HGTV Star Erin Napier Makes a Passionate Plea to Call Out Cyber Bullies: 'Cruelty Isn't Brave'
Erin Napier is a self-described “real life human who is on TV and still sees what folks write on social.”
One half of the lovable couple behind HGTV’s new hit Home Town, Napier took to Instagram Tuesday to make a serious plea to her 100,000+ followers.
Though she says social media has, for the most part, been a “hugely positive” way to connect with fans, friends and family, the “downside” is a major one. It’s “the false sense of anonymity it gives people who want to bully or harass or stir up cruelty, those keyboard cowboys and girls who enjoying creating tumult, thinking online is not the real world and no one will call them on it,” writes the TV decorator, who is expecting her first baby, Helen, with husband and costar Ben.
She doesn’t call out any of her trolls by name or detail the comments that got under her skin, instead proposing a different tactic, summed up in a hashtag: #LETSGETAWKWARD
“What if when we bump into those keyboard cowboys in the real world, we started a REAL, kind, grown up discussion about the things they were so ‘brave’ to say online,” writes the Laurel, Mississippi, native. Adding, she hopes to “make them think twice when they’re caught awkwardly in public about it, to make them understand they’re really not so safe or anonymous being cruel on social.”
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Woodworker Ben recently gave his wife’s approach a try and, she writes, “it made a world of difference in that person’s attitude. They saw eye to eye and everyone was humanized by it.”
She sums up her message with a New Year’s Resolution: “I have a feeling if we all start gently calling them on it in real life in 2018, on the sidewalk, in the coffee shop, even if it’s uncomfortable, our corners of the world might improve once we see that online cruelty isn’t brave or victimless at all and we have a lot more in common than we think.”
Home Town returns for Season 2, January 8 on HGTV.