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    be kind online

    How To Always Be Kind Online

    Bullies are commonplace in the schoolyard. Kids are trying to find their place in the world, deal with big emotions and navigate the perilous waters of the social world.

    But you would think by the time you hit adulthood, you would have left bullies behind long ago.

    Unfortunately, bullies are still going strong. While they might not push you down in the playground, pull your hair, or drop your pants in front of the whole school, their actions are still negative and unacceptable. 

    Here at Network NZ, we take a strong stance against any kind of negativity and bullying. Our feeling is that you should ‘be kind online’, and in all other parts of your business.

    Let’s take a look into online interactions and how to keep them positive.

    What Is Bullying?

    The word has varying meanings, but basically, it means picking on someone or being unkind to them. 

    An example of online bullying is picking on someone - openly calling them out on a genuine mistake when it could easily have been dealt with in a private message. 

    Online bullying can also mean, making someone feel that anything they do is not good enough, ganging up against someone, or recruiting others to join in on picking on someone.

    At all times, this kind of behaviour is unnecessary and unacceptable. Think of all the negative energy that goes into these activities. Negativity breeds more negativity. That results in hurt feelings, thoughts of inadequacy and uncalled for heartache.

    In short, it is a big old waste of time and energy!

    What Does A Bully Do?

    A bully tries to isolate you from support so that you feel alone. You may also feel like you have no way to stand up for yourself. 

    The biggest message is, you are not alone and if you ask for help or support, you will get it!

    The greatest way to cut a bully off at the knees is to have a united front of support. If we can support each other, then a bully has no place. If you think someone may be engaging in bullying behaviour (intentionally or not) don’t just stand there and watch. Certainly don’t join in, which is so easy to do online.

    Instead, stand up for what you know is right. Report the negative behaviour and show support to the person being bullied. 

    How To Be Kind Online

    Watch What You Say… Or Type

    The written word is powerful. As you cannot always read the tone of a message, it can easily be misconstrued. You could actually be bullying someone without realising it. 

    No one wants to be nasty. So it is really important to have a self-awareness of what you are putting out there. A great way to think about it is to ask yourself how you would feel if someone said or did the same to you, or to one of your children. 

    If you wouldn't say it to someone’s face in a general conversation, then don’t type it.

    Remember Life Can Be Bumpy

    When you are interacting with others, it is important to remember that everyone is dealing with different challenges. You don’t know who has a sick family member, who had a fight with a toddler about toast squares this morning, or who is having a day where they are doubting themself already.

    Kindness goes a long way. You don’t know what else is going on for that person, treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.It takes far less energy to be positive.

    How You Represent Yourself Online

    Think about what you say and how you say it. People will not always remember what you said, but they will ALWAYS remember the way that it made them feel. 

    There aren’t two versions of yourself. There is not an online version and an in-person version. There is only one version of who you truly are. So, make sure you represent yourself well, and you treat others with kindness and compassion, always. Words can cut very deep, even if you may not have intended them to. The impact of what you say needs to be considered before you post it. 

    Think about what you want your legacy to be. Do you want to be remembered as the knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful one in the group? Or do you want to be remembered as the *insert swear word here* person?

    Let’s finish up with a sobering thought. Children mimic the behaviour of their parents. If you have the next generation watching on, you want to set a great example. Teaching your kids to treat everyone with kindness, consideration and respect will be one of the best investments you can make in their future.

    Here at Network NZ we advocate for support and kindness. Both our free and paid communities are a safe space that we want people to love and enjoy. So, if you aren’t part of this wonderful space, come and join us in the Network NZ Business Community.  It is completely free and full of lots of useful knowledge and information.

    See you there!