Verbal online attacks are worse because we usually don’t know the person behind the “attack” and they don’t really know us as well, but they still have the guts and the ability to humiliate us even without enough proof or a valid reason that we deserve the “attack.” Usually, the argument is only caused by a different perception of others about us and the issue/s we are associated with. We can’t really win from an online attack, it’s a non stop battle of useless words just to prove ourselves better and win the “unstoppable” argument. Truth be told, only the nonchalant will win this war. When we argue with people in real life, most of the time we see each other’s reactions and gestures or hear their tone of voice. It is easier to make ourselves calm in real life arguments because we have a face (our identity is exposed at some point), making us conscious and cautious of what people will think when we argue further. Thus, we have no choice but to be more casual and considerate with our choice of words compared to online where no one sees us and we are also bombarded with different stressors that agitate us further. In real life, we handle arguments maturely and we are proud of it, but in the online world our monsters are usually out of control and always on fighting mode depending on our mood of the day.
As a part of my interview series about the things we can each do to make social media and the internet a kinder and more tolerant place, I had the pleasure to interview Daisy Jing. Daisy is a YouTube vlogger and a young entrepreneur who founded and bootstrapped a now multi-million beauty product line named Banish. She is 30 years young with knowledge and experience in business and marketing. Her business is now ranked #152nd fastest growing company in INC 5000 and she is also included in Forbes 30 under 30. Daisy is a TEDx talk speaker who is focused on inspiring confidence in others.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Daisy! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I started my business from just my laptop. I had bad acne and did everything to help clear it up. I’ve tried hundreds of different beauty products then I review them and share with my followers who are also suffering with the same problem as mine. In turn, I developed a following of over 50M views on YouTube and became a trusted source of information in the realm of skin problems. At that time, I was able to make my own natural skin care line focused on combating skin blemishes. Eventually, my followers saw great results on my skin and encouraged me to launch my own business. Now we are a team of 15+ men & women, inspiring confidence in others.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
When I first started my company, it was just me in my living room with a webcam and some beauty supplies. I realized that I can do more to change my skin and outlook in life — that same impact can happen to someone I know too! This is where my passion started.
My first hire was a student in college who worked only a few hours a week. Because of that, I was forced to be a manager in the early days of the business. I learned to manage, communicate, set expectations, hire and fire. During the early years of the business, I learned how to delegate and ‘let go’ of certain things in the company. Having these skills and practices in the very beginning of my journey forced me to change my mindset for growing the business.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I saw the movie, “The Intern.” It is funny because I feel like I’m Jules Ostin (played by Anne Hathaway) in “The Intern.” She always brings a hand sanitizer with her and sanitize whenever, wherever. I’m just like her! Whenever I travel, I make sure that my seat in the plane is well-cleaned and sanitized. I also tend to vlog about my travel, go to and fro in different places just to take photos in front of the camera so I have something to post. It was draining and tiring! I wasn’t able to enjoy the moment. Plus, I got sick.
Getting sick is the worst, as it’s a lost of productivity. Eat fruits and vegetables, take your vitamin C, and get enough sleep even while travelling! Everyone thinks that you’re an entrepreneur and you must be very busy — like work for 20 hours a day, even while travelling. That’s not sustainable, not even possible! There’s no way anyone can do that and still be in good shape. Prioritize your health because without good health, you won’t be able to create wealth — can’t enjoy that wealth, and you’ll just see yourself crying for what is “left.”
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We are currently doing the CUSTOMER INTERVIEW PROJECT. On this project we have spent hundreds of hours interviewing our customers, getting to know them and really learning a lot about them. We are so excited to share their unique stories! We really want to build a strong community — an army of “Banish Soldiers” where we can support each other. Because of this project, we listened well and learned about the vulnerable and authentic stories of our customers who struggled with their skin.
People want to hear from others who they can relate to, they don’t want to hear from people who are unattainable and perfect. We are excited and hopeful that this project will empower others to be more confident about themselves.Through these stories, we are giving voices to others who want to share a part of their lives to inspire more people.
Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the main focus of our interview. Have you ever been publicly shamed or embarrassed on social media? Can you share with our readers what that experience felt like?
