In our lives the biggest bully is not the real one, who pulverises you at school or in your office or neighbourhood, but the collective force on social media. This new bully is tougher on people or brands who are well known or celebrities.
For example, when Gap released a kids ad quite innocently, aimed for promoting Girl power called 'Meet the kids who are proving that girls can do anything', little did they know that they would get trolled on social media, now our biggest social bully.
That ad drew the ire of a certain part of the public who thought the ad was racist because the white girl had her hand resting on the head of the black girl. I guess Gap in their wildest dreams wouldn't have thought of that when they created the ad. But these are the comments they got.
But it's become common now for social media to be the new bully in our lives. And most people whose intention are quite innocent find that today they are getting trolled on social media for no reason at all.
How do you handle a bully?
You must have learnt some of these things in school on how to handle a bully.
1. Don't pay too much attention to them. Because the more you excite them the more they will think of bullying you. So show minimal reaction to the bullying. If you act upset it always provokes the bully even more.
2. Don't pretend to take it lightly or make a joke at your own expense to lighten up the situation. It can backfire.
3. Outsmart the bully. Never be afraid to speak the truth. For example if you are being accused of something which is not true, defend yourself.
In the Gap case the mother of the black child came out and said that both the white child and the black child were her children so everybody had got it wrong.
In spite of knowing this, people still had a problem with the ad, but that was another matter. The truth had to be told to the bully.
How Anushka Sharma got trolled
When Anushka was attacked last year with Virat Kohli being blamed for the loss in the World Cup, a familiar tale was being re-played that has been played through the history of both real men and and folk heroes. You remember what people they said. Here are some of the tweets.
*Anushka's too much love is doing him no good. The boy left with just one run. A big lol indeed.
*Why oh why didn't Anushka have some other surgery to undergo today?
*Request to all the people to go n throw stones at the house of Anushka Sharma who is reason for the defeat of India
*Dhoni asked Kohli to spend time with Sharma. Kohli understood it as Anushka Sharma instead of Rohit Sharma
* I feel sorry for Anushka. To go Down Under to see VIRAT go down under must be heart-wrenching. She could have easily seen him at home.
Social Media is Transient
And of course, the last thing you need to remember is that social media is transient unlike the school or office bully who keeps coming back at you.
Bit.ly measured the half-life links on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.
- Twitter: 2.8 hours
- Facebook: 3.2 hours
- YouTube: 7.4 hours
So most social media bullying is headed to obscurity in a few hours. So if someone is trolling you and you are really upset just go off on a short holiday. The social bully will never be back!
This article was first published by Prabhakar Mundkur on Pulse