Posting online can be so fun! Unfortunately it has led to a culture of shaming (especially mommy shaming). So many people love to shame, and it makes scrolling through social media almost scary. If you worry about who's going to comment on your post, you are not alone.
Here are five signs that you have been wrongly shamed on social media
1. You don't know the people
We get connected with so many people on social media and sometimes posts go viral or we have our connections public and then the next thing we know, people are ranting and raving about our lives. If you don't know the people, then you are being wrongfully shamed.
Chrissy Teigen recently posted a picture of her and her husband going on a date after she had a baby, and people shamed her for leaving the baby with the grandparents. But no one shamed her husband, John Legend, for doing the same thing. Legend said he feels guilty about the criticism Teigan has to deal with and says it's unfair how others treat moms versus dads.
None of the shamers really knew Teigen and Legend, nor did they know the whole story. They were being wrongly shamed by people they had never even met. Remember that if you don't know a person, they have no reason to comment on your life.
2. You have a reason for your actions
A lot of people don't dig any deeper. They don't ask questions - they just point fingers. If they don't try to talk to you about what is happening, then ignore them. This is most common on the internet; people simply comment hateful things and then when the situation is explained, they just move on to another person or post to dissect and hate.
If you reasonably made a choice and are still getting hate, just ignore them.
3. They don't let you explain
Have you ever had someone yell at you and then when you try to explain, they just shut you down? This is wrongful shaming. If they don't let you talk or explain your reasoning, they are simply shaming for fun instead of being interested in helping you be a better person.
Recently a lady came and apologized to Regan Long, a mother of four, when she walked into a restaurant with her children. Long had dressed up for the day so her kids would know that she cared about going out with them.
The lady told Long, "I'm sorry. I judged you when I saw you walk in with your kids ... and I just, I just had to apologize." Luckily this lady had watched Long interact with her kids before talking to her. When she saw more of the picture, she realized there was no reason to shame Long. Luckily, this lady let Long explain her choice through her actions, instead of jumping to a conclusion. Unfortunately, this rarely happens.
We all jump to quick judgements and it's important that we share our opinions, but it's wrong if we don't listen to others. You've been wrongfully shamed if you couldn't explain what you were thinking.
4. They don't let you move on
Maybe you did make a mistake. Maybe there was no reason for you actions and you just weren't thinking that day. That does not mean that you should be subjected to a life of shaming. We are all humans, and humans make mistakes.
You are being wrongfully shamed if you feel the need to delete your social media accounts because people are constantly posting or commenting hateful things to you.
5. You've apologized
All you can do when you make a mistake is apologize. If people are still shaming you afterwards, all you can do is move on. I think these are the saddest cases of people being wrongfully shamed because they have done all they could and the internet still hates them.
If a friend apologized to you, you wouldn't hold it over their head. Along those same lines, if you have apologized, people shouldn't keep bringing up your mistake.
So now that you know they were in the wrong, here's what to do about it
1. Take a social media fast
Take a step back and focus on you and your family. Don't worry about what the haters are going to say. They are in the wrong anyway. Often times taking a step back allows people of the internet to cool down and forget. It might not happen right away, but focusing on your family will help you get through this terrible situation.
Whether you are turning to your family or a therapist, make sure you have people on your side. You need people to support you through this hate. You are not a bad person; bad things are happening to you.
The only way to overcome negativity is with positivity. Start posting positive comments to the hateful ones or simply just post positive content. It'll be hard for people to tear you down when they see you are promoting good.
Social media can be tricky. Remember that you are not a bad person. You can pull through the wrongful shame that is following you. Remember to get the support you need and then focus on putting good back into the world.
Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.