X Factor Sensation Caitlyn Vanbeck Talks Cyberbullying And Her Favourite Positive Mantra
Caitlyn openly discussed her experiences of cyberbullying and how deeply they affected her during her X Factor audition.
You mentioned in your X Factor audition that you had experienced cyberbullying and online negativity, could you tell us a bit about that please?
I used to have people online who would write horrible things about me online making fun of certain things I said or did.
How did the cyberbullying make you feel?
I felt quite hurt. A lot of these people who would interact with the posts, like and comment on them, I thought were my friends so I was pretty upset. It was something you couldn’t really escape as it was always there (if you are affected by online abuse please visit our cyberbullying help center or email [email protected] for a trained advisor).
What would you say to someone who doesn’t understand the pain and effects that cyberbullying can cause?
It does get to you. I mean sometimes not right away but, as time goes on it begins to eventually eat away at you. As it builds up it gets worse and sometimes you feel worthless and targeted. There’s often no escape and there are so many different illnesses it can also lead to.
What advice would you give to someone suffering cyberbullying and abuse online?
I know it’s hard but try and block as much of it as you can. People will target you and often make up stories about you, often in groups, and will try everything in their power to belittle you. Your job is to remember your worth and know that you always have someone to talk to, whether it be over the phone or in person. There are numerous helplines you can call and numerous places you can go. Just get away from it as much as you can.
What do you think can or should be done to reduce the amount of bullying and hate online?
It’s difficult because there aren’t really any limits online. Numerous people are targeted online and although there are blocking and reporting tools there isn’t really anything to specifically remove it altogether. I think that numerous laws should be introduced for severe bullying as it can really be a life threatening issue.
Do you think social media is a blessing or curse?
In a way it is a total blessing as it allows us to connect with so many people. Families who live afar can be reached and numerous things can be shared for success but there’s always a downside. It is THE worst cause of bullying and the most used platform for it.
What is your favourite social media platform and why?
I think Twitter is my favourite. It’s a good way to promote music, which is what I love to do and a lot of my interactions with supporters come from Twitter. It’s also good because if you don’t want someone to see your profile you can block them and then you can’t see their tweets either.
Do you have a favourite positive mantra or saying that you use to motivate yourself?
I always tell myself that you have to ‘accept no one’s definition of your life, define yourself’.
Don’t take notice of what others say about you, if you’re happy and you’re in a positive head space then that’s the most important thing. YOU are what matters.
Finally, what words of advice would you give someone who wants to be a singer or performer but is worried about being abused?
I say go for it! It held me back for so long but I realised that even if I did go for it or I held back there was always going to be something said about me. Surround yourself with people who love you and motivate you and people that you trust. That way no matter what happens you always have that to fall back on. No one should give up on their dream or something they love because others tell them to. It’s YOUR life, so live it!
Well thats a wrap! Thank you so much to Caitlyn for participating in this interview. If you are affected by negativity online please visit our cyberbullying and online abuse help center or alternatively check out the various ways we can help you in our total access support section. For further information about Cybersmile and the work we do, please explore the following suggestions.
- Official Cybersmile Ambassadors
- Every Parents Nightmare – A first hand parents account of a teen cyberbullying suicide
- What Is Cyberbullying?
- Who Are Cybersmile?
- Gaming Abuse Help Center
- Cybersmile To Form Part Of Twitter Trust And Safety Council
- Intel CEO And Mark Cuban Play Charity LoL Match In Aid Of Cybersmile
- Cybersmile Corporate Partnership Program
- Community Forum
What do you think about Caitlyn’s experience of cyberbullying? Tweet us over @CybersmileHQ!