Let's talk about this.
The past few weeks I've been trying to understand a certain thing about the world we live in. More specifically the world I live in. Here is where we talk about an issue everyone in the Instagram community, and social media as a whole, decides to ignore.
It's such a subtle thing. Honestly most of you will most likely laugh at me calling it "bullying", but you see, that's what it is. Claiming that it isn't bullying is wrong.
I've heard people call it different things.
"Being a teenager"
"everyone talks crap, that's just what teenagers do"
"Everyone talks behind others' backs! That's a normal thing"
This is saying in a sense that spreading rumors, talking badly behind a persons back, laughing about others problems, criticizing others art, etc. is a supposedly a normal thing.
Well. I'm here to tell you that it is NOT.
Normalization of bullying is not okay and it seems to have caught on to everyone. "Oh buck up. People will talk. You need thicker skin." Yeah I agree in a sense, being able to not take offense is something everyone should have. But accepting mean behaviors is WRONG.
Not only this but not everyone is going to have thick skin. Some people are on the brink of breakdown and no, we can't control how people react to things but we do have control on how we treat others.
I will not sit here and act the victim because that's not my reasoning behind this post. This post is to hopefully get everyone to think differently about the way we act.
As part of this community, you all have an influence. Everything you say or do is heard from all of your followers eventually. How you act. Who you are as a person. You have thousands and thousands of followers that see who you are as a popular way to be and they all want to be that way. YOU decide the influence you have on everyone. This is why this is so important to me.
What I've been going through is bullying. I've heard the rumors that have been spread. I've been hated and thought differently from people that don't even know me because someone decided twist the truth and make me out to be someone I am proud to say I am not. For reasons I still have yet to understand.
But this isn't about me. I am one of millions. I know there are so many people hurting out there and feel like they're in social quicksand because of the extremely fast spread of "talk".
The thing that is "a normal teenage thing to do".
Well to be honest I'm sick of it. I'm tired of seeing people who were once friends and supporters turn on each other for their own self gain or followers. Freaking followers??
Is that really what this is about?
Yes, I'm thankful for the people that support me and my work. Having followers is such an honor, but what is really important? It's like Mean Girls all over again. Everyone fending for themselves. When did we stop lifting up each other?
Someone who is a huge example to me is Gabe Johnson. (@falllenskies) He has stood up for me through thick and thin. I've yet to hear Gabe talk about another person badly. Even when someone hurt him, he stood there defending them for the good parts of them. Even when they didn't deserve it.
Ya know, I think we should all be a little bit more like Gabe. Change the way you think about each other. The world I once knew has changed into this weird social media stand off. Can we please change it back? Even just a little bit?
We've all heard and preached about how social media wants us to be a certain way. How social media is such a selfish and brutal place. We have all said that. but who's behind the screen? Who contributes to what social media is in the first place?
Sitting around talking about it doesn't change it. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
You will never be able to understand another persons life, but at least try to step into another's shoes. If you don't have anything nice to say about someone? DON'T SAY ANYTHING! Change the subject. Talk about something good. (I know that you've heard that saying from your moms millions of times but it doesn't change the fact that it is damn good advice.)
What I try to do whenever I'm thinking badly about a person, is try to understand why they would do the thing they did. Try to put yourself in their mind and think hard about why they would say something like that. Try to sympathize. Try to be compassionate. Loving someone even in hard situations literally changes everything.
Instead of being public about your arguments with others, whether it's on your Instagram/finstagram(personal Instagrams)/twitter/with your friends etc., try to work it out with the person. When you take problems to other people all it does is make the situation worse. People see it and they'll message you or comment and you're most likely to comment or message back and that's when it can turn into talking crap. Not only this but the other person sees it! They see the subtweets and the sub posts and it sucks! It just shows that you don't in fact want to work it out you just want to feed into the drama.
I was really discouraged a few nights ago and I wanted to give up on my career because the Instagram community and social media has seemed to tear me down and hurt me because of what I've been going through. I was talking to my good friend Steph (@stephkirk), and she said
"Don't give everything up. If everyone gave into the shitty people we wouldn't have any good left in this world."
I realized the position I am in. I need to do everything I can to help the people that might be hurting just like I have been. So please, help me make a change.
I don't want you likes.
I don't want your views.
I don't want your following.
I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THIS SMALL LITTLE WORLD.
So let's end this. Let's stop tearing people down.
Instead let's go back to supporting each other. Let's all be virtual friends again.
Spread love. To everyone. All the time. No matter what.
ALL MY LOVE, SARAH RAE