You’re Not Alone: How Cyberbullying Impacts Public Figures

Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 4:59 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -With more and more social media applications emerging, there has been an increase in cyberbullying and internet harassment.

Although we have the ability to delete these apps, what happens when your job revolves around it?

It was an area of cyberspace that former Miss Michigan and Season 24 Big Brother winner Taylor Hale and local singer and songwriter Elysia Marie worked to navigate.

For Hale, she expressed the negative and racist comments she received online after winning Miss Michigan USA.

Although she wasn’t the first black woman to wear the crown and sash, she was met with an overwhelming amount of hate and backlash.

“This is incredibly diverse state to throw racism or any sort of hatred or harassment towards the title holder based on their race ethnicity. It doesn’t add up but that’s something that I can’t control. It’s something I just have to be aware of and manage my own time.”

Instead of deleting every comment, she wanted to open the doors for the public to watch and see the hate she was dealing with.

“I do believe in creating safe spaces. But I also don’t believe in hiding or shielding reality from people. And if I’m the only person who is going to be receiving hate, I can’t be protecting the world from that. I need the world to see how ugly it can be so that we are better and encourage other people not to do that as well.”

Local singer and songwriter Elysia Marie echoed Hale’s sentiments.

In the past year she has been able to promote her music and expand her audience through the help of social media.

Although she was able to grow her following and fanbase, the negative opinions of others grew at the same rate.

“You could impact people in a very very negative way and I don’t think that people think about that. ”

East Lansing therapist Nedra Cannon of Harmony in Hues recommend social media detoxes and breaks for those who suffering with this in silence.

She also recommends daily affirmations to help build self-esteem.

“People have the power to really encourage and pour into you as well as takeaway...but at the end of the day if we all can really look more at being a light for each other something that I say often to my clients is you water what you want to grow. Right? So we do that for other people but we also can do that more for ourselves.”

For those who live in the spotlight, their light can very quickly dim when consistently subject to cyberbullying, but it is important for us on the other side of the screen to understand the power and weight of our words.

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