I remember hearing some people talk about a book called “Girl Online” several months ago. I wondered what they were talking about, as I had no idea the Youtuber and blogger Zoe Sugg had just got her debut novel publised. I didn`t even know who she was, but some months ago I started watching some of her videos and learned about the three books she`s written. I finished reading the first one, “Girl Online”, two days and I must say I`m impressed. If you want to know more about the plot, click HERE. It doesn`t matter whether you like the book or not, or if you consider Penny to be a girl who`s way too desperate or clumsy. Doesn`t matter if you believe Zoe overdid some of the issues in the book, such as anxiety. Doesn`t matter if you believe the book is one big mess or too perfect – talking about online hate and bashing (which Zoe does in her book), is very important.
I can personally relate, so I thought I`d write down everything my mind`s thinking of when it comes to this. Bullying is not a new issue we as a society are facing – it`s been existing for years and people have been bullied for various reasons. I see how people misuse the word all the time – it`s not bullying if someone called you something mean once or twice. The behaviour is repeted. There`s a difference between being teased and being bullied, after all. Some people should seriously stop making the words loose their meanings. I`ve been bullied for years and I know what it`s like. I also know what it`s like to have people online act like they know your life and everything there is to know about you. As if it`s possible to know a person 100 % through social media or blogs. It`s sad, it`s irritating and it`s frustrating, Especially when people let themselves say nasty things about your family and your life that leave you shocked and crushed. It`s easier to be bullied today, thanks to internet and especially social media. It`s become so easy for people to say whatever they want to, as they can hide behind a screen and let their fingers do the job. It`s easier to say something online than in real life, because you don`t have to face the person or the people you`re talking to.
Reading everything that Penny (the main character in the book) had to go through, made me sad. I can recognise the fear, the sadness and the frustration. Why do strangers online act like they know you? And how can people be so mean? I have to say I don`t have all the answers, because these things don`t make sense to me. I don`t know if some people have that much jealousy or hate inside themselves, or if that`s the way their parents taught them to talk to other humans. All I know is that no matter what, everyone should be nice to everyone. It`s not hard at all. If you can`t say anything nice or positive about or to someone, simply don`t say anything. It`s not fun to be called a whore or to be told you`re the next one into the gas chamber. It`s not fun for anyone to sit behind a screen and read comments about how ugly they are or how pathetic their personality is. To some people it might be all letters, but words can be used as weapons and words do hurt. So be careful what you say. I was about to say there`s a difference between the internet and “real life”, but to be honest: kind behaviour shouldn`t depend on where you are. Be nice to everyone you meet, whether it`s online or offline. Being a bully online doesn`t make you less of a bully offline.
Phew, I think that was it for now… I really know what it feels like to be treated this way, so talking about this is really important for me. ❤ No one deserves to be treated this way and if someone is mean to you, remember to kill them with kindness.