A post shared by brooke engle | 🇵🇷 (@bnrbrookehummel) on Dec 7, 2016 at 3:53pm PST
In the age of the internet, it's harder than ever to avoid bullies. Twitter has had long-standing issues dealing with trolls and bullies on it's platform. In November, the company announced that it would be upgrading it's platform to fight bullying. Instagram also added tools last year to help users combat bullies.
However, that's not always enough. Up-and-coming musician Brooke Hummel is making it part of her mission to help curb and fight bullying among teens. Having gone through it herself in school, Hummel wants to make sure she helps others learn tactics for dealing with bullies.
Since she was young, Hummel has always loved music, but unfortunately that caused her peers to target her for bullying. After dealing with people hacking into her social media accounts, and mocking her online, she decided to take a stand.
She's using her platform of fans and her music to tell her story and inspire others to stand up for themselves. We had a chance to chat with Hummel about her social media relationship with her fans, her experiences with bullies, and more. Check it out below!
#YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases rising talents. To see more past interviews, including more features on Brooke Hummel, click here.
How has social media helped your career, and has it posed any challenges for you?
It definitely helps because there are so many people from all around the world that use social media, so instead of doing only face-to-face events in whatever area I'm at, when I'm on social media I can reach people from all over the world. You can reach so many people at once. But the downside of social media is dealing with cyberbullying. People will hide behind their usernames and do so many things because they can put up a brave face, which is not normally true in person. So I think people tend to be more harsh and rude online.
What's your relationship like with your fans?
For me, I have a very different scenario because I'm not that much older than them. My fans are 12, 13 and 14 year old girls -- the majority anyways. They're just finding out who they are and breaking down barriers themselves with bullying and things like that. I can understand them because that was me only a few years ago. I can understand what they're going through on a really personal level, so I think they're able to easily connect with me and have personal conversations. I almost always respond to girls in my personal DMs.
What advice would you give to you someone who wants to make their start in this business?
The number one things I always say is to keep God and your family first, because if you don't, at the end of the day you won't have anything to fall back on. Your family are the ones who can start you and support you from the beginning. That's how it is for me -- my mom and dad have always been there for me, through good and bad days they've always pushed me to do my best. I pray all the time. Definitely family and God first.
How did you first become involved with the anti-bullying tour?
After we created the "Cruel" song, we wanted to branch out and do more with the song because we saw so many people relating to it. So, we all sat down and we're trying to figure out different things we could do with all of the people that had heard the song, since a lot of them are younger and still in school, we decided to tour schools and try to make an impact by going to the places where bullying is happening.
What does the campaign mean to you personally?
Because those years were so hard for me -- I can remember coming home and just crying and telling my mom that I didn't want to go to school anymore. I would just turn my phone off and I wouldn't go on my phone because I was so scared. Random numbers would call me, people would text me from different numbers, people would hack into my snapchat account. It was just crazy. For me, because I was so hurt by it and knowing that other people might be hurt by it, I felt that I could help them because I overcame it. It means the world to me to be able to help people.
What advice would you give to people out there dealing with bullies and negativity?
The main thing people should start with is making themselves happy. I used to try and spend all of my time making other people happy and putting myself in a position where I needed everyone to think I was perfect all of the time. It's okay to make mistakes and accept your insecurities. Make yourself happy regardless of what's going on, and always stay as positive as you can.
What are you most excited for in the future?
I'm really excited for my full-blown tour. We've been doing shows here and there but nothing major. I'm also excited about my EP -- the Brooke Hummel EP. Despite spending a lot of time working with the anti-bullying campaign, I'm still working a lot on my music. Every single song on this means something to me. I put it all into one EP.
RELATED: Check out Instagram's newest anti-bullying measures
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