Exclusive Interview With Cybersmile Diversity Ambassador Normani Kordei
Normani became the Cybersmile Diversity Ambassador in September 2016 after suffering extreme online abuse from online trolls.
What would you say to somebody that thinks cyberbullying is a joke?
To those that feel that cyberbullying is a joke, I would definitely say that it is a bigger deal than you may think that it is, because it has the power to either be the difference as to why somebody is still living or somebody took their own life.
You really never know how you can affect a person and how big of a toll your words and your actions may take on them. So I think that we just really need to have more empathy and be sympathetic towards each other and just love, because ultimately at the end of the day we are all human and our goals are just to be the best we can possibly be each day. So I think that you really need to think about the other person and put yourself in their shoes.
Why do you think that cyberbullying and online abuse has become such a big problem?
Cyberbullying has become such a huge thing and almost a trend within our generation because there obviously are no consequences or repercussions that are going to be taking place due to your actions that you give to other people. So it’s easier to sit behind a computer screen and say hateful things, give racial comments and talk about other people, because ultimately, at the end of the day nothing will happen to you; it’s very unfortunate.
What do you think can, or should be done to reduce the amount of cyberbullying and digital abuse in the world?
I think that one thing we can do, upon ourselves, to really help reduce cyberbullying would be to educate our kids, especially at young age. I know like half the time these people grow up, you never know what a person’s going through or you never know their background or what kind of home they were raised in, but I think it really does start with the parents. At the end of the day I think they are obligated in a way to kind of educate their kids that we’re all the same, it doesn’t matter what skin color you have, what ethnicity, it doesn’t matter which religion, maybe your sexual preference, at the end of the day we are all human. We are all people on this earth with purpose and I definitely also feel that you need to recognize when you are bullying somebody. I think that sometimes maybe people don’t necessarily know, or recognize it because it’s second nature to them and its kind of who they’ve become. So I feel like you need to kind of just reflect on yourself or hopefully have people around you that can be honest with you and tell you ‘Hey what you’re doing is wrong’, so I think that could possibly help.”
Do you have a favourite positive saying or mantra that you use to motivate yourself?
Well for me the mantra I use to really encourage myself and have hope, would definitely be a bible verse. It is actually Luke 23:34 because I’m very passionate about my faith, my Christianity, my religion it’s very important to me. So I always choose to keep that verse, because I know all that he has done for me and I know that I get my strength from him. But it says, ‘Father forgive them for they do not know not what they are doing.” So, you know, all I have is love in my heart despite all the hate I’m given and I pray for those who hurt me.”
What advice would you give to somebody being bullied online?
One piece of advice based on my experience of being cyberbullied would definitely be to know that you are not alone and recognize, and don’t be afraid to go ask for help and speak to people about the situation that you are going through (our global support service can help you 24/7 if you need support for any form of online abuse). Because I think that a lot of the time what makes it so hard for us and makes our experience so hard to get through I think is because we feel alone and we feel that we don’t have anyone to talk to. But there’s a million people going through the same that you’re going through. I know that there are people who genuinely do love you and people who are willing to listen and people who do care. I personally care, I know exactly how it feels and thank god I had a support system, an amazing support system, my girls and then also my family. I had them to talk to and it made all the difference in the world. It made my days that much greater considering it was just an awful situation. You can also go to Cybersmile if you need help.
Thats it folks! Huge thank you to Normani for sharing her personal thoughts and feelings regarding cyberbullying and online abuse. If you are affected by any form of online negativity please visit our cyberbullying and online abuse help center or alternatively check out the various ways we can help you through our total access support service. For further information about Cybersmile and our work, you can explore the following recommendations.
- Official Cybersmile Ambassadors
- Who Are Cybersmile?
- Teenagers Guide To Cyberbullying
- Every Parents Nightmare – A first hand parents account of a teenage cyberbullying suicide
- Community Forum
- Cybersmile Gaming
- Guide To Bullying On Social Media
- Corporate Partnership Program
- Normani Kordei Announces New Diversity Role At Cybersmile
- Become A Cybersmile Sustainer
Isn’t Normani awesome?!! Tweet us your thoughts @CybersmileHQ