Earlier in the week I had somebody tell me how unattractive they thought I was on one of my photos. I did them a favour and blocked the user.
Moments later, another Instagram user, tagging the first asked me where all the negative comments were and why had I deleted a truthful comment.
I blocked this user too.
Then another. Then another. The final comment said “You can remove the comments but it doesn’t change the fact you’re ugly”.
A day later, my Instagram was disabled because one of my photos had been reported so many times that the algorithm decided I had breached community guidelines. Coincidence?
This isn’t the first, or the hundredth time, somebody has felt the need to tell me how much they don’t like me, that they think I’m unattractive or called me any other colourful name on Instagram. It’s not the first time somebody has said the same kind of thing behind my back or in an “overheard” situation.
Funnily enough, I’ve never had anybody say anything to the same effect to my face.
For many years, the words of others fuelled a really unhealthy narrative in my mind. That I was innately strange looking, that I was deficient, that I wasn’t good enough.
Social media removes empathy. It removes the face. It removes the wince and the fall of facial features that proceeds a cruel comment.
Social media allows people to be anonymous and sling abuse at those they believe don’t have the right to be confident, share a message, be themselves.
Social media makes it really easy for those who feel consciously or unconsciously a deep internal unhappiness to exercise their anger and frustration by making others feel the same unhappiness they do.
I want you to know that your physical features have little to do with your value as a human, despite what we may have been led to believe.
I also want you to know that happy people don’t insult others on social media platforms.
I hope that you recognise that there are always going to be people who don’t like you. They’re entitled to that. You shouldn’t fight them on it.
What I’ve also found is that usually the loudest boos come from the cheap seats.
Be authentic, be kind, use compassion. Those who don’t like you never have to.