Sunday, 24 April 2016

Monica Lewinsky: what she can teach us all

"We all want to be heard, but let's acknowledge the difference between speaking up with intention and speaking up for attention."

So many of my role models are just that because of the way they communicate - whether it be through words, music or speech; the skill of effective communication is one I admire and strive towards.

This morning I watched and listened to Monica Lewinsky warning the world of the dangers of public shaming.

Pause for a moment and imagine the outpouring on social media if a story like Monica's was to break today. It's terrifying.

How do we get this 20 minute video in front of every young person in this country? To witness such a feat of strength, eloquence and dignity is a rare opportunity. But it's exactly these traits we should all embed within ourselves, especially when posting and sharing in our digital world.

I was brought up with the 'If you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' mantra. However, as she says, we all want to be heard! And never has there been more opportunity to make a noise. FFS, let's use this collective noise for good.

Ironically a Tweet is anything but a throw-away comment. It will exist forever on the internet and in the mind of the recipient. High profile individuals such as Stella Creasy have found the strength to fight their abusers. But the stories of young people who didn't know how to, or couldn't, find that strength are a disgrace to our society.

The power of voices on the internet is a force we're yet to comprehend. The list of achievements is growing by the day: No More Page 3, overturning the banning of gay scout leaders, and the release of Meriam Yahya. Young people today are being written off for not engaging in politics/Politics. It's a shortsighted view. A digital tidal wave of a new politics has formed and we have the power to shape it.

But for this wave not to consume or destroy us we all have a responsibility to each other. Our comments, Tweets, blogs and posts may not be Cyberbullying. But we can lead by example and use every opportunity to use the internet for good.

Read here how UK charity Anti-Bullying Pro is fighting all forms of bullying.


  1. Good stuff keep it coming x

  2. Thanks for this, Fiona., and for your blog. I'll watch the TED talk soon.