The digital world is really a beautiful place to be in. Digi-world has taken such high jumps and has become so vast that these days when someone wants to know something the first place they go to is the WWW.
Then why suddenly, this beautiful place called the internet has become so stressful, sad and traumatic for some? Every other morning while going through my social media I get to see absurd comment on a blogger’s post. Sexually explicit comments or comments slamming her over that short dress she wore and posted a picture in? Even comments on the acne on her face or her colour? Wonder when did the internet become a bullying place?
It is easy for the people sitting behind the screens to type, anonymously and get away. But how can someone be so cruel, so mean to someone whom they don’t even know personally?
Cyberbullying has increased multifold. Each of us has come face to face with hate, sexually abusive comments. Even if it is not in our own posts, but someone very close.
Many may choose to pretend as if they never saw such a comment. However, this could be one of the best times where one could take a tiny step to make the internet a safer place. Just by clicking “report, abusive comment, spam, or sexual content”. Let each one of us start taking these baby steps and make the internet a safer place for women? And if you ask why only for women first? It is because 99.9% of sexual comments are seen on their accounts. Fake profiles are more often than not a woman’s.
I am a YouTube content creator and I also had my personal blog on Instagram where I shared tips on makeup, art, remedies, styling, however, I deactivated my account! Yes, I did! It is due to the threat I received online, I went into trauma for two months.
The people who are passing vindictive comments are easily getting away with it without even knowing or giving it a thought on how the receiver is dealing with it.
I would like to say don’t reply back with an abusive comment to them or message, but just start clicking on options like “report” till the time you start seeing the change. All the social sites have started making it easier for each one of us to take steps to report misuse.
For example, Instagram has come up with two-factor authentication, report, spam, abusive content, spam or scam. If they can think of raising online safety standards why not you?
Let’s create a world where one can be free to share their memories with you, encourage you, encourage you to find your talents, encourage you to know more of what you aspire, and especially for women who really wish to be themselves, without being scared, without having trust issues with the digital world.
So, let us all make this work and look up to online safety at large.
Simran Khairnar is a student of Mithibai college of Arts, Mumbai and this effort is a part of Google India and SheThePeople initiative Digital Trust Dialogues across colleges in India.