When the internet becomes your biggest bully …

I am literally typing this post with tears in my eyes.

I have blogged for 4 years now and to be honest, I’ve been quite lucky. I have worked with amazing brands, had great opportunities and I got to meet lovely people – bloggers and readers – throughout this journey thus far. I have made new friends, but I have also made a few enemies while climbing up the ladder of success.

Pamper Mom Pretty event JHB bully

I guess that everyone does, right?

Did you ever have an uncomfortable situation back in school, in class, where you were one of the kids who sat in the front row and did your work quietly while the cool kids sat at the back of the class – like they owned the school and used that opportunity to poke fun at you and name call you when they wanted to?

Sitting in class and hearing people talk and laugh about you behind your back was already difficult enough – but then facing an online world filled with hate, jealousy, and negativity is even worse.

Honestly, I am tired of all the negativity and online bullying.

internet bully

I thought that I was done being bullied in school! But now, I am still facing it every day.

Bloggers against bloggers…

Moms against moms…

I try my best to stay away from drama but because I share a lot of my life on the internet and I guess that it is bound to follow me.

What happened to supporting one another and creating an uplifting community?!

Sometimes I wonder why am I still doing this? But then I realize I am doing this for the moms who are in my situation, for the moms who need someone to speak on their behalf and for myself because I love what I do.

The worst part is that you would think that South African Bloggers would support each other. Wrong! It has become a competition. Everyone is climbing over the next person to try to catch a piece of the cake. They don’t care if crumbs fall over someone.

I started out this blog not knowing where exactly it was going – but over the years I have realized that parenting/motherhood is what I want to talk about. I love writing and sharing my opinion on baby products and motherhood but that doesn’t give anyone a right to tell me how to raise my kids, name call me or bully me into doing something that I don’t want to do.

We all have a right to share how we feel but we don’t need to bring down someone else while doing so… Making fun of someone online should not be entertainment to the people reading it.

Over the last 4 years, I have run hundreds of competitions on this blog and on my social media. I don’t need too, but I do it because I love my readers and I want you to get the best. Sometimes I even fight with the brands that I work with in order to ensure that I get the best of the best for you… but then in return, I end up getting nasty inbox messages from entrants calling me names and questioning the way I run my competitions.

Sometimes, moms swear at me for the articles that I have published, and a few have called me a racist because I end up sharing pictures of myself on the blog instead of different races?

I won’t lie. I have become strong. I was forced to but there are moments of weakness like last night that made me want to cry because I got another nasty message.

Please remember that I have a life outside this blog. I don’t read emails/messages 24/7. I refuse to work on weekends in order to spend time with my family.

We are living in a world where social media has taken over but let us not forget that it is so easy to hurt someone online by the way we chat. Sometimes using CAPS CAN COME ACROSS AS SCREAMING OR DEMANDING (I admit, I use it often)! Think about your tone and maybe pretend that you are having a real conversation with this person?

It took me a long time to realize that the world of social media is also unreal.

It’s filled with expectations where you think that everyone you follow has the perfect lifestyle except you (insert guilt for not being able to afford to buy my kids anything new for their birthday). Think about it – The type of pictures that you post on Instagram matter – even to people that you don’t know personally and what you say on Facebook determines to “friends” how your day went or where you holidayed recently with the family.

We’ve become so afraid to share what’s really on our mind because we know that there are at least 20 people waiting to judge us for it.

Motherhood needs to be unfiltered on social media because motherhood isn’t perfect.

Why should we pretend that it is? Don’t be fooled, every mom has a bad day.

We all can’t visit the gym before work or bake a pumpkin pie during the day. Most of us end up going to work with uncombed hair and creased clothing because the morning was difficult enough – especially with a teething baby or a sick toddler. I am not going to change the way I write or do things differently on the blog because this is ME and my life. Sometimes it’s not pretty so why should I pretend it is?

Online bullying is a serious problem, especially in the mom groups!


What are we teaching our children?

The saddest part for me about this is that that seems to be the way society is evolving. People just don’t care. Perhaps social media has connected us but I feel that to some extent it has alienated us. I guess that is why I like our little mom get-togethers. We meet. I have felt your pain, been through the struggles. Perhaps these challenges have shaped me into the Shan that you see now. I am me, just as you are you!

Why should we pretend, why should we try and impress?

Let us stop criticizing and bringing people down. Offer up a helping hand and let us be the change that we want to see. After all, the most important people in our lives are learning from us. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate constructive criticism but don’t try to change me.

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