Tammin Sursok understands all to well how bullies can hurt. When she was 10, the actress says she was bullied at school for being overweight.
“I definitely wasn’t the popular girl but it didn’t define me,” she said.
“Don’t let other people’s words give you your self worth. You are beautiful. I was beautiful. It just took me a long time to love myself.”
Now social media is the number one playground for bullying behaviour. It’s easy to attack, to shoot off horrible comments and nasty slurs. To pick on people – often anonymously.
And you never have to even come face to face with the person you taunt, tease and threaten.
Now anyone in the public eye, anyone on social media, needs to remember Tammin’s words: “Don’t let other people’s words give you your self worth.”
Here, Tammin reveals that her haters on social media have one thing in common: they all have private profiles they hide behind.
They are cowards.
Social media seems relatively new, yet, I find it hard to really remember a time before our thumbs weren’t incessantly scrolling through content – adding, sharing, liking, commenting – the excess of it can leave one in a dizzying, anxiety laden frenzy. Not only has the general public caught on but if you are a celebrity you are told it’s important to your “brand”. To invite your fans into an intimate portrait of your life. An instant message to your key audience and an instant understanding of what your key demo is telling you is the zeitgeist. What your fans are craving. What your fans are following. What your fans are consuming. This seems like such a wonderful tool.
Well, not always.
"...adding, sharing, liking, commenting." Image via iStock.
You see, in the genesis of social media I don't think anyone has really taken into account the bullying aspect. Sure there is the delete button, the block button, the "report card", but the minute you read horrible comments they become a scar etched into your skin. Insensitive feedback you carry with you throughout your day and unfortunately a comment that you might carry throughout your life.
Those in the public eye become unique targets for people to fire rapidly without much thought. With a cast amount of followers, there are hundreds to hundreds of thousands of people ready and willing to attack. Words that are degrading, gratuitous and sometimes downright dangerous. But you don't need me to tell you. You've seen it yourself.
Famous women read mean Tweets about themselves. Post continues below.
It always shocks me that a person takes their time to tear a person down. Someone they have never even met and most likely will never meet. A person that they know absolutely nothing about and yet feel like they have this burning hatred inside them that must come forth. One might believe that because a person decides to be in the public and share intimate parts about their life it gives people a free pass to hurt. Like somewhere along the way they lost all human emotion or feelings. But it's just not true.
As humans, (celebrity or not) our first instinctual reaction is to retort. We innately want to defend ourselves, our family and our children. When this has happened to me in the past, I've realised that you can't. Most of the people who wish ill-will on social media have private profiles. Funny how that works. I find it a common pattern. Just like bully's in life, bullies on social media don't want to be accountable for putting people down. They feel invincible hiding behind a wall. They become cowards and hide behind that mask, a conscience veil and social media has become to perfect platform to do so.
Social media has given us a voice that we all so deeply crave. A voice that can cut deep. It can cut sharp. Don't get me wrong, I love that everyone has a platform for their voice to be heard. Use it. I just think that we have the opportunity to use our voices to uplift, come together and if use correctly, change the world. So let's stop the bullying behind our "private profiles" and band together for change. Stop hiding and start inspiring.