The age of social media & personal attacks….is this society as we now know it?

il_340x270.1112764778_35cpI have touched upon my reservations after starting my blog at publishing my private thoughts within a public space, as I felt I was leaving myself open for judgement and wanted to shy away from that as I felt vulnerable and not ready to go into battle with anyone who openly criticised me for it.

I also questioned, that whilst I am clearly cautious of spilling my personal life into a public domain, is it hypocritical of me to allow myself to knowingly invite judgement as when you step into the world of blogging, surely you are leaving yourself wide open to judgement which won’t always be met with positive comments, due to everyone having different opinions.

I have also found myself even sensoring what I post on Facebook or Instagram these days, as I found that I was having to justify myself for sharing my private life & I have to admit, I was once a daily poster and used to share a lot, but I do not share anywhere near the amount I used to, frankly it was boring mundane rubbish, but also I have become aware of the way social media has opened us to another platform of airing our opinions and sometimes I have witnessed more so than not, some nasty fallouts from misinterpretations and comments aimed at putting people down.

Due to keeping things more private, some people have come to the conclusions that I am not seeing my friends as much, or I am more obsessed with my fluffy dog than my RugRats; point is, I am still seeing my friends, still doing things as a family, I just choose not to share it all as I am quietly cautious at how people are openly judging others for their online content on how they chose to express his or her views on any particular issue or topic.

In a world where we have information readily available at our fingertips, it seems to now be that it is becoming our downfall in society, as we seem to be disconnected emotionally from online content.  If you were in a healthy debate face to face with someone, I do not think it would be an intense angry face to a comment that you don’t agree with, resorting in a personal attack as you see so much online, by using sarcastic comments and vulgarities aimed at the other person.  You would hopefully listen to that person’s opinion, debate your own opinion and compromise, surely?  So why do we not see that happen online?

I witnessed an unfortunate series of comments made towards a lady on a Facebook page the other week, who was clearly upset at making the decision to rehome her pet.  She was bombarded with the most rude, judgmental and nasty comments I had personally had the displeasure to read.  People had personally attacked her, without knowing her backstory and even accused her of getting rid of the pet like it was a commodity to her and asked if she would do the same to her own children.  It was fuelled further by people liking these judgmental comments and I read in shock as I saw them play out.  What made these people think that it was ok to cast such asspirations on her, in an open community site, where you would most likely have to face these people in the “real world”, as we all live close by.  Some people I have spoken to made comments that also took me by surprise, saying she left herself wide open to be judged on the page by asking for help to rehome the pet, however, don’t we all do the same if we ask people for any sort of advise on these sort of community pages, and just because it was a pet, did she deserve the vitriolic responses she got?

I have found myself questioning whether it really is social media that is allowing us to be ruder, or have we always been as rude, but we see it more due to social media?  Discussing it on a night out with “him indoors” and he made me think further about it.  One thing he said and it has made me think, is it more prevalent due to the Thatcher era?  The “no such thing as society” mantra gave rise to the ” I’m first, me second and anything left I’ll have it” brigade who are now in their 30s and maybe a reason I notice it more as I am from that era.  I would like to think that we are not all like this, but what concerns me is that I am raising my RugRats in an era that appears to be producing people that have no social shame and unable to be emotionally intelligent or empathetic.

What is certain is that negativity spreads like wildfire on the internet, as I make of point of when I watched the negative comments role in on the Facebook post I mentioned and whilst the internet has the potential to open new doors for discussion of global news and politics; what is clearly evident is that it is a cesspool for insults and personal attacks. Sadly if you have an opinion, someone, somewhere will have an extreme reaction to it.  This is the key, it appears that we are seeing more extremist views as they are free to be aired on the world wide web.

Due to an unforeseen accident with my eye, I got to watch Loose Women the other day and they had a timely chat about how people are becoming more vitriolic with their online comments by opinions they air on the show.  They discussed how we can now, at the touch of a button unlike something, show an angry face or openly use aggressive language ranting their own opinions and putting others down for having differing opinions, believing theirs are better. Ruth Langsford raised a point that we hide behind the anonymity of the internet these days and we comment in anger and walk away, however, if you were in an open debate with friends, you would be more considerate and you would be open to discussion and debate and you might even change your opinion once you had listened to people.  This is the crux I feel, no one wants to listen to each other anymore, we all think we are experts on the internet and lash out without thinking intelligently or emotionally, and if we see this, is this an insight to someone’s true character, that would be personally sensored when speaking to people face to face?

Trolling is everywhere online — you only have to look at Trump’s tweets to see how normalised rudeness has become. And it’s affecting us in real life. After doing my own research I came across research that showed it makes us less creative and less effective at doing our work. What I feel more than ever, is that we need to start being a lot more respectful to each other and reevaluating how we communicate with each other, for the sake of our future children and no, don’t let people tell you that you are being overly sensitive, you have a right to set boundaries and you have a right to point out rude behaviour and make people think about their quick snap judgments made on your online content, as well as your real life.

So if you are guilty of  throwing insults without thinking about the consequences which you feel is emboldened with an emoji or hashtags like #YOLO and #JustSaying, do yourself a favour, think empathetically and try and connect emotionally, before you press ‘send’ and consider whether you would be just as passive aggressive and negative to the friend sitting across you, sharing a brew.




Welcoming in 2018

Simple Best Quotes On Reality Of Life new year new me invictus maneo i remain undefeated

Hello and Happy New Year, although I appreciate that it is February, however, I have been hibernating!!  Hibernating and trying to stop stuffing myself in the post Christmas smog…

In my last blog I was in that mad Christmas anxious state and most of January was spent in the post Christmas anxious state, along with mourning my birthday, which was badly timed by my parents. Fellow January birthday people will gladly agree that having a birthday in January is pretty pants, especially if you are the annoying friend that gets giddy celebrating every birthday, but quietly sulks as we are all skint in January, so who wants to celebrate with you?!  I don’t feel like I can celebrate my own birthday as I am so skint from Christmas and generally I got paid early in the December and it totally messes with my accounting.  Fellow January birthday people get this and I mourn with you. That said, I did get away with my fellow January birthday man & we got to the heady hills of Edinburgh, where we sank our sorrows in wee drams and stuffed our faces with haggis….not bad for mourning a birthday hey?

So 2018 has descended and I am hoping with that brings more calm, more reflection and growing into the new shape of me.  I really do not like to make new year resolutions & even more so than ever, I believe that you should always assess where you are now and how you feel and look at what you have learnt and if you can do things better.  I am free to change my mind on opinions I once had or decisions I made, if I feel that is the right thing to do for the well being of me and the little RugRats.  If anything the last 30 months have taught me, nothing has to be fixed in stone and everything can remain fluid.  Sometimes we can be too fixated on a plan and then when it doesn’t go to plan, we can obsess on the finer details…but does it really matter? Isn’t it more of an adventure to have little diverts along the way?

With this in mind, I have opened myself up to new challenges…some of these are within work and whilst they will bring more stress, it will open me up to new adventures and more opportunities in the long run.  I have touched upon questioning whether I am in the right job before and for a long time this has troubled me.  I got asked why it troubled me so much and how about looking at it from a different view, that you may not have done your degree with the present career in mind, but what you have achieved is transferring the skills you gained into a different path.  This made me smile, as I had spent so long feeling guilty and people openly saying to me that I am only in the job because of it being a family business, that I felt for a long time that I almost felt like a fraud, but I am not and I know I am not and it has given me a new confidence that is growing each day.  Okay, so I don’t have the dream job, but it’s exciting to think that with it, comes the opportunities that would not necessarily come my way and give me the flexibility that I am so lucky to have now.

I have also enlisted myself into a new club that me and the RugRats can be part of as a family and by doing this we get to learn a new skill of sailing.  This is really exciting for RugRat 1 as he is obsessed with Swallows & Amazons and I get to gain my proper qualifications, instead of playing around with a few boats like I once did at Uni.  We get to be involved in all the social functions and it makes us meet new people and make new friendships as the newish family unit that we are.  I am really looking forward to this and we seem to have hit lucky with the club and everyone have been very welcoming.

We have a few breaks planned as a family and I also have a few girly trips booked or planned for the year.  It is really hard as a mum as you have the guilt of ensuring you get to have lovely holidays planned with your children, but then you also need that time to yourself too, especially as a single mum.  I think it is really important that all mums make the time on self care, whether it be 10 minutes locked away with a good book and a brew, or a cinema date with your girlfriends, or a sneaky date night.  It doesn’t always have to be city breaks and massages, do what you need to do, however little it is, to be you and not “Mummy”, “Wife”, “Sister”, “Aunty”, “Girlfriend”, just you.

I may have a lovely man by my side, but he is not my RugRats dad, they have a dad who is luckily still involved in their lives, and we don’t live together & I still very much have to own the decisions I make that affect my RugRats and it will always land on my shoulders.  This part is still overwhelming some days, but as time goes on, I am learning ways to process that and deal with it as things arise.

So ok, you may say that these sound like NY resolutions, but I prefer not to label, so I am going with the flow and I will carry on winging it with all the other parents, winging at life and doing what we can, as best as we can whilst trying to be kinder to myself and open to change.  That is a pretty huge statement hey?!

Till the next time…..TTFN xXx