About Me

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A first time mum at 39, trying not to let my son kill me off too soon. Busy juggling a new family, a new house and a tricky recording schedule I figured blogging would be less expensive than therapy and less embarrassing than shouting at rude and stupid people in the street/on trains/at the supermarket.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

The rise of the Trolls...

I love the internet.  I really do.  I only wish it had been around when I was at school.  I can't believe I spent so many hours in our local library researching and scribbling and adding to my bibliography at the end of every assignment.

But that's not really what I want to say.  On the whole, I think the internet is amazing.  And not just for the fun stuff.  Of course, with every good thing there inevitably comes bad.  Yes there are sick people who like to use the internet for heinous acts but, thankfully, they are the minority.

The internet users that worry me and make me most sad are the 'Trolls'.  

I am a firm believer in not putting in an email something you wouldn't say in a telephone conversation and that should apply to comments and opinions made on the internet.  Unless your life, or the lives of your nearest and dearest, are in danger, then there is no reason for the complete anonymity some people hide behind just so they can go online to slag off and put down just about everyone else.  If you want to say something or sound your opinion because it's what you believe in then just bloody say it and be proud of it and put your name to it.  Don't hide behind your keyboard.

I am, however, also a believer in the very old fashioned view of 'If you don't have anything good to say then don't say anything at all'.  Although I will admit there are shades of grey with that one.  I like to think that unnecessary cruelty or rudeness should be avoided but if a friend asks me an opinion in a fitting room then I will give it even if it's not what she might want to hear.  I will, however, do it in a diplomatic way.  Cruelty avoided, see?

Like a lot of people, I tend to read a lot of newspaper articles online and I freely admit that it's not always from the publications I would buy. (ahem, The Daily Mail cough cough.  please don't judge me).  If I've googled a story then I will look at a couple of articles on it from various papers. 

i also get sucked in to the stories they run down the side of each article showing Beyonce out with her baby, or the Eastender caught in a bikini on holiday - you know the kind of thing.  But what amazes me are the comments that other readers put at the bottom of the article.  I love reading them but often I do so with open mouth.  Comments on a divisive political argument or new policy are great and offer so much variety in opinion that I can sometimes be persuaded to look at it in a different way.  But it's the comments on the 'fluff' stories that make me feel upset, sick and amazed.

Do people have so little in their lives that they must find something wrong with every story or every person in that story?  My real pet hate are the people that have to comment on a cute celebrity new baby/wedding/day out story.  Invariably it will read 
'HELLO??  Woman has baby!! This is a story???  Why????'.

Erm.  If you don't want to know about these people or their lives, it's simple. Don't read the article.  Don't browse the celeb section. 

'They called the baby WHAT??? What is wrong with them?  Poor kid.'
Is it  your child?  What's it got to do with you? 

Those are quite tame, I will admit.  But then you get the really unnecessary ones.
'Lost her baby weight?! Ha, in her dreams.  Still looks like a fat pig.  She shouldn't be out in public looking like that.'
Hmmm, I hope you're a perfect specimen.

' F*****g cretin!  I hope he dies in a horrible accident'

The list goes on and on and gets worse and worse.  I stumbled upon a fluffy article today about a woman in Yorkshire (I think), who went into labour and gave birth during her own baby-shower.  No great breaking news, but quite a sweet story accompanied with a schmaltzy shot of woman with baby and her baby-shower friends.  It won't change my life but it was a nice feel-good piece.
Every single comment (yes I checked) was having a go at her/the situation because she had a baby shower.   Comments about this not being America and how it was just an excuse to freeload from your friends and so on and so on.  Some comments were downright offensive.  

What is your problem people?! Were you asked to come along and contribute? Nope, didn't think so.  Does it affect you in any way, shape or form?  No.  So get over yourself.  Live your life in your way and let other people enjoy theirs in their way. 

These are all quite tame examples really if you think about it.  I won't even go into the children and young people who are depressed and, sometimes worse, committing suicide due to internet bullies. It's heartbreaking and so unnecessary.  I don't know what the answer it, does anyone really?  But all I hope is that eventually the novelty will wear off and we can start being nicer to people.   Hmmmm, meanwhile back in the real world...


  1. Having known you at college, I also can't believe you spent many hours doing research in a library (it was the building with the green doors, opposite K block, FYI).
    Love you,
    Anonymous Tone. xx

    1. I'm sure I don't know what you mean. I always thought that building held something sinister we were not meant to know about.... :o)

  2. Hi,
    I find this article really interesting. It does seem, for all the good it does, the Internet can also cause a lot of harm and upset as well. My lads are currently too young to go on it, but I have friends with older children, and it's scary what goes on! Cyber-bullying on Facebook and Twitter is rife! The worst thing is, it seems almost impossible to protect children from it!
    But guess we can't go backwards!
    Thanks for the interesting read,
    Ella xxx

    1. I know what you mean. I've never wanted to be a mum who spies on her children, but when the time comes, I have a horrible feeling I will have to just to make sure all is well on t'internet....

      thanks for reading!