I have been on the Internet, sharing my love for Superman and Superheroes, for more years than I care to remember so I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly sides of it. Nasty comments, personal attacks and one-upmanship. I have had to deal with some situations and have learned from them about how I want to be perceived online, and in the real world.
I am thick-skinned so words directed at me do not bother me and I have been fortunate enough that the majority of my online followers are supportive and pleasant. I have only had to intervene a few times when comments have been directed towards my followers. That is when things have to be said, but in a way which that is not aggressive or demeaning. I respect my position as a blogger. Now, The Geek Of Steel may not be the most popular blogger in the world but it is my goal to be one of the nicest.
Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Zachary Levi in the run up to the release of SHAZAM! (WHICH IS AWESOME!). I only had five minutes with him but within that time I was able to ask all the questions I wanted to and the answers he gave were wonderful.
It is my goal to be my best self on and offline, and for me, that means being positive, polite and engaging. Zachary Levi is a master of this and does so with grace and charm so I had to compliment him on this in the hopes of getting some advice and when I did I got some and so much more.
“I think that we ought to treat everyone with humanity and I think, unfortunately, even the moniker of “Trolls” starts to make us dehumanise those actual people. They’re struggling. There’s something going in their life that is leading them into places where they’re unhappy and perhaps they’re dealing with some really major stuff in their life and we just have to remind ourselves of that.
I’m guilty as anyone else, like somebody saying some horrible stuff to me and I’m like “Well let me tell you!” and I’m like “Wait, wait, wait, wait”. You don’t know, you don’t know what somebody’s struggling with and I think the more we can humanise one another, or at least stop dehumanising one another, whether it’s online or offline, the better off we’re all going to be.”
At the time, my mind was racing a mile a minute but now I have had time to fully take in those words, I have greater respect for Zachary Levi’s beliefs and morals and I also feel I have a greater responsibility to be the best blogger/person that I can be.
Zachary Levi, thank you for your kind words and the positivity you share on the screen, online and in real life. I will not forget this encounter for many years to come.
SHAZAM! is released on April the 5th.