Before You Get Arrested

I have a friend on Facebook her name is Kim Berry, we have never met. I can’t remember how many years ago that it was that I began reading her blog but she made me giggle and there was an immediate feeling of admiration. Admiration because she’s had some struggles that I haven’t, struggles which she talks about with honesty and humor. And maybe because I’ve heard her voice on the radio, seen numerous pictures of her, and read so many of her thoughts – maybe that’s why I feel like I know her? Or maybe it’s because we’ve shared stuff with each other. Comments that aren’t just comments, they’re ideas, thoughts, confessions.

I have another friend called Kayte Murphy. I haven’t met her either. We’ve emailed and shared messages. My Henry sent her Jack a video a few years ago, I can’t remember why, but I think there was a rainbow barbie involved. Henry’s asked me a couple of times if Mrs Woog has said anything about Jack lately “Has he had any more parties? Do you think he’ll have another disco party?” In a way that no-one else will ever understand, Kayte writing about Jack changed Henry’s world. Our days of princess dresses and barbies seem to have disappeared which I have very mixed feelings about, but there are often times when I need to remind all of my children that we don’t have time for haters and to remember Kayte’s “we’re too busy being fabulous”.

There are others, Beth from BabyMacEden Riley is a wordsmith, I wait impatiently for each post. My fellow expat women, too many to link to, but they know who they are. Women whose links litter my feeds on a daily basis. Recipes that I’ve borrowed, tears that I’ve cried, giggles, many many giggles.

Which is why when people send me emails saying they feel embarrassed that they refer to me as Kirsty their friend in Qatar, I get it. I do the same. Recently a reader called Mary told me she really wished we could meet because she’s constantly referring to me as “her friend in Qatar”. I love Mary’s comments in my feed, we have a lot in common. I found her on Facebook, sent her a friend request “okay Mary, let’s make it official, lets be Facebook friends.”

My mother has online friends of a different kind, as an avid fan of Words with Friends and Farmville, she now has friends all over the world. They chat about the weather, laugh about the fact that while some of them are sweltering in South Australia, others are shoveling snow in the US. My Mum often talks about them in conversation, their families, their holidays, what it’s like where they live. They have their own little online community where they check in and check out. Perhaps the modern day pen pal with a twist?

A friend who blogs told me about an online site for blog haters a couple of years ago, she’d been mentioned and was hurt. I went to have a look, pages and pages of “Can you believe she…?” and “Ugh, have a look at…” I found myself giggling at a few of the comments, they were relatively harmless and I get it, sometimes if you disagree with a blogger it’s very hard to write it in the comments without being jumped on by other readers. What I don’t understand though is why you’d keep returning to a blog that you didn’t enjoy?

I don’t read every post of Retro Mummy but I’ve liked her on Facebook and this morning when she popped up in my feed with the heading of why things have been a little quiet over here I immediately wondered if she was pregnant again. Curiosity had me clicking on the link, I love a bit of baby news. It was this paragraph that had me in a cold shiver, right after the great news that they had sold their house and were having a baby:

I chose not to share the house because unfortunately someone had an alert set up for my suburb and the night it went on the internet they shared the address on my hate thread for everyone to see. It was very upsetting and you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been sharing less of the personal stuff after that all happened.

Okay, enough. This is when things get creