The perniciousness of trolling

Hi there Dad-from-school-who-thought-it-was-a-good-idea-to-publicly-shame-a-mum-on-facebook-for-parking-badly, exposing their car all over social media and generating animosity.

I am not being disingenuous when I say a big thank you to you.  You have given me the impetus to write this blog and you have made me feel rather smug while I am at it.  Because I know I and my family and friends would never sink this low to make someone feel like rubbish when I have no idea whatsoever what kind of morning they’ve had, whether they might have mental health problems, job problems, difficult children… etc, etc, the list of potential life problems goes on.

We have no idea where people are coming from most of the time and all we see is a slice of them and their lives.  It’s a bit like taking a delicious terrine with many layers and colours and flavours and dismissing it because we only catch a glimpse of the yucky broccoli.  Next time, watch a bit longer and see what you see of her humanity.

Thanks for not seeing the all-encompassing, pernicious and dangerous hostility you wield by posting this photo, for all to see. Because it has helped me clarify my thoughts on this; you are advocating so much more than you think: you are making it permissible to devalue people and adding another layer of stress to our lives by expecting perfection of ourselves: I spent 10 minutes this morning on checking my car was not over the yellow line for fear that I too would be reprimanded on facebook.  Let me tell you, when you suffer anxiety this is not OK.  If I had been that woman, I may well have spent the weekend at home, crippled with worry.

So what next?  It would probably be more honest if you got out your tape measure to see how far each car is from the kerb, wouldn’t it? Or get out your long-lens camera to see what people are up to in their own homes?


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