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Nicole was a fan of the show Glee and an aspiring actress, until one tweet ruined her reputation in the entertainment industry and online. See what she's been up to in the aftermath of her online ordeal.
1. Are you currently active on Social Media? If yes, how has your online activity changed since the incident that changed your life?
Yes, I am somewhat active on Social Media. I now have a full time career so I don't spend nearly as much time on the Internet as I once did. Coincidentally, I've taken over the Social Media accounts for my family's company, Crowther Roofing. So I still use it for advertising and marketing, but not quite as much for my personal life. I wouldn't say that necessarily has as much to do with the incident as it does with the fact that I just don't have as much time or interest in it anymore.
2. What type of support did you seek in the aftermath of what happened to you?
I mainly sought the support of those closest to me who knew the real story - my family and friends. It's incredibly difficult when you hear all of these false accusations about yourself being thrown around and you're not able to do much about it. I also sought out help/support in the form of therapy. There's still quite a negative stigma about therapy and mental illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, which I suffered from, but I can honestly say therapy changed and improved my life for the better.
3. If you had the chance to re-do the tweet/post that changed your life, what, if anything, would you do differently?
Ultimately, I don't think I would hit the tweet button. At the end of the day, I would much rather save myself the trouble than go on the roller coaster ride that I did. On the other hand, I do think it helped shape my mentality and my overall view of the world by showing me the incredible amount of negativity there is out there, as well as the dark side to humanity. I was a young, naive kid when it happened and when I had to deal with the hatred on a daily basis, it really opened my eyes. It provided a difficult challenge that I overcame which helped me to become the person I am today - a person I'm actually proud of. That's something I don't think we hear enough about from my generation since we're always comparing our lives to everyone else and trying to be someone we're not, specifically because of Social Media and society's obsession with "perfection". The day you learn to truly love yourself, flaws and all, is the day you break free from society's chains. In that sense, I'm thankful for the struggle it provided and what I learned from the whole experience.
4. What, if any, ramifications from your incident are you still experiencing today?
None. One day to a normal person is like a month in the entertainment industry. So since the incident happened 5 years ago in real life, thats like a thousand years in that world. I doubt the story even crosses anyone's mind anymore. Especially since the show itself, Glee, ended a couple of years ago. And although I have a career in a separate industry now, I am still actively seeking ways to get more involved in the film industry on an independent level and have not had any opposition or trouble whatsoever because of this past incident.
5. Have you had any other life-changing incidents on the internet since the one we profiled?
Luckily, no. Safe to say, I learned my lesson and know better about what to post and what not to post.
6. What advice would you give to other people on managing social media?
Think before you post. It's really quite simple, ask yourself if what you are about to say is benefiting anyone? Could you potentially be harming or offending anyone? Save yourself the hassle and if you think something might be in the morally gray area or could potentially be controversial, especially in a negative sense, just don't do it. I firmly believe in spreading love and positivity. As long as you do that, you'll be fine.
7. What do you feel are positive aspects of the Internet?
With everything in life, you have to find a balance. There are good and evil aspects of everything, and of everyone. So while the Internet has a lot of negative facets to it, you just have to find the positive ones. Something that I think is absolutely incredible is how it connects, quite literally, the entire world. We have access to almost anything and everything going on at any given time anywhere in the world. I think it's bringing about this sense of oneness; as we learn more about what really goes on in other parts of the world, or even in our own backyards, we grow together. I think we can see this being demonstrated by the cultural and conscious "shift" everyone is witnessing thats been taking place over the past 5-10 years since the Internet and social media really started taking off. As long as we promote positivity and love, like I mentioned before, the Internet can be a beautiful place for us all to connect and learn from one another.