Cowardly Custard Creams: Unacceptable

Most of you will know that I am new to the blogging world and thus far I have been very lucky to receive nothing but pleasant and encouraging comments. In fact I am so naive that I hadn’t even heard of trolling. Of course I knew there were some lonely nasty people in the world who like nothing more than to belittle or denigrate other people’s feelings. I didn’t expect to find them taking the time to comment on other peoples blog posts. One thing I have learnt in the last few weeks is that it takes enormous courage to write about yourself and your family.  To share opinions and circumstances that might not be to everyone’s’ taste. I never feel concerned sharing a funny post, but those where I lay my heart open leave me at risk of being hurt by these awful people.

Large custard cream

I was first alerted to ‘trolling’ by a fellow Mummy who congratulated me on my review of the Tommee Tippee Perfect Prep. She asked if I had received any negative comments. I was surprised until I read her perfectly innocuous review and the follow-up comments. One lady was belligerent, she just kept coming back, throwing comment after comment at this poor blogger. Telling her she was endangering her child and that she was basically a terrible mother! WTF I thought. How can this awful woman be so vehement over something that in all honesty has nothing to do with her? Would she be this rude to this Mum’s face if she met her? I doubt it very much. But the internet and social media has provided a platform for this type of abuse. Whilst I love social media and blogging, I can’t stand the fact that people can hide behind their computer and spit bile at people with no recourse for their actions. When did it become acceptable to speak to people with such disrespect and anger?

I then found myself climbing on my moral pedestal again a few days later. A lovely blogger linked up to #PuddingLove with a post describing how someone she had considered a friend begun to abuse her over the internet. This lovely mum had merely commented her opinion of immunisations and that sparked a huge backlash from the non-vaccinator corner. Calling her an awful mum, saying she had caused her sons autism and generally horrible remarks. One even stated she should ‘get off the planet’. I could feel myself start to rage for this Mum. How dare anyone say such terrible things. As mothers we carry round enough guilt as it is without being cyber-judged by other people. Are people so passionate about the things that they believe in that they have forgotten how to treat other people? What happened to a moderate society and free speech? Everyone is living in fear of terrorists and fundamentalists, yet I can see everyday people so wrapped up in their own beliefs that they can’t see another’s point of view. They just plain forget how to be kind to each other. The point of free speech is that everyone has the right to talk and be heard without being squashed and silenced by others.

My last case in point was when a fellow blogger explained that she was upset that one of her followers was complaining about how many times she shared her blog links on twitter. OK not a big deal, quick apology and an explanation should suffice yes? No, this other twitter user had to make a big deal out of it. Making this blogger feel like they were grabby and attention seeking when in all honesty they were just doing what we all do and that is advertising their latest post. In most twitter feeds a tweet only has a short life span because everyone has loads of followers. Don’t we all get annoyed about things? But is it society these days that we just have to say we are annoyed? Can’t we just turn a blind eye?  Learn to accept the things that cannot be changed or in all honesty don’t matter? Why have we become a society where we feel its acceptable to be rude and unappreciative of another persons hard work. I can’t imagine my parents or grandparents behaving like this. Not just because they didn’t have the technology but because they knew that it is fundamentally wrong to be mean to someone just for the sake of being mean.

We have to teach our children about living in a world that is over run with social media and communication apps. A world where everything can be shared in seconds and that once it is out there it is there forever. Just because you can’t see that persons face or you don’t know them in the flesh doesn’t give you the right to be unkind or unfair. If you don’t like what someones written, you don’t have to be compelled to comment or join in the debate in a malicious way. I am not saying don’t have an opinion, but going back to that early teaching from your own mother. ‘If you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all’. Criticism can be helpful, lively debate is fun, but meanness for the sake of it is unnecessary and just makes you a coward. If you wouldn’t say it to someones face then don’t write it down. Just because it’s in text form it doesn’t make it ok.



Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds via Compfight cc

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70 thoughts on “Cowardly Custard Creams: Unacceptable”

  • I love how you put things so eloquently. I think it serves a good reminder how we need to consider our words, blogging is a personal thing, we share really emotive stuff and whilst it may be over a digital medium that cant excuse unkindness. I am not against debates and opinions but these need to be considered x

  • Absolute! The internet allows people to hide and I doubt very much that even 1% of these people would have the nerve to say such things to the recipient’s face. Just last week I went to a talk on internet at our little girl’s school. She’s 6 and they had the same talk from the same (brilliant) man – age appropriate of course. I came away feeling a little more ‘fore-warned’ but ultimately still uneasy that we really have to embrace techonology and social media because there’s no keeping our children away from it. Whether you want to or not. #pocolo

