Author Jonathan Joly Talks About Cyberbullying, Social Media And The Importance Of Protecting The Right To Anonymity Online


We understand you’re making a TV show. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

It was actually a film that we’ve been working on for the past year which is finally almost finished! We’re currently planning a big exciting screening in a couple of months!

What’s your favorite social media platform and why?

Recently I’ve been using Instagram more and more and it is quickly becoming a firm favorite! I think it’s because it’s more of a personal experience for the viewer and it’s instant in real time, vs YouTube which is becoming a bit more formal.

Do you think social media is a blessing or a curse?

Social media can be both a blessing and a curse. I grew up and went through my childhood and teenage years offline so I wouldn’t know what it’s like these days to be actually growing up with social media, but I can absolutely see how it can be very positive. Young people have access to all sorts of information and knowledge which I wasn’t able to reach, and it allows them to connect with likeminded people all over the world.
I also still think that the internet is in it’s infancy, I think future regulations will mould the internet into something better still.

Have you ever experienced online abuse, and if so how did/do you deal with it?

As someone who has worked in social media for 10 years I have had my fair share of online abuse! I would say though, that online trolling is very different to being bullied. If you watch my Draw My Life Video (below) you’ll see that I was bullied, but that was a very different experience for me to being trolled and abused on the internet, and it effected me completely differently.

But as I have grown up, I have become way more focused on protecting my children and my family, then I am worried about myself. I am hoping by the time my children are connected there will be no more online abuse.

What advice would you give to someone suffering abuse or bullying online right now?

The most important thing I would say to someone that is suffering from bullying or abuse is to tell somebody what’s going on. A friend, a teacher, a family member, anybody that you trust.

Never keep it to yourself, you’re never alone in these situations and you will never be judged or get in trouble for reaching out to someone. There are plenty of people out there to talk to, and plenty of people who will listen to you.
My problem was that I told nobody. I kept everything inside and bottled it all up and I think that’s the worst thing you can do.

What would you say to somebody who thinks cyberbullying is a joke?

I hope you never get cyber bullied, and I hope you never have to find out that it’s not a joke

What do you think can or needs to be done to reduce the problem of cyberbullying or harassment?

I don’t think the answer is ever taking away the internet or devices. I think the thing that would end trolling would be to kill anonymity. Anonymity allows people to say and do things that they wouldn’t normally do as they are not held responsible or accountable for their actions.

Aside from the film, can you share with us any projects you’re currently working on?

At the moment we’re currently working on one of the biggest and most exciting projects that we’ve ever undertaken. Unfortunately by the time this is published the details won’t be released, but be sure to keep an eye on my Instagram and youtube for more details in the coming weeks!

In 10 words or less, tell us why people should be kinder towards each other.

Be careful because you never know when you’re going to be on the other end. Or, in 6 words…What goes around, comes back around.