Okay stop! stop right there! If you have just had to explain to someone that what you just said was banter, then that is exactly what is wasn’t! Its one of those subjects that makes me want to bang my hand on the table, stand up and shout NO!
Now banter is not something I ever really thought about until a ‘banter’ page on Facebook targeted me in one of their posts a few months ago. Lets just say the comments were VILE. They targeted my appearance, my weight and even my cooking!? Yes, my cooking. They went after anything they could twist. Apparently because I cook an awesome toad in the hole (if you follow me on Instagram you will already know how proud I am of it ha!) it obviously means that I like anal sex and offer my fat arse to other serving soldiers while my husband in deployed ……..
Now is this banter? lets look at the definition shall we?
‘the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks.’
‘exchange remarks in a good-humoured teasing way.’
Well that makes you think doesn’t it? over a hundred comments from strangers that were certainly not friendly or good humoured? I think we can all agree that those comments were insults hidden under the guise of ‘banter’.
Did you know banter is one of the most common excuses of verbal abuse in relationships? When your partner is criticising your every move and you ask them to stop and their response is that your too sensitive and its ‘just banter’. NO MATE!, Guess what!? THAT IS ABUSE! That little rhyme we are taught as children “sticks and stones” is utter bullshit, words hurt and they are not easily forgotten.
I think the one thing I want everyone to take away from this post is the definition of what banter actually is. Take a closer look, do you see the one word both of those definitions have in common?
True banter is not intending to offend or upset anyone, its a back and forth, good humoured interaction between friends, not a one way attack on an individual.
So these pages and groups on social media that advertise themselves as ‘banter’ pages are in fact anything but!
Now I don’t class myself as a sensitive person, I am not offended easily at all, I’m a realist, very much ‘it is what it is’. I am not delusional about my weight, unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise etc. I know me, better than anyone and any decent person can see that attacking individuals on social media is wrong, whether its a celebrity or your next door neighbour, its wrong! making some feel like shit for no reason except to make yourself feel better is wrong!
Unfortunately I cant see anything changing anytime soon. These groups are going to continue to exist as long as social media exists because lets face it, some people just aren’t very nice. Its how we choose to react to it I think that makes the difference.
DON’T ENGAGE, REPORT, AND MOVE ON. It took me three days to have this epiphany when it happened to me. By engaging them your just feeding the fire, leave them too it, they will move on eventually. Report the posts and or the groups, and finally, the most important part. Look around you right now, what has actually changed? not a damn thing! life goes on. you still have your friends, your family, your life. so hold that chin up and carry on!
To the people that engage in those groups – Its not banter MATE your just a supercilious prick with more insecurities than the people your attacking, stop hiding behind a word and at least have the courage to own what you are, yeah?
To everyone else – Smile at yourself in the mirror at least once a day, your gorgeous exactly the way you are!