Like half the population of the U.K. I watched the very depressing documentary which featured Jesy Nelson of Little Mix talking about being trolled online from the moment she won X Factor.
It would seem that because she was a little more curvaceous than the others and had elfin looks she was immediately and viciously targeted by nasty small minded evil Trolls! The word Troll is a good analogy..an ugly evil beast hiding under a bridge waiting to pounce on their unsuspecting victims.
Online Trolls hide behind anonymity and feel that because they will never be seen physically by their victims they can be as nasty as they like without fear of any repercussions. They are cowards of the highest order and they must be the biggest downside of social media.
Some people are so full of their own misery that they cannot bare to see anyone else succeed or be happy but I cannot for the life of me see what pleasure they derive from commenting from behind their keyboards.
Poor Jesy had no idea how to cope with the onslaught of insults and bile that was spat at her from every social media cannon. The worst of thing about it was that having just been given a life changing opportunity along with her band mates she began to doubt herself and her abilities from the word go. Just when she needed all,her confidence to go forward and thrive.
If you choose be be out in the media then you must brace yourself for the inevitable. I learned this lesson ten years ago when I first featured in a newspaper article having taken part in a reality makeover show with a dubious title. The double page spread full of half truths rolled out in the Sunday paper and I became the subject of emails and comments of mammoth proportions.
I was shocked by the nasty comments…‘mutton dressed as lamb’ ‘disgusting tart’ ‘ugly old cow’ ‘some men would put their dicks in anything ‘ they just kept on coming! As I squirmed and considered buying as many copies of the paper as possible! donning a big hat and dark glasses, I suddenly noticed other comments flooding in. These were supportive and encouraging, praising my lifestyle. For every bad comment there was a nice one!
Although the good comments didn’t make me feel any better about the nasty ones they did go some way to balance the scales. So I decided that it would be a good idea for me to stop reading any of the comments trusting the public to keep defending me. From that moment I never looked again!
I came to the conclusion that day that whilst the public could have their opinion of me good or bad, I didn’t need to let it effect me. Did the sky fall in ? Did the earth stop spinning? Nope..within two days I was old news and unscathed. The thick skin I had acquired as a child and teenager had saved me from being scarred by these bullies. I wish I could give all those people out their including Jesy Nelson the layer they need to be unaffected by these ugly people.
I have been attacked in this way many times since that first article and I treat the comments with my usual indifference. If I don’t read them then they don’t exist. I just carry on regardless and within 48 hours even the Trolls have forgotten my name.
It would be nice if the big media companies Facebook, Instagram and Twitter could find a way of preventing repeated offenders from doing just that but until they do my advice is rise above it! Don’t respond! Don’t read! And Block! Block! Block!
My advice to young people being targeted online is to talk to someone A friend, a teacher , your mum anyone and remember that words are just words and are only able to do you damage if you let them in. So just don’t listen! Take away their power and they will cease to exist. You are better than that, we all are.
Until next time Gaynor xx
Watch my vlog on the subject here :