Social media and the internet has changed the way we interact today. For people with friends and family in different countries and family and friends to keep in touch it has to be without question one of the best ways to stay in touch, see each other and even show our love and support for one another, however it comes  at a price and for those who suffer from anxiety it can come at a very heavy one.

In today’s modern age the world is full of keyboard warriors and it’s probably the only way they can make themselves feel good when they hurt others. Remember acts of intimidation and bullying is never so much about the victim its all about the person doing it. They need to feel validated, powerful, it gives them something, a feeling of strength or power be it right or wrong they fail to see the impact and the fall out from the actions they carry out so how do we combat it, well let us try and help you.

Firstly I will start by saying if you do feel you are a victim of harassment or bullying online or social media,  I have some good news.  Under UK law now Internet harassment also referred to as cyberbullying is a criminal offence, anything posted on the internet or social media that use the intent to harass, threaten or maliciously embarrass a person is now a chargeable offence so you do have the law on your side.  To prove this however you must have proof and tangible evidence. This includes third-party harassment. Screenshots are a great way to prove what’s being said.  Entering into a conversation with them won’t do any good as remember this is all about them. Screen shot, save and take to your local police officers and they will deal with it for you. In the last few months alone the UK has seen more prison sentences handed out for this crime than car theft. With so many high profile cases hitting the news about internet harassment the countries police force and politicians are taking an active stance against it so that’s the good news.

Block, delete, ignore: The quickest way to stop things like this is block, delete and ignore. That’s easy once it has been done to you but how do you deal with the fallout and the anxiety these comments leave behind. It has to be remembered that not everyone will be as nice as you are, not everyone will agree with your outlook or approach in life, not everyone will like you and as an anxiety sufferer that’s actually hard to hear when we are in the business of people pleasing. So I want you to think of it like this for me. Be happy and pleased not everyone likes you. Why well that’s simple in general for us to get on and like someone or them us we usually have to have a common interest or like. We have to have something the other person finds good about us and use them. Now think of the internet troll and ask yourself this question. Do I really want people like that to like me? The answer should be a resounding no.

No one ever died from deleting social media: Its true you know, no one ever passed because they deleted social media and if you think people are trying to hurt you, get to you and aim thinly veiled comments at you or just all out hurt you then you have a choice. The choice is simply to ignore and keep hurting or act. One way of acting is to delete your social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, snapchat, and cleanse your contacts from whats app, messenger and any other way people have of hurting you, but not before screenshotting and reporting. Simply just ignoring is allowing them to just keep doing it and getting away with it. Let’s show them what you are made of and take a stand for yourself and don’t allow others to intimidate you.

Does it trigger you: Does the mere thought of checking your social media send you into a flat spin, does that heavy churning feeling inside you get stronger, is it on your mind all the time. If you answer any of those questions with a yes then it really is time to take a break from it all for a while and simply focus on you. You see in all of this you have to remember you are without question the priority and your healing and recovery will only be set back time and time again when you continue to do something that increases your anxiety. Just for now delete and make you the priority. It would seem no one else is making you the priority and that’s ok so we will do it ourselves.

Is it all true: So many anxiety sufferers continually compare themselves to others around them, the sit for hours on end asking why they can’t be happy like everyone on Facebook seems. I like to call facebook,  facebook as it is a million miles from reality from what’s actually going on in peoples lives. Remember social media will only show you the good parts no one or very few will post the actual truth about what they feel and think and is actually happening in their life. Its all just smoke and mirrors so don’t fall into the trap of believing everything you read on social media as most of it to be fair is not actually what’s happening in a persons life.

Be prepared: You really do have to accept that you are not everyone’s cup of tea. You have to expect things like jealousy, envy, hate, and anger if you have a different point of view from others. Just look at what’s happening in the country right now with Brexit for example. People who support get some serious abuse from people who don’t and vice versa. For me its just how society has become. 99% of the people who slander or say crap things about you would never do it in front of you. They are protected by a phone screen when they do it, they are trying to impress others, they are trying to make themselves feel powerful and justified with the whole I am routine. I am no different to you I have plenty of people who don’t agree with what I do or how I do it and say hurtful and harmful things to me also.

Remember this: People who talk about you, make comments about you and try to be hurtful to you lack something. They lack happiness in life, they are not at ease with who they are or what they are doing. They are focused on you and while they do that the world ticks by not even giving them a second thought. Life is all about living in the moment, and they are not focusing on you and constantly trying to pick fault or be negative. The best reply is to simply sit back think how empty that persons life must be or how bitter they are and be thankful for what you have with yours. Partners, family, friends and loved ones, it really can be anything to be honest. Use your empathy to forgive and move forward. Life is a motion of forward movement not reverse let others hold grudges, pass an opinion or pick and bully you. They can only do that if you allow them, they can only do that if you let them. I was once taught a very valuable saying ” If you come looking for me, you will find me and when you do stand by” Do not let them hurt you by letting your anxious thoughts eat at you. So as the world moves and tomorrow is on the horizon lets all do the same and embrace a new day when it comes.

Love always Serenity x