    • I hope that all of us bloggers out there will be a bit more savvy for doing what we do and that will help us to educate our children about ‘internet etiquette’. Good to hear that schools are taking this seriously and getting in there early with the kids. Thanks for your comment x

  • I have yet to come across this kind of trolling but I know its out there – that’s why I moderate all my comments for letting them go live on my blog. Wouldn’t want to give sad people the air time! Great blog by the way, your writing style is fab – #FabFridayPost

  • This is such a well written post and I totally agree with you. I think it’s sad and pathetic that people hide behind their computer screens to say cruel things to others. I was planning to start a feminist blog at one point and I warned all my family that I would probably be dealing with a huge backlash of trolls! I haven’t come across this in my parenting blog yet but I have seen so many rude people on forums and Facebook groups etc.

    • It really is unacceptable for people to be deliberately hurtful just because they are typing their opinions rather than saying them out loud. I am glad you haven’t had any of these issues with your blog, but don’t let that hold you back from starting your feminist blog. The tribe will have your back! Thanks for commenting x

  • I can’t believe how nasty some people can become. It is beyond belief that at this days in age – we cannot expressed anything without having to worry what other think. I have not experience this yet this – and let’s hope it stay that way. I just really don’t know how to even deal with it to be honest. Your post is such a great reminder that we all should have that sensitivity and consideration for others. Great post!

    Thank you so much for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost

  • Very well said! Fantastic post.
    People can be so nasty when they have a computer to hide behind!
    That last blogger your mentioned….If the follower had such a problem with the bloggers twitter feed why didn’t they just unfollow then it wouldn’t be a problem. lol

    • Thats what I said – why bother to make a fuss just unfollow! It’s the major pitfall of social media that people can hide behind there computers and say whatever they please with no thought for anyone elses feelings. Thank you for commenting x

  • Here here puds. We have a lot to teach our little ones, and being social savvy is going to be an imortant one. It’s changed a lot since my childhood not just our grandparents. It;s going to be an interesting ride ahead! #pocolo

    • Agreed its a total minefield – I am hoping that my blogging will increase my knowledge of whats out there and how it works so that I can help to teach my kids about the internets potentials and dangers. Thanks for commenting xx

  • I am really horrified to hear about these trolls. I have been lucky, so far, to not have experienced this and I am gobsmacked that people have to put up with this. I am not sure I would be able to keep my cool if someone commented like this on my blog 🙁 We have so much to teach our children, kindness is a mantra that I talk to my boys about daily. If you can be anything, be kind… x #fortheloveofBLOG

  • So true, I don’t understand why people can be so unnecessarily awful online and think that’s ok. It seems to go hand in hand with social media now so lots to think about for our little ones growing up in that digital world. The anti-vac example you mention was utterly appalling…I’m still shocked people can be so personal and cruel. Good pedestalling #fortheloveofBLOG

    • Anti-Vac example really go to me – I too was utterly shocked and appalled by these awful people. Thanks for commenting x

    • You would think people would be more careful when things are written down because they can’t be taken back – but alas this is not the case! Thanks for commenting x

  • It’s so sad when people feel the need to make such unkind remarks online and I agree with the whole thing of “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” and also not saying something to someone online that you wouldn’t be prepared to say to their face – it’s good advice to live by and I wish more people would take it on board to. It’s one of my biggest bugbears with social media – the way some people use it to bully others when they don’t agree with them. Thankfully I’ve not been on the receiving end of trolls – yet – but it must be horrible to have it happen to you.

    • I can only imagine how hurtful it must be to receive such awful comments when you have poured your heart and soul into writing a piece – thank you for commenting x

  • Its horrible when people have to make awful comments. I actually had my first horrid comments a few weeks ago from a supposedly ‘friend’ all because we went to our new caffe nero for coffee cake and i wrote a blog post on it. they commented horrible things like how could i support chains that dont pay tax and treat their workers horrble. The comments were pretty nasty. I suppose it was beacause they actually run an independent cake shop around the corner from nero. but we just wanted a change and surely we are allowed to go for a coffee anywhere we want to xx

    • Eurgh these people seem to have forgotten that we all have the right to choose where we go, what we say and what cake we want to eat! You eat cake where ever you like my love, lets face it you won’t be rushing back to her bakery to have cakes there will you? Thanks for commenting x

  • Yes, Yes, Yes! I completely agree! There needs to be a balance of what to type and what not to say in social media. Unfortunately there is no social etiquette being taught in the schools that are pushing it. Even sadder is most of the parents of the kids learning to use social media incorrectly have no idea what their kids are doing or even how to access what they are doing. The most offensive of social media is grown adults being completely inappropriate.

