A big shout out and thanks to the amazing Youssef Abdelmalek from YMAPHOTO!
The #DecidetobeKind Campaign
For many professionals, including myself, LinkedIn has become a platform for us to share our stories, brand out superpowers, build community, develop ourselves both personally and professionally, and get our voices back.
However, for some the LinkedIn journey ends way too quickly. For many the bullying, taunting, trolling, name-calling, and humiliation became too much and many decided to take their stories and find refuge somewhere else. In some other cases, many people just decided to abandon LinkedIn all-together because it all became too much.
As a huge advocate and fan of LinkedIn, and an anti-bullying advocate, I will do whatever I can to ensure that LinkedIn is a safe space to grown both professionally and personally. I owe so much to the platform and even more to the people on it.
As a teen I was a fun-loving, extroverted kid with a Supergirl cape. I loved public speaking and wanted to change the world. All of this stopped one day, when my bully decided to tear me down and call me names. It just happened to be right before my speech at a provincial public-speaking contest. I remember standing in my new pair of high heels, grounded in confidence, and knowing that what I had to say mattered. My bully took it all away; paralyzing me with her words. I hastily ran off the stage, losing my left high heel in the process. Humiliated, I not on lost my high heel that day, I also lost my voice as I vowed never to speak in public or wear high heels again.
LinkedIn helped give me my voice back. I get to travel all over the world speaking about LinkedIn, Social Reciprocity, and the importance of kindness. I get to lead and show the next generation of LinkedIn users that #kindnessiscool, I also get to spread the important message that #kindnessrules.
We don’t expect “bully” behavior to happen on LinkedIn, but it does. It is just not traditional and not what we expect; we don’t think that this type of thing could happen on a public professional social media platform designed for networking and building community among professionals. We most often think and associate bullying with our childhood, where we could easily spot those “bullies” on the playground and make ourselves small in another space so we wouldn’t be seen.
Unfortunately, there are no prerequisites to bullying. In fact, online bullying (otherwise known as cyber-bullying) is increasing. It is often ideal for bullies because they hide behind their computer, and mobile screens, as they prey on the vulnerabilities of those they have intentionally sought out.
The LinkedIn #DecidetobeKind Campaign is all about recognition and awareness; helping to ensure that LinkedIn a safe and productive space for everyone to tell their story.
“Bless those who stand up to bullies. You are the true masters of the universe.” Mandi Bishop
The #DecidetobeKind Wristband brings awareness to bullying on LinkedIn and help professionals stay united in a safe and productive space. Even though bullying on LinkedIn can be subtle, unexpected, and untraditional, it exists; therefore, making it an unsafe and unproductive place to be in for many.