Taking the plunge and making a YouTube channel actually taught me a lot about the importance of kindness and offered a peek into a new corner on the Internet. I feel fine about everything now, and learned that I can handle some not so nice criticism, but it also made me think a little about people who get nasty comments on a regular basis. It has to be so incredibly draining, so I hope to help people realize how much their words can influence another human being, and choose to use them to create more positivity in the world.
When I first started my quest to get Robert to meet Tom Brady I was all kinds of nervous. I hate being the center of attention. I don’t mind putting myself out there when it comes to my heart and feelings, but there’s something that scares me about putting my face and everything out there. I think it’s because I know I can really be clear in my writing, while public speaking hasn’t always been my greatest strength.
I knew some people would be rude about my reach to Tom Brady, but I didn’t anticipate the way I would feel when I did read something nasty. 99.9% of the people who said something about it were so kind, encouraging, and enthusiastic. The ones who weren’t, though, were either incredibly rude or mean, and most of the comments were really unnecessary.
Reaching out to Tom Brady asking him to do something nice for someone I love was not hurting anyone or taking anything away from another person. IF on the very off chance he had been able to do something like this, it would have been because he wanted to take some of his own limited free time to do it. I do understand that a quarterback of a successful team like the New England Patriots is busier than you or I have ever been, but it definitely isn’t up to me whether or not he responds to a video like this. I have seen celebrities do nice things for all kinds of people, even just “big fans” who don’t really have a rhyme or reason. My intention for making this video was lighthearted, and driven by love.
Moving forward, I would love to offer a checklist for people to consider before posting a critical comment online:
- Is what this person is doing hurting anyone?
- Will your comment contribute anything positive to the discussion, or is it just something snarky that you are thinking to yourself?
- How would you feel if someone said that to you?
- Finally, is this something you would say to someone in person, or is it just easy to say through a computer screen?
If you don’t have anything nice to say, think really hard about whether or not your comment is productive. Calling someone names, putting them down, or attacking them personally is never okay. Celebrities, models, comedians, and social media personalities all have feelings. There are very real people on the other end of the screen you are communicating through. I understand that they might not know you, but that means you also likely do not know their heart or what they might be dealing with in their lives. It is always safe to use the Golden Rule we all learned in Kindergarten: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Today’s lesson: When in doubt exercise self-control. There is a reason Hemmingway said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Words can hurt and do a lot of damage. Yes, there are absolutely things that I see online that make me angry and upset. People have opinions different than my own, but at the end of the day that’s okay. It’s actually what makes the world a better place and able to grow; we can learn so much from people with perspectives different than our own. As long as nobody is being hurt — mentally or physically — if someone does something silly on the Internet that’s their own business. Go to the next website and move on.