How I’ve created a safe space online

I do not come across negativity on my social media platforms. 

Reading that I’m sure you are asking why that happens and, I do also hope, ‘How can I do that, or show my children how? 

For those of you who may not follow me, I’m a voracious user of social media, especially on Instagram, Linkedin and on Twitter.  

Paying it forward with positive energy 

What I’m here to say is that I do not experience that type of negativity, because I do believe you cultivate your community, you attract what it is you put out there.  

Those who follow me will see posts featuring certain messages, thoughts and imagery everything must relate to something positive or uplifting, or motivating, or inspiring. 

What tends to happen is there is no room, there is no vacancy for negativity or naysayers. They are not going to have a space to have a voice on my platforms, so they don’t even bother. 

Photograph of a student asking a question at a Safer Internet Day event held by the FLOW Foundation at Merl Grove High School.
ContributedA student asks a question at a Safer Internet Day event held by the FLOW Foundation at Merl Grove High School.

This safe space can deter cyberbullies 

So, in answering how do I deal with negativity, naysayers or trolls and cyberbullies is that I simply don’t engage with them, because I have cultivated a community and a platform that only has space for being positive. 

Whenever I hear about some abusive video that is circulating, I will never see that video. It’s never shared with me on WhatsApp, it’s never shared with me on social. That seemed strange to me, but then I realised it’s because my community knows that I’m not here to get inappropriate content, and so they don’t send it to me. 

You have the power to say I do not want to get this type of content and if somebody persists then you have the power to use that glorious, empowering button called BLOCK! In fact, you must report, block, delete in order to protect your peace and your energy – because that to me is the most important thing. 

Terri-Karelle was speaking at a Safer Internet Day event held at Merl Grove High School by the FLOW Foundation, who support UNICEF’s U-Report social messaging tool for youth. Globally, UNICEF has collaborated with Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to answer teens’ top 10 questions on cyberbullying. You can see their answers here.

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