Tuesday, June 14, 2011
...a rude post, not so much.
Last week, blogger Casie Stewart wrote a post ranting about an annoying family with a bunch of kids that she was stuck at the airport with. The post was a commentary on what was annoying her, accompanied by pictures of Casie, with annoyed expressions on her face or flipping the bird, along with captions saying things like "enough already, tame your kids" and "f%@k *uck f&c# f*%k" and "LOSER". I hadn't seen her post at the time. If I had seen it, and if she was someone I knew or whose blog I usually read and enjoyed, I would probably have let her know that I found her post immature and rude.
Or, in the spirit of "tame your kids", perhaps I should have written her mom an e-mail asking her to control her daughter. But I wouldn't do that, because I understand that the circumstances that lead someone to be loud, annoying, rude or offensive are more complicated than "bad parents". I'm sure Casie's mom is lovely. In fact, she left a lovely comment on Casie's post saying: "Oh Casie, we travelled so much with you when you were little I am sure we probably annoyed some people too. But must admit, you were cute. Miss you. Lots of love mum xoxo."
But ultimately, since I don't know Casie and don't usually read her blog, I probably would have just rolled my eyes and continued along with my day if someone had pointed it out to me. She may, like many of us, learn the hard way how difficult it can be to travel with kids (especially if there are delays, as it seems there were in this case). She may, with time, change her mind.
But just as everyone is entitled to their own reaction and opinion when they encounter something that annoys them in an airport, people are also entitled to their own reaction and opinion when they encounter something that annoys them online. Erica Ehm, from the Yummy Mummy Club took it to facebook and posted a link to the blog saying: "This rant was a bit much - what people who haven't had kids think of those of us who travel with kids." Erica got a total of eleven comments from six people on that facebook link. Hardly something to get upset over.
So far nothing to write home about. Just another day on the Internet.
But then it get's ironically interesting
One of Casie's friends told her about Erica's facebook comment and link and Casie decided to write a post about it. In it, she asked why Erica didn't write her directly or leave a comment instead of posting about it behind her back on facebook. I found this interesting, since Casie wrote a post on the Internet ranting about this family instead of politely approaching them in the airport. Not that I'm advocating approaching them, but I'm also not advocating rudely ranting on the Internet about it. Essentially, I don't see any difference between what Casie did and what Erica did, except that Erica was significantly more polite than Casie.
In her post, Casie wrote: "Why didn’t you share your thoughts from a mothers perspective? Maybe you have some great ideas on how to deal with a situation like I was in?" You know, I have a pretty good idea why Erica didn't do that. I mean, why would she be motivated to leave a civil, respectful and helpful comment on a post that was full of "enough already, tame your kids" and "f%@k *uck f&c# f*%k" and "LOSER" along with associated facial expressions?
If Casie had written a civil and polite post talking about the dilemma she found herself in and wondering how she should have handled the situation, maybe someone would have left a civil comment explaining why kids are sometimes annoyingly out of control in airports and giving suggestions for what she could have done in that situation. But I usually don't expect that someone who is flipping the bird and calling people a loser is very likely to be open to listening. So I wouldn't bother.
Casie's follow up post was a lot nicer than her initial post, which is why I'm replying to it right now and saying that I respectfully disagree about Erica's approach being inappropriate given the situation. I don't think that a rude post deserves a polite reply.
Interestingly, in her post, Casie noted:
"Let’s hope this incident inspires people to raise their children with manners & etiquette. We want the younger generation to be kind & respectful. Don’t we?"
Absolutely, we do Casie. Which is why next time my kids flip someone the bird and call them a loser, I'll be so proud that I've raised them to be just like you.