Today is #PinkShirtDay – A reminder to speak out about bullying… both online and in real life.
We have all seen news stories go viral… and many of them cause feelings of anger, fear or dismay… which make them hard NOT to react to.
We use this day as a reminder to ourselves, to be mindful and respectful, and not just “pile on”, when an individual or company seems to cross a line. I think all of us have caught ourselves trying to say something, that can be misconstrued or mis-interpreted. Especially on Social Media, where brevity and conciseness are often dictated.
The shirt really says it all: “Kindness is one size fits all“.
So #PinkItForward on #PinkShirtDay!
On Pink Shirt Day, we wear Pink Shirts.
But that isn’t ALL we need to do. We need to use the day as a reminder to be kind online, every day, and to remember to be aware, and not join in, when a ‘mob of angry villagers’ gets riled up, on Social Media.
- Review everything that you post or retweet. Sometimes stories and urban myths will circle and swirl around the internet, only to pop up again, and again.
- Confirm the source of the story. Unless the information can be tracked back to a legitimate source such as the Police Department, SPCA or Governmental Agency – and can be seen on their official website or Social Media channels – you shouldn’t endorse or re-share the content. There have been instances of people, freshly spurned by an ex, or with an “axe to grind”, creating a false story that goes viral.
Pink Shirt Day, for us, is a reminder that we must strive to be kind, and share content that empowers and lifts up. Never to share content that creates a victim, or makes someone feel bad. And NEVER to be swept up in the ugliness of an angry mob seeking ‘vigilante justice’.
That isn’t to say that Social Media always needs to be ‘unicorns, rainbows and cat videos’… (Although, really… who DOESN’T like a cute cat video?!?)… but there are good – and bad – ways to use online channels to communicate important messages, and impart issues.
Whether online, or face-to-face, debate should always be respectful and considered.
If you see something online that you think is bullying… step up and say so, or report it.