Have you ever wondered what possessed someone to post the things they did on social media? How about if we narrow it down: Have you ever wondered what made someone think it was OK to post a particular set of nails on social media? Chances are good you’ve thought that once, if not more than once. That is your right as an individual — the right to have an opinion unique to your personal perspective.
Where your rights end is in sharing that opinion in a way that isn’t kind. You don’t know the situation in which the photograph was taken, the skill level of the person doing the nails, the circumstances behind the nails, or any other of a myriad of factors that can affect the final photograph. When nail professionals want constructive criticism or advice on a photo, they ask for it. If you feel like you could help someone with a mentoring thought, send them a private message.
Everyone has room to grow, no matter where they are in a nail career — from student to 20-year veteran. As an industry family, we can all help each other grow with positive, constructive comments, in private if they haven’t been requested in public. Picking someone’s work apart based on a photo is unkind and unfair. To truly give helpful advice, you should be sitting next to them in person. To comment on stray hairs on a toe, a bit of top coat that went awry, a few pieces of excess glitter, or a style that is not to your personal taste is generally petty and almost always unnecessary.
Cyberbullying is “the act of harassing someone online by sending or posting mean messages.” Making a comment that is judgmental or petty comes down to being a bully. It’s that simple. As a niche segment in the industry, we need to stand together as one, building each other up to learn and grow. It is much easier for others to look down on us as nail professionals when you choose to look down on each other and use cyberbullying to do so. The next time you feel the need to make a “helpful comment,” ask yourself a few questions: Would I want someone to say this to me to my face on a stage, or would it be more helpful as a private message one on one? Am I feeling extra critical and is my thought best kept to myself?
There is no rule that says you have to comment on nails that come across your screen, so perhaps if we all adopt the attitude of “if you don’t have something nice to say, keep it to yourself,” then social media, at least in the nail corner of the universe, can be a safe place to share and grow!