A week or so ago, I noticed Real Simple magazine had announced a plan for this week to be declared as “Be Nice on the Internet Week.” I loved the idea and joined the mailing list on Real Simple’s Facebook page.
I was kind of hoping it would really offer solutions and encouragement to change the tone many websites can take when it comes to discussing controversial issues. Instead, it’s kind of a cute page on Facebook where it gives you time to have fun with new ways to use mean shorthand. Instead of FU meaning FU, it can mean “Fabulous Undertaking.” (UPDATE: I got a new email from Real Simple later today. Each day of the week, the magazine is sending out tips. Today’s tip: Think before you type.)
I’m bringing this up because the same day this campaign launched, my new web and Mizzou alumni friend, Jill from Baby Rabies, got slammed on Facebook from a post on her blog about letting her daughter cry it out to sleep. She says she expected the heat, but moms who don’t know her berated her on her honest post on why she’s allowing her one-year-old (adorable) little girl cry it out because Jill is EXHAUSTED. Her reasoning:
What it’s really boiled down to is that my children need and DESERVE a functioning mother during the day. I can NOT function without sleep. In fact, I’m confident the lack of sleep the last year has been a huge contributing factor to my postpartum anxiety, and the days following a few measly hours of sleep are awful, even with medication and a gallon of coffee.
She got bombarded with support and everything that is opposite of support. Mom bloggers who didn’t know her were posting things about her on their Facebook pages. People on Jill’s Facebook page were getting downright evil. It was a huge hubbub of anger. I don’t even want to know how many comments she ended up deleting on her Facebook wall… There are currently 308.
As a member of the online community, I’m a believer of being a friend, staying positive as best I can and keeping the interwebs safe. A while ago I added my name to Blog with Integrity. And starting today, I’m joining the Take the Pledge Campaign. I think we all need to be mindful before we post. Just because we don’t see the person face-to-face doesn’t mean your words aren’t hurtful. Everyone has his or her own opinion. Those of us who are writing them out loud in the blogosphere set ourselves up for criticism. But in most cases, we aren’t posting to hurt, we’re posting to share and help grow connections online and hopefully in person eventually.
One other UPDATE: Jill wrote a response to the ridiculousness.)