I was chatting with a couple of friends recently and when I mentioned that I’ve gone off Twitter a bit recently, I wasn’t really surprised when they agreed.
I’m big on positivity, and honestly, Twitter seems to be getting more and more negative all the time. Take the Great British Bakeoff for instance: a fun, frivolous and frothy reality show about people baking cakes in a tent. Innocuous enough, surely? But following the hashtag #GBBO whilst watching the programme (I do this all the time, and I’m not alone – according to a recent survey by Ladbrokes Bingo, 50% of women use a second device while watching TV) all I could see were negative comments: how the contestants were anything from ‘too flirty’ to ‘too thin’, ‘scheming’, and everything in between (contestant Ruby Tandoh wrote a fabulous piece on it in the Guardian – check it out).
I also like X Factor – we have friends working on the series and I like to keep up with it, but honestly, the comments drive me insane: ‘she looks awful’, ‘she’s so fat’, ‘ugh, vile’. Would they say this to the people’s faces? Of course not! It’s all about being a keyboard jockey and hiding behind your online persona. It brings out the school bully in so many of us.
A friend of mine works in a school and is constantly battling with bullying and nastiness online, generally through Facebook. Kids are terrible and have very few filters, so a medium like Facebook is asking for trouble, but most of the people on Twitter are ADULTS, for goodness’ sake – what is wrong with people?
The rather wonderful English Grandma always says ‘if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’. A mantra that a good few people could do with adopting, I reckon.