In so many ways, and to no one's surprise, the internet has changed our world. However, this change isn't without its dark sides, and sometimes being so connected to so many people isn't all it's cracked up to be. When I choose to share my ideas, thoughts, opinions, and essentially my life with people via the internet, I know there's a chance someone will say something unkind in response. Thankfully, that's also usually when a hero comes to my defense. When that happens, there are so many things I want the mom who stood up for me in the comment section to know.
I love a healthy debate and I am happy to chat with others about emotionally-charged subjects. However, there are some commentators who seem to consistently forget that there is a real person behind the screen. So, when it gets personal or heated, I just love those moms who rush to my defense by sharing their own stories and opinions. It makes me feel supported, validated, empowered, and like I truly am of a sisterhood.
I love when I don't agree with my fellow moms on the internet, because that's usually when I learn something new or see an issue from a new perspective. If we only surround ourselves with people who agree with us, there is hardly ever room for growth or development. It's just that, well, here is a way to disagree, and that way definitely doesn't involve belittling or insulting people. So, when things get really ugly, I really appreciate those who stick up for me in the comment section. To those wonderful women, I want you to know the following things:
I See You
Depending on how bad the argument is, sometimes I wont "like" or comment at all, even after people have chimed in to agree with and/or stand up for me. However, I still see your support and, even if I don't say it in the moment, it means so much to me.
I Appreciate You
Reading the comments section can be disheartening. In fact, I think it's a pretty solid social media rule to avoid the comment section at all cost. If there is a remark that makes personal insults or veers into cruelty, I so appreciate anyone who has taken the time to stick up for me. That mom who reminds the board that I am a real person, or who clarifies my message ,is my hero. Seriously.
I've Got Your Back
Honestly, I don't like to make too many comments online. I find them quite stressful and anxiety inducing. However, the mom who has defended me will always have my support whenever, or if ever, she faces similar blow back. #solidarity.
I Admire You
I really do find the comments section anxiety-inducing, so believe me when I say I seriously admire your chutzpah. Especially as internet trolls will likely turn their rage towards anyone defending the object of their ire.
So, mom who stood up for me when she didn't have to, you have all my admiration and respect. I only wish I could be as brave.
I Know It Wasn't Without Cost
Sticking up for those under attack means that, more often than not, you also fall prey to mean comments. I see when you face a barrage of dissenting voices and become the victim of abuse, too. I know that your reply often involved you having to research and take time out of your busy day as well. I am so impressed with your thoughtful responses.
You're A Great Role Model
You're a great example to not only your kids (and mine) but to adults who don't seem to know how to use the internet respectfully. Your polite and intelligent debate is the cornerstone of evolution and education.
One of my favorite saviors in the comment section enacted a masterclass in troll removal. Every time a particularly poisonous man left a nasty message calling in to question my parenting, qualifications and intellect, she would simply write a supportive comment or post an upbeat question. She kept this up incessantly until, eventually, he disappeared. She became my virtual BFF!
You're Fighting Bullying
Internet trolls are basically grown-up school yard bullies. They get off on upsetting their victim and feed off attention. So, just like with bullies in "real life," when you show your strength, call them out, support the victim of their abuse, and ignore them en masse, you're fighting back. Whether you know it or not, that makes a difference.
I'm So Grateful For You
I am so thankful for the amazing women who support me and allow me to continue doing what I love. When I am faced with a comment section response that veers into a bullying attack, I am so glad to have bad ass moms in my corner.