Soca artiste Ricardo Drue feels that social media has made the current generation of youth more susceptible to bullying.
Drue sat down with member of the Halo Foundation’s youth arm, Generation Y, yesterday to discuss bullying and he said that young people focus on what is said negatively of others.
“We tend to focus a lot more on the negative aspects on what is being shared around [on social media] than the positive,” he said, adding that sharing a negative message only damages the victim of the message, even if it was to voice displeasure with the message.
He said that this is a “different level of bullying” than what previous generations were used to because of the pervasive nature of social media.
A father of five children, Drue disclosed that he often tells his offspring to be themselves and not be like others.
“The first piece of advice I give to them is to believe in themselves. There is nothing that anyone should be able to tell you that will make you think you are less of a person,” he said, adding that he also told his children to “be as weird as possible and being normal has been played out.”
He said that his children should be able to be a clown if they want to, as long it does not affect their schoolwork.
He also revealed that he has had challenges with negative comments which he said affected his performances early in his career.
“In the [early stages] for me, I always remember telling myself ‘why do these people not like me? Why would they say this about me? Why would they think that about me?’” he said, adding that eventually he started to ignore the critics and believe in himself.
“Eventually, I had to look within myself and build my self-esteem and not allow my self-esteem to be affected by the opinion of others,” he said.
The Halo Foundation is an advocacy group that offers support for underprivileged and vulnerable people in Antigua and Barbuda. It was founded by Lady Sandra Williams and supports 28 charitable organisations.