Yes I was, I must say that the company was kinda publicly shamed — technically somewhat targeted by the netizens. It is something I’d rather not experience on social media. The experience felt sheepish at first then eventually, I thought about it and realized that “the bigger you are, the more shame you’ll tend to get” because people are more after the big fish.
As a thought leader and with a company that grows, people will really find issues and express it online whether you’re at fault or not. It is at some point a pat on the back because I took a stand on something.
What did you do to shake off that negative feeling?
I eventually understand that not everyone will accept my opinion and see my own perspective, same goes with popular people who are also experiencing this whenever they pick a side or someone just simply hates them. The more popular you are, the more chances you’ll be embarrassed and experience these shameful moments.
Have you ever posted a comment on social media that you regretted because you felt it was too harsh or mean?
Yes, especially in the beginning of handling my social media accounts on YouTube, I say things on my channel that are critical and harsh. People say I’m a very blunt person and other things I say were taken out of context. I’m really straightforward and so there are times when I say things that are misunderstood.
Can you describe the evolution of your decisions? Why did you initially write the comment, and why did you eventually regret it?
In the very beginning of my business, I posted a picture of myself using a blowup camera, it made me look very wide in the hip area. People reacted and thought I was making fun of people who are “full-figured” and they considered my post offensive. I eventually deleted it and posted an apology, I explained what it was and the truth behind the photo. In the end, I admit that I didn’t think before I posted it and I didn’t realize that it will occur to others as unpleasant and rude. I could have been more cautious of how people will perceive my photo and I should’ve been more sensitive before posting anything online.
When one reads the comments on Youtube or Instagram, or the trending topics on Twitter, a great percentage of them are critical, harsh, and hurtful. The people writing the comments may feel like they are simply tapping buttons on a keyboard, but to the one on the receiving end of the comment, it is very different. This may be intuitive, but I feel that it will be instructive to spell it out. Can you help illustrate to our readers what the recipient of a public online critique might be feeling?
The person will feel ashamed like having a pit in the stomach — a constant uneasiness associated with fear, anxiety and stress. You feel like you can’t breathe and you want to disappear like if only the earth can just swallow you out of nowhere. The exact same feelings you feel at school when your classmates bully you and you can’t fight back because this time, they seem to be invisible and invincible.
Do you think a verbal online attacks feels worse or less than a verbal argument in “real life”? How are the two different?
Verbal online attacks are worse because we usually don’t know the person behind the “attack” and they don’t really know us as well, but they still have the guts and the ability to humiliate us even without enough proof or a valid reason that we deserve the “attack.” Usually, the argument is only caused by a different perception of others about us and the issue/s we are associated with. We can’t really win from an online attack, it’s a non stop battle of useless words just to prove ourselves better and win the “unstoppable” argument. Truth be told, only the nonchalant will win this war.
When we argue with people in real life, most of the time we see each other’s reactions and gestures or hear their tone of voice. It is easier to make ourselves calm in real life arguments because we have a face (our identity is exposed at some point), making us conscious and cautious of what people will think when we argue further. Thus, we have no choice but to be more casual and considerate with our choice of words compared to online where no one sees us and we are also bombarded with different stressors that agitate us further. In real life, we handle arguments maturely and we are proud of it, but in the online world our monsters are usually out of control and always on fighting mode depending on our mood of the day.
What long term effects can happen to someone who was shamed online?
They can suffer from depression and anxiety. Their confidence and self-worth will be affected and eventually, even their character may change depending on how they were able to cope. VIctims will definitely be traumatized, it is just up to them if they decide to forgive and move on or let it take the best of them and so comes suicidal thoughts.
Only 2 things can occur : they come out stronger and polished OR they also hurt others online or in real life. Hurting people hurt other people and the only way out is to hurt others by feeling extra superior when you were finally able to hurt others and make them know how you feel.
Many people who troll others online, or who leave harsh comments, can likely be kind and sweet people in “real life”. These people would likely never publicly shout at someone in a room filled with 100 people. Yet, on social media, when you embarrass someone, you are doing it in front of thousands of even millions of people, and it is out there forever. Can you give 3 or 4 reasons why social media tends to bring out the worst in people; why people are meaner online than they are in person?
- It is way harder to be confrontational in person than online. We don’t think anymore, we just click and press send online. Most of the time we feel happier when we finally let things out of our chest without asking ourselves if it is hurtful or not. Online, we become more courageous because we don’t talk to someone face to face, we hide behind our gadgets and computers.
- We enjoy the feeling of anonymity, making us feel invincible without any accountability on our actions because unlike in real life, it is not that easy for online “police officers” to take a hold of us and punish us from our actions. The least punishment we can get is a deactivated account, which we can easily create in 5 minutes or less.
- Most of the time, we are 2 things when we go online : a.) we are happy and mature enough to just scroll and ignore b.) we are tired and stressed with limited time to think about having a responsible comment/post or worst is we actually have enough time to spare so we can hurt others because we are also hurting at the moment.
If you had the power to influence thousands of people about how to best comment and interact online, what would you suggest to them? What are your “5 things we should each do to help make social media and the internet, a kinder and more tolerant place”? Can you give a story or an example for each?
Take a risk to post something vulnerable: I challenge you to post or share something that is vulnerable or imperfect about yourself. Maybe you wake up not looking perfect with a pimple, post that! How about a selfie without makeup, #nomakeup will finally be used.
The other day, I saw an influencer post a photo of her in the hospital going through her miscarriage. The engagement and support was overwhelming. Sometimes sharing a bit of vulnerability allows us to connect better with those around us. In fact, for our company’s instagram posts that get the most engagement are the raw, unfiltered, and relatable content. If I didn’t take the risk to post that YouTube video, I wouldn’t be sharing with you my story today.
- Have a communication course for kids that will teach them how to effectively post, comment and deal with others online. It is essential for us to know how to communicate better (post and comment responsibly) and to protect ourselves as young as possible from bullies of this digital age.
- Compliment a non-sponsored or unpopular page. Nominate them on awards if possible. Boost their confidence and self-worth. Empower the admin or content creator. Make them feel valued despite the few likes and followers they have. That same love and appreciation they feel will also be passed on to others like a domino effect.
- Mute or unfollow those who post rude stuff and aren’t helping you to be sane. You gotta have the guts to filter the people you follow and the content you allow to influence you everyday.
- Spread kind words and motivate others frequently. Don’t share news that bring lies and destruction on others, especially when you aren’t sure and it’s out of your concern. Don’t use the internet to cause panic and fear to others or to put someone down.
- Allow yourself and others to know the real you without the fear of missing out on things or being compared to others. Love yourself more and be authentic enough to trust more people.
Freedom of speech prohibits censorship in the public square. Do you think that applies to social media? Do American citizens have a right to say whatever they want within the confines of a social media platform owned by a private enterprise?
Yes it applies- but when we share inaccurate information that can cause damage to someone’s reputation or when we share private and confidential information that can potentially harm others, it should be censored instead.
If you had full control over Facebook or Twitter, which specific changes would you make to limit harmful or hurtful attacks?
Facebook is doing an awesome job, especially now that we have experienced an issue with our “acne” ads tagged as offensive and vulgar. On the other hand, both Facebook and Twitter should respond faster in crisis like cyberbullying so they can immediately block an account and take them down as soon as possible without the need of sending tons of proof or a long wait for the process
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
As mentioned in the “Top Regrets of the Dying,” the #1 regret is “I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” We have to be authentic and considerate before we post anything or comment on something. I challenge you to be authentically you. Strip away from the chains of perfection and the fear of losing an argument. Let them win, there’s still more to life than to have tons of likes and followers online.
We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Oprah, she is a self-made woman with a heart of gold. She knows how to handle anything with class. Oprah is a true testament that you can’t put a smart and hardworking woman down.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Website : https://www.banish.com
Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/user/daiserz89
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/banishbeauty
Instagram : https://instagram.com/daiserz89
Twitter : https://twitter.com/banishacnescars
Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!
About the author:
Yitzi Weiner is a journalist, author, and the founder of Medium’s Authority Magazine. He is also the CEO of Authority Magazine’s Thought Leader Incubator, which guides leaders to become prolific content creators. A trained Rabbi, Yitzi is also a dynamic educator, teacher and orator. He currently lives in Maryland with his wife and children.