Reality star Yewande Biala said she had to had to develop a tougher skin in the wake of her Love Island appearance.
The Biochemist from Meath (24) found sudden fame after being chosen to appear on last summer’s edition of the hit Virgin Media reality show.
However, she said the downsides of suddenly finding herself with nearly one million followers on social media meant that she was suddenly exposed to trolling from keyboard warriors.
“Coming out of the villa was obviously tough because it was completely different to what I was used to before. I definitely struggled with online trolling and most people with a huge following do get some amount of it. People always have opinions of you, both negative and positive.
“It has taken me a long time to come to the realisation that ‘Oh, that person doesn’t actually know me so it doesn’t matter what they say,’ It was a process for me. I just avoid going through my comments now unless I really need to.
“I’m lucky that I came across on the show in a positive light but people will always have something bad to say.”
She said that appearing on RTE’s Dancing with the Stars was a far easier experience in terms of the social media aftermath.
“Love Island is a very different show so if people want to, they can comment on your weight and stuff. The worst thing they can say about you on DWTS is that you can’t dance. And that’s fine – I'm not a dancer,” she said.
Looking ahead to 2020, she also revealed how she hopes to take a leaf out of Greg O’Shea’s book and launch a career in broadcasting.
Now based in London, she already has her own ‘Reality Check’ Podcast with Amber Gill and hopes to branch out into radio.
“I really like radio. When I first came out of the villa, I had to do so much radio interviews and I just loved them, I thought it was a great way to get my personality across. It’s just fun,” she said.
However, she was less effusive when asked for her opinion on the current season, which has met with mixed reviews.
“It’s alright – I haven’t watched it religiously. But I saw some stuff on Twitter about it,” she said.
She flew over to Dublin yesterday to help support Virgin Media’s campaign for Safer Internet Day 2020 which is part of a global campaign to promote more positivity online.
Yewande advised under 18’s to keep their profiles private and also to filter out certain phrases that can spark anxiety in a young person.