Cyberbullying has pretty much been around since the dawn of the internet. However, with new social media platforms being created every year, people are finding ways to bully others. Unless you have a thick skin, you won't survive the thrashings of the "keyboard warriors."
Andrew Garfield, who ironically starred in "Social Network," recently revealed that he is not on Twitter or Facebook. He said that he does not see how social media could be beneficial to his mental health. He also stated that he is worried about how addictive it could be to read through the comments and see what people think of him. He remarked that he might be "too sensitive" to any naysayers, and he'd rather stay off social media.
We've seen a lot of celebrities take time off of social media because of "keyboard warriors." Those that aren't bowing out of the spotlight, are making a bigger target on their back. Some public figures viciously lash out at those who are speaking ill of them.
Listen, keyboard warriors get hard (or wet) from those who are overly emotional. If they can get the slightest rise out of you, it feeds their ego. When you bow completely out of social media, it has a positive effect. It's positive because you aren't feeding the egos of the keyboard warriors with a lot of emotion. You render them powerless. We all know the saying: "silence speaks volumes." Silence is power here.
I'm the type of person that likes to quietly mess with keyboard warriors. I introduce them to low-key sarcasm, and watch as they get extremely emotional. Then I respond with GIFs only. They get even more upset, and eventually break their fingers from slamming the keyboard so much.
The keyboard warriors eventually leave, and they never come back. It has worked 99.9% of the time.
Are there times when bowing out of social media is appropriate? Yes. I encountered cyberbullying on YouTube. I took down the channel and vowed never to return. That decision came from a place of hurt. When I really thought about it, I realized that I probably shouldn't be on YouTube anyway, because I honestly don't know how to use the site (as a creator), LOL! I don't know how to use the fancy effects, and I'm too tongue-tied on camera. I thought if I kept going with more videos, I would feel more comfortable. Nope. I actually became MORE nervous and self-conscious. The comments were just more salt on an open wound. Could I have risen above? Sure, but it was hurting my spirit to become something I'm not. I'm not a YouTuber. I'm not meant to be a YouTuber.
If you are wondering if saying goodbye to social media is for you, think about each site separately. Which ones serve a positive purpose in your life? Which ones have the most drama?
I know for me, I can't give up my FB fanpage. I have nearly 1,700 amazing fans, and that number continues to grow. I like Instagram because I can showcase my artwork better. I don't like Twitter, so I might actually give that up. I gave up TikTok because I didn't feel comfortable on that site. I can't dance, and my comedy act was going nowhere (I had 3 fans who thought I was hilarious. Everyone else "Boomer'd" me. I'm an older millennial).
If it doesn't serve a purpose in your life, get rid of it. That goes for items, people, and social media profiles/pages.
If you still think you may be "too sensitive" for social media, don't force yourself to stay on social media. Popularity isn't everything, and most guys on dating websites are married or insane. Kick it old school and meet people the "old-fashioned" way. With the CDC telling the fully vaccinated to "take it off," there are plenty of opportunities to meet new people! Dress up, show that mug of yours, and meet some new pals (also, don't be self-conscious, we all have the same facial tan line).