September 21, 2022

Using our mic for good to combat cyberbullies: What we can learn from a professional golfer

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Professional golfer Paige Spiranac is no stranger to receiving hurtful comments online. After receiving a number of comments that called her ‘fat’ on a recent golf video, she is sharing her story to shed light on cyberbullying.

From using her mic for good to being a positive influence to helping raise awareness around cyberbullying, students can learn a lot from Spiranac’s example.

Paige Spiranac calls out body-shamers

Spiranac, the 29-year-old professional golfer, influencer, and model, has 3.6 million followers on Instagram and is using her platform to take a stand against cyberbullying. When people started leaving rude comments on a recent golf video that she posted, she considered her mental health, deleted the comments, and called out the body shamers.

In a now-expired Instagram Story, Spiranac used her mic for good to address the negative comments and talk about the effect cyberbullying had on her. She also shared the message of the importance of working out and living a healthy lifestyle to feel good, rather than to look good. 

As a professional golfer, Spiranac also recognizes that she has a largely male following, so she wanted to give them a space where they could talk about their insecurities, too. In her post, she wrote, “I don’t think it’s talked about enough how men are also body shamed. We all feel the pressure to look a certain way.”

Spiranac is also a Cybersmile ambassador, where she works with the organization to spread awareness about cyberbullying and encourage positivity on social media. 

TSI’s take on what students can learn about using your mic for good

In our #WinAtSocial Lesson, Analyzing The Impact of Cancel Culture and Rushing to Judgment Online, we polled our high school students and found that 91% of students agree that being too quick to publicly shame others is a problem on social media.

Contact us today to learn more about our turnkey #WinAtSocial Lessons that teach students how to make high-character decisions online.

We may never know why people are bolder when it comes to saying mean things online that they would never say in person. However, we can encourage students to combat cyberbullying, just like Paige Spiranac. 

Here are a few examples from Spiranac’s playbook that we can use to empower students to use their mic for good, find positive influencers, and cyberback rather than cyberbully.

Use Your Mic For Good
If you see something, say something. Spiranac could have ignored the mean internet comments; instead, she is making headlines for calling them out. This reminds us that being a bystander to bullying can be as harmful as being the bully.

Find Positive Influencers
Finding influencers who encourage positivity and help students handle online pressures can make social media a healthier mental and physical space. Spiranac understands the pressure to look a certain way, so she is changing her mentality around working out to make it a more positive experience and sharing that with her followers online. 

Cyberback Rather Than Cyberbully
Spiranac wants to use her platform as a safe space for her followers to share their own experiences with insecurities by creating a supportive community online. Similarly, we can empower our students to have each others’ backs online by encouraging and supporting others when we see them being bullied. 

Our #WinAtSocial Program is designed to help students build life skills that help them handle the pressures of social media, find positive influences, and cyberback and support each other. Request a personalized demo of #WinAtSocial to learn how you can start empowering your students today.

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The Social Institute (TSI) is the leader in understanding student experiences and the creator of #WinAtSocial, a gamified, online learning platform that equips students, educators, and families to navigate social experiences — online and offline — in healthy ways. Our unique, student-respected approach incorporates topics like social media, technology use, and current events that significantly impact student well-being. Lessons teach life skills for the modern day to inspire high-character decisions that support the health, happiness, and future success of students, while capturing data that provides insights to school leaders to inform school policy and communications, and enable high-impact teaching and a healthy learning environment. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities. For schools, our turnkey technology allows for easy implementation and a comprehensive game plan to support the well-being of school communities.