Firstly, I wanted to start by saying that I believe only a small minority of the online community do this! Overall, I have found that the online community I have encountered have been inspiring and surprisingly really supportive of each other. A small minority however are just there to spread hate among the rest.

I wanted to talk about this because I have always been pretty excessive using Social media from when I was a teenager. I think I just come form a generation where it is drilled into your brain that it is acceptable to be tweeting or watching YouTube pretty much always! We go out for a meal- we Instagram it. We go on a plane- We tweet about it. We go to a supermarket and we vlog it! Having a sister that is younger than me too makes me realise how its becoming even more of an obsession in the younger generation. However, it didn't really seem to be a problem until recently. I have noticed lately that there is a growing amount of negative stories and hate being spread over different social media platforms and it is making a once hopeful and inspiring environment online into quite a hateful place. Especially for young people to be.

I understand that every time you put something online be it a YouTube video, a blog post or even a tweet you are opening yourself up to criticism and not everyone is the whole world will agree with you. I understand that. Making specific hate groups and accounts just to bring someone down though is unacceptable. Anyone who has ever put anything online (which is pretty much everyone!) should understand that. How would you like to constantly receive hate about something you have put out into the online world? It is becoming increasingly acceptable to be that bully behind a screen that can type whatever they want and still be anonymous. I don't know about you but I don't think that when I was younger it was such an issue so why has this happened now?

I think an important thing to keep in mind here is if you don't have something nice to say don't say anything at all. Everyone has the right to put whatever they want online and you are choosing to watch it / read it. No-one is forcing you. Everyone should take a minute to consider how what they say online effects even one other person. The majority of people that watch YouTube or read blog posts are young teenagers looking for guidance or even a role model to look up to and you need to consider when putting something out into the world how it will effect your audience and also on the other hand how your comment will affect the creator.

The online community has expanded so much recently that sometimes people forget that there is someone behind the keyboard and the camera creating this content and these people are normal people-they created these videos or posts exactly just as we can! We can get up from reading this right now and go put whatever we want online.

I recently started this blog and at first I wanted to write because I wanted somewhere to write my thoughts down. I was involved in a course where I had to keep something called a reflective journal where I basically wrote down whatever I wanted to about my day. How I felt, my ideas, what I would do different…whatever I wanted! And the idea of continuing this made me feel great because it really helped me express myself. I didn't realise however that SO many other people felt the same as I did. The blogging community is bigger than I ever thought it was. Or could even imagine it was. It really got me thinking though about how many people actually read what I wrote. How people felt about what I was writing or pictures I was showing. Maybe it would offend them? I don't know but one rule I made for myself was that I would try and spread as much positivity as I could in my little space on the Internet. I'm not forcing anyone to read what I wrote but I want anyone that does to go away from without any negative feelings.

I think this is what the online community is missing today. The internet used to be a place where you could find pretty much anything but it was never threatening. Watching the online community now though I can see why people are scared or hesitant about sharing their thought and feelings. This shouldn't be the case. It should be a place for people to express themselves…share their funny photos, laugh and if they want to, seek guidance. It may be the only place some people can seek guidance.

I want to leave you with one thought. Think before you post. Creators AND the audience…are you really benefiting from that hateful comment you are putting on someone's Facebook picture or humiliating screen shot you managed to get from someones vlog? Are you sure what you are about to post is appropriate for your audience? It is quite easy to work out the average age of your audience. YouTube users have a whole page telling them who watches their videos If not, don't post. Move on.

Lets make the online community a positive environment again.Until next time,