Social Media is defined as websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. The advancement of social media has changed the way information is passed and has undoubtedly gained the power of influencing the masses. Whether it is for good cause, honouring some good deeds, changing mindsets or even uniting people to spread hate, social media has proven that it is not biased when it comes to disseminating information.
In this article, we will talk about hate on social media and how it manages to fiddle with the mental health of the people. From helping people to connect and communicate effectively and spreading messages to large masses to becoming a platform to earn money and expand businesses, social media indeed has many benefits but there is a negative side of it which should also to be taken into consideration.
As social media has a large amount of content and content creators, it has increased the consumer’s intake of the content due to which people get bored easily. For instance, a social media challenge which was popular a month ago might not be half as cool today. Within days, the trending material disappears and gives space to another. People crave for new content every hour of the day.
While some do it for fun, others actually try to spread hate without thinking of the repercussions of their comments and its effects on the mental health of the receiver. The hate that is spread catches fire when fake news about the same gains popularity, more people start to spread it. The misunderstanding grows and as the debate escalates, sometimes people forget the agenda and are seen fighting for another cause just for the sake of argument.
This doesn’t mean that pointing out the wrongs in the society is incorrect but we should take a moment to think whether the person, whom we are spreading hatred about, what’s the magnitude of the whole thing? If you think a person is wrong or misinformed, provide them with the right information respectfully. One should not lose dignity while giving their opinion. It is very important to understand that haters may comment and go but each word uttered by them has devastating effects on the victim, and if by any chance the hating game goes viral with hundreds and thousands of people spreading hate on the same person, it can lead to mental issues such as anxiety, depression and even suicidal thoughts.
People who spread hatred forget that we have laws and procedures to deal with those who misuse their power or do something illegal, and if a crime has been committed there is a judicial system in place and we need to have faith in it. If the haters are bashing people for their normal day-to-day personal choices ,then the hater’s mindset is the one that needs to change.
HOW TO CONTROL HATRED ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
If you are a receiver (victim) of hate speech/trolling:
- You need to accept that nothing is more important than your mental health and no one but you are in-charge of it. So if hate comes, ignore it and move forward; remember the famous quote, “No one kicks a dead dog.”
- If fighting your haters is your way of dealing with the problem, fight with them on valid points keeping a tab on your mental health and if you want to give up because the haters are taking too much of your head space, that is fine too.
- Do not focus on your haters and look for the ones who support you by focusing on the bigger picture.
- If you feel fed up, take a social media break, have a productive digital detox and avoid thinking about what your haters will think as they have probably found another person to project their hate on.
- Distract yourself, learn a new skill and don’t stress about things.
If you are the one trolling other people or using hate speech:
- Before taking even trivial actions just think about the repercussions, and the effect that your comment may serve. Your fun might cause someone’s life or career to be at stake.
- Before sharing anything, verify the facts. Don’t be the carrier of fake news or exaggerate the wrong.
- Use the platform to bring changes in the society; spreading positivity can bring the sparkles of positivity in your life, too.
- There is absolutely nothing wrong in joking or laughing, but doing it at the behest of a person or a community to extract jokes by degrading them is not the correct way to do it.
In a nutshell, being A RESPONSIBLE USER of social media is the need of the hour and anything that disturbs yours or another person’s mental health is something that is to be thought and acted upon.
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