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Why We Need to Spread More Positivity Online.

15th August 2016

Why We Need to Spread More Positivity Online.

This post has been a long time coming and is mostly fuelled by some alarming behaviour that I've seen on social media, as well as a general feeling of hostility generating from posts I read on other blogs and even online magazine articles. First and foremost I feel that I should say that I am by no means discounting anyone else's opinions, I do believe we are entitled to think and speak about what we want and we are entitled to form our own views on subjects and events. However, what I do have a problem with is the way that we address those subjects and how a lot of people project their opinions onto others in the form of spiteful, nasty or rude interactions, that are often targeted at individuals for having a different view from them. I love that everyone sees things differently and that we all develop our own views and ideas about things and this can then be filtered into healthy debates and discussions, but when that discussion is replaced with outright bullying or negativity - then we have a serious problem.

As someone who spends a lot of time online, I'm seeing a surge in negative interactions and I hate to say it - but a lot of it is from women. Obviously this could be because my online presence is surrounded by other female creators like me and so I'm more likely to see arguments coming from a female majority, but that doesn't change the fact that this still going on. Being a woman myself I believe in the idea of our gender holding each other up and being stronger together and so it upsets me when I see groups online tearing each other down in such horrible ways. We by no means have to agree on everything and it's really healthy that we don't; it makes great conversation when we have opposing views and it's a great way to learn things we didn't know before and understand someone else's perspective. Time and time again however, I'm seeing people bite and attack when all they need to do is start a discussion if they feel differently to an opinion someone else has expressed. We can turn what could potentially be an argument into a positive experience as well as continually develop our own views at the same time and sometimes we might even change them, as things aren't always what they seem. Half of the arguments that stem from online interactions start from confusion or not completely understanding what someone else is trying to say and simply asking what someone means before getting riled up could potentially save yourself some drama. When you can only write in 140 characters it's extremely easy to come across differently to how you envisioned you would in your own head.

Sadly it doesn't quite stop at the odd tweet or status update, I'm also seeing a surge in negative blog posts and articles and with all the other obstacles we have to tackle as women, it just needs to stop. Your blog is your safe space and it is your space to write about whatever you want and to speak out on issues that affect you, but when you are risking directly hurting others - is it really worth it? I've always believed that the best way to combat a problem is to look for a positive solution and surely we can speak on negative issues and turn them into positive experiences in the online world to? A lot of people have commented on the feeling of community in the blogging industry and many female bloggers have empowered them to be better and reach their full potential and it's one of the things that makes our industry great. We have strong women leading the way on such a creative and promising platform and it's something that we should be building and celebrating rather than tarnishing and infecting with nasty

comments and backhanded tweets. I can't believe how lucky we are to even have such a widely recognised hobby that can lead to incredible opportunities and I feel so happy when I see other women being given these opportunities and being rewarded for working hard and making it on their own. Who cares if so and so wore a dress that you thought looked awful on her or you didn't like how someone did their makeup or that they held opposing views to you. The important thing is that they are out there creating content and creating a future for themselves as well as truly expressing themselves and whilst we can discuss differences in opinion, who are we to really judge? And there is a difference between judging someone and simply expressing your opinion on a subject and how you present yourself in your comment really reflects it.

"When you can only write in 140 characters it's extremely easy to come across differently to how you envisioned you would in your own head."

I'm hoping that this post doesn't sound too ranty or even bitter as that's not what I was aiming for, but I will admit that I am getting a little sick of seeing so much drama online and I just feel it's time we addressed it. I don't hold any ill feelings towards anyone that hasn't quite been acting in a way that I would deem to be acceptable, but I do believe that we really need to start focusing more on backing each other up and holding onto that community spirit that everyone loves. It's little things that could make such a big impact, like simply congratulating someone for their achievements rather than reeling in jealousy or even approaching someone you have a problem with and maturely rectifying the issue. Even if you have met someone in real life or think you know them personally, you will still never know everything that is going on in their life or in their head and so you need to think carefully about how you approach a subject or even before you pass judgement on something they said or did that you didn't like. Sometimes people are naive and there are things that they don't know that you could help them with so that they might be more informed in the future, but it doesn't need to be tackled in such a nasty way and people shouldn't be made to feel stupid. Little changes to your approach will make life online so much more bearable and will continue to help us pave the way for beautiful, strong and successful women in reaching their full potential and even get more talented individuals involved! Life can be so hard even without the bitchiness and negativity that we seem to spread online and I think it's high time we let go of those poisonous feelings and just continued to build and grow and create a positive space to celebrate our achievements and enjoy ourselves whilst doing it.