    • Schools certainly need to do more to educate our youngsters on what is appropriate – but you are right parents could really use a course or something to help them get to grips with social media and keeping tabs on what their kids are up to. Sadly I think what you say is true the worse culprits are not kids but fully grown adults who should no better… Thanks for commenting x

  • I really don’t get why people feel the need to make nasty comments. So far I feel I have been lucky with my blog and not had anything nasty said (maybe that’s because not that many people look at it??). I think Facebook can be the worst for negative and childish comments, I’ve read some awful ones before, Sarah #FabFridayPost

    • I have seen some truly awful examples of cyber-bullying on Facebook, mostly by grown adults! Some people seem to have lost their moral compass when it comes to social media. Thanks for commenting x

    • It does seem to bring out the madness in some people – I think it must be the fact that everyone is faceless. Thanks for commenting x

  • Great post. I’ve experienced nothing but loveliness so far from the blogging world but i know my time will comes eventually. It saddens me because I feel that us mums should all stick together! #KCACOLS

    • We should def show some mother-solidarity! I hope you never have to deal with these trolls, but just remember they are small people with nothing better to do with themselves. Thanks for commenting x

  • I totally agree – I’ve been lucky to avoid trolls on my current blog, but I had negative comments on my old blog from people who seemed to spend a lot of time reading and comments on my blog, even though it made them mad (for ridiculous reasons). If you don’t like my blog, just don’t read it. It’s that simple! Keep the nastiness to yourself, trolls.

    • Completely with you – if you don’t like it, don’t read it and keep your nasty thoughts to yourself! Thanks for commenting x

  • Very well said. I have yet to be on the receiving end of trolling or nasty comments but I’ve only been blogging for 4 months. I do moderate my comments but its awful to think that folks can be so nasty and unconstructive.

    I also keep having a mini freak out about using real names. I know bloggers have differing opinions on this.

    The thing is, I always expect the best of people. That’s why it affects me so much when someone is mean or unkind…But I refuse to let it change my attitude. Most folks I have met online have been great.

    Like you, I don’t mind folks having a different opinion and disagreeing with me but attacking me for giving my opinion or sharing something of myself on my blog is a different matter.

    Thanks for sharing. #KCACOLS

    • I totally understand where you are coming from – I always expect the best from people and I too would be very upset to receive a less than gracious comment. I don’t like to use real names either – it would just make any remarks so much more personal. Thanks for commenting x

  • This is a great post. People are very brave when they are responding over the internet. I try not to give these people any of my time, they are not worth it.

  • It is quite unnerving the people that are out there. I had a pervy comment on one of the posts I did – referring to me. I am a parenting blog for god sake, so the last thing I expected was Smutty Pete popping over to take a look?!?!? Definitely made me think about what I posted. #KCACOLS

    • Ha Ha smutty pete – but you are right its totally unnecessary for these people to make inappropriate comments and its scary the kind of people out in this world. Thanks for commenting x

  • Hear, hear. Your last point is spot on. If you can’t say it to someone’s face then don’t say it at all. Like you I have encountered only warmth and kindness and support online – which I hadn’t anticipated when I started out with my online journal 😉 I think I would be really upset if someone trolled me as this part of my life is only meant to be some lighthearted fun. We should just stop the bile and share the love – we could all do with more of that #KCACOLS x

    • Glad you have only had good things – who could troll the words of a baby? That would be awful! I just don’t know where people find the time to troll… Thanks for commenting x

  • It’s ridiculous, isn’t it. I find the vaccination one especially shocking, sadly not because I don’t expect to be trolled-I have experienced this myself unfortunately-but because I find it hard to believe that there are people out there who still don’t accept that vaccinations don’t cause autism, and even if they occasionally did, that still wouldn’t be a reason not to have them! Thanks for linking with #FabFridayPost

    • The vaccination one was truly a shocker for me too – these people need to go away and have a serious look at themselves in the mirror, and conduct some actual reading of the facts! Thanks for hosting and commenting x

  • You’re right it’s a huge challenge to try and raise kids to cope with this stuff when we can barely wrap our own heads around it!

    Like you, I’m a big believer in the value of empathy to try and address the underlying issues under some of the worst online behaviours. The vaccine post was really shocking and moreso that it came from someone they knew rather than a random commenter.


    • I felt so awful for the poor mum who had been treated so appallingly by the anti-vac crowd she was the biggest inspiration for this post. I just don’t understand people. Our kids have so much to learn about all this stuff, all we can try to do is teach them good morals and instincts. Thanks for commenting x

  • Oh yes, its horrid when people make nasty remarks. I do have a little worry sometimes when I read feedback hoping that there will not be anything cruel. I did get some strange twitter followers but nothing too bad. As far as my kids go, I constantly instill in them to be fair. They will have to learn to be tough though and I can see that in the future there will be some times when it will be heart breaking to hear what people might say to them. Love, love and more love is the way I think I’ll prepare them lol:)

    mainy x


    • I have had some very odd twitter followers offering all sorts… You’re right about the importance of highlighting being fairminded to our kids and raising them to have thick skins. Social media is both a blessing and a curse. Thanks for commenting x

  • Completely agree, let’s listen to our mothers, “if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say it.” I can’t believe people would be so unkind on Twitter as well, that is ridiculous. I’m glad you have shared this because it reminds us to be kind to everyone, it’s too easy to sit behind a screen and say mean things to people! Thanks so much for sharing with #StayClassy!

    • I agree if everyone showed a little more kindness to each other then the world would be a much nicer place for all of us – thanks for commenting xx

  • I’ve been lucky not to have experienced any negative comments (so far) but I’ve heard about it so often that I’m almost surprised I haven’t! There’s something about hiding behind a computer screen, knowing that you’ll never come face to face with the person you’re writing to that seems to give people the confidence to say things that would be completely unacceptable in real life. Amazed at the person who got slated for tweeting too much?! Kind of just how twitter works, being so fast paced! I try and live by the ‘do as you would be done by’ mantra and will be trying to bring up my son to do the same. #KCACOLS

    • That sounds like an excellent mantra to live by – I wish more people out there did the same. The Twitter thing has raised quite a few eyebrows because like you say that is kind of the whole point of Twitter! Thanks for commenting xx

    • Thank you for commenting – I think a lot of people forget that there is a real person the other end reading there horrid comments. Yeh the twitter thing really had me reeling too! x

  • Yes! So true! I always feel “the fear” when I put a really honest blog out there. Every time I get a comment notification, I worry that it might b somebody trying to tear me down and call me a bad mother for admitting that I am not perfect and I have made mistakes. Thank you so much for writing this! #KCACOLS

    • There is nothing worse than receiving negative comments for something that is so honestly written – I hope you never have to deal with such horrible people. Unfortunately because we talk about motherhood there are lots of people out there who think its ok to share their less than friendly opinions. Thanks for commenting x

  • Just terrifying! Really unbelievable just how cruel people can be – you really wouldn’t expect it amongst the blogging community. It would devestate me if it happened to me and I’m not sure that I would be strong enough to carry on – thunk I would stop the blog for a while at least. awful #KCACOL

    • These people are just mean and small minded and I hope it never happens to you, but if it does don’t let them stop you writing about what ever you like. If they are really mean you send them my way and I will give them a written punch on the nose! x

  • I agree, there should be no reason for bashing anyone and putting them down. That’s just plain rude but it also just means they have low self esteem themselves and need to tear someone else down to bring themselves up. Thanks for sharing this with me for #momsterslink.

    • You are right they must have a very low opinion of themselves if they think its ok to bring another down to there level. Thanks for hosting #Momsterslink

  • I completely agree. There are far too many people who hide behind their computer and send negativity out into the world. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and there’s no need to berate someone for expressing theirs. I always think that sooner or later they’ll get theirs anyway – Karma an’ all that!
    Great read. Thanks for linking to #PoCoLo

    • Absoloutley! Lets hope karma does come round and bite them on the bottom – we don’t need our lovely blogs ruined by these horrid people. Thanks for hosting #PoCoLo

  • I completely agree with you too!! People should stop hiding behind their laptops and stop being mean to others. This will certainly not happen if they have to say those things in person. It is really horrible and as you say they have no manners at all. I have been lucky so far as I have not encountered this problem yet but I’m dreading that this time will come at some point!! I guess when it happens I will just have ti ignore it and carry on with my life if I can. Probably sounds easier to say than do though. Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I’m so happy to have you here. It would be lovely to see you again on Monday, 🙂 xx

    • Thanks for your lovely comment and I hope that you don’t ever have to deal with those small minded people. Love #KCACOLS so you will certainly see me again – thank you for hosting x

  • I haven’t had to deal with this yet but my best friend, who is also a blogger, has and it was awful. I hat how they think it is perfectly acceptable to engage with people in this way when they wouldn’t face to face #kcacols

    • Something about having a keyboard in front of them seems to make people a lot braver and a lot ruder – I hope your friend has moved on and told those nasty commentors to crawl back under the stone they came from. Thanks for commenting xx

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