the ugliness of their words and actions on full display.

I realize I’m not alone on my experiences, and I would hazard a guess that more than half of you have also been targeted at one time or another.

However, just so you know this toxic behaviour will not deter me or alter my attitude to life, nor will it impact the way I live my life or interact with the world around me.

Just so you know I will always come from a place of love and positivity no matter what…

Shame is at the heart of our fear.  From an early age I’ve had to deal with deep feelings of shame, which were exacerbated through my teen years.

I know what it feels like to be the only person who you can trust and believe in is yourself.  And it’s from this perspective combined with years of counselling that I’ve come to terms with my feelings of self.

My inner strength has and will continue to be one of my best attributes.  And so, I will not give oxygen to those that want to be negative or harmful toward me or the life that I lead.

The only thing I ask is that you always judge me on your personal interactions with me.

My quest is to be surrounded by like-minded souls, those of you that also see the good in others and have a positive mindset.

This is what prompted me to create my podcast series – OneLife.

And to share my perspective on living my best life and what it means for me and only me.  Listening to the podcast series episodes, digesting them, reflecting on them, and taking anything useful from this is all up to you.

Although each platform has its positives and negatives, but it’s important that you control your own “brand and messaging” for the world to see.

My advice is not let others try and control that aspect of your life.

Each of us must make our own decisions when it comes to social media, but don’t be sucked down the rabbit hole.  See each for what it is… and then decide if you want to be part of it.

I will be more vigilant about who I connect with moving forward as I don’t want any form of toxicity in my life.

Until next week – when I’ve stepped off my soapbox.