Okay, I lost it…

It was me… I was reading another forum this week. Won’t say where, just let’s say, I got tired of the bickering and I came out of lurking mode and I lost it. And I am glad I did. People have come together. They have apologized to each other. They are working together. They are being nice. For the first time in MONTHS.

What is it about women online? What is it that when you give women a computer and anonymity, they think that they can say anything they want to about and to each other and it doesn’t matter? They can accuse each other of any sort of atrocities. They can say hateful things and it doesn’t matter, because no one knows who they are. Well, the thing is, even if no one out there knows who you are (and don’t fool yourself, even when you post anonymously, the owner of a blog can find out who you are) you still know who you are. Can you live with the way you treat people online? Would you say those things to that person, if they were sitting right there beside you? In the grocery line? If they were you best friend? Your mother?

So after months of reading this forum, I just couldn’t take the venom any longer. I lost it. I called them to the table on what they were doing. And low and behold, it made a difference! I can’t believe it did, but I stood up for what was right and it changed things. For how long, I don’t know. Today at least. Tomorrow, the bitterness, the anger may be back. But for today, I got to see people say I am sorry for the things I said to you. I am sorry for the things I wrote about you. I am sorry for the way I made you feel.

It seems as if anytime you give a group of women a forum where they can discuss any topic (you pick-dogs, breast cancer, children, crafts, genealogy, UFOs) someone will come to that forum and try and stir up trouble. Then there is always someone on the forum who will feed off the energy of that person and will immediately post back (known as feeding the troll). This is what had been happening for a while on the forum I’d been reading. As a lurker, I’d just read the on-topic posts and tried to ignore the ones posted by known trolls and and the ones that had been driven off topic. You try to ignore the ones that try and stir up trouble hoping they will lose interest. But last night, I don’t know, I just couldn’t ignore any longer. So today, I went back to being a lurker. Just reading what is written. Hopefully I can enjoy the wittiness of other women without the cattiness of a few who just want attention. Don’t make me come out of lurkdom again.

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3 thoughts on “Okay, I lost it…

  1. I quit all my forums for that reason. I just found it exhausting and, frankly, disappointing. Glad to know your bravery made a difference.

  2. Hi Teresa – Your post about rude, hateful, and venomous comments posted online is so true…but it’s not just women. Read any message board related to sports, politics, or any other subject and you will see a constant stream of demeaning and critical remarks. Rudeness and incivility online knows no gender…and no, most of these people would not be caught dead uttering these things out loud or in person.

    On another subject, hope things are better for you at home – looking forward to seeing you get back to genealogy. Best, Jean

  3. True, Jean, really doesn’t have to be just women. It just amazes me that people can be so cruel.
    The topic that causes the most venom- religion.

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