NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Have you ever experienced harassment or been the victim of cyberbullying?
If so, you know how debilitating and helpless it can make a person feel – especially for children who are being introduced to communication devices at younger and younger ages.
In fact, statistics now show one in every three people feel that they have been cyberbullied in their lifetime – which is why Likeable Social Media has created #BeLikeableDay.
The social media company is asking people to commit at least one act of kindness on social media during #BeLikeableDay on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
Dave Kerpen, the founder of Likeable Social Media, tells WCBS 880’s Lynda Lopez that he hopes the day can inspire changes moving forward.
“The idea behind Be Likable Day is that social media, which once held so much promise for positive change and positive communication, has been overridden by negativity, toxicity, cyberbullying and it's just not enjoyable anymore,” he says. “So Be Likable Day is one day where folks are focused on being kinder online.”
He notes that while Facebook and Twitter can be ugly places sometimes, he still recommends people put in the effort to make it a welcoming and friendly place.
“You can pay a compliment to somebody on Instagram, tell somebody you love their outfit – you know, something nice about them,” Kerpen says. “You can promote somebody else’s work on Twitter instead of being focused on self-promotion, you can support somebody else.”
He continues: “You can share gratitude for somebody that you care about on Facebook or you can give a recommendation or endorsement to somebody in your professional life on LinkedIn. Or… just go to your social network of choice – whatever that is –and say ‘sorry,’ say ‘thank you,’ or go out of your way to take 30 seconds to say something nice.”
Kerpen wrote a book on social media practices titled, “Likable Social Media,” which can also help parents navigate how to discuss best social media practices and cyberbullying with children.
“I see all kinds of really negative things out for our children, you know, the thing that I teach my kids is go out of your way to look for the people that are less popular and take extra caution to be kind to those people,” Kerpen says. “It's easy to be kind to your friends, it's harder to look for those people that maybe don't have as many friends and go out of your way to be kind to them.”
To take the #BeLikable pledge, visit belikeableday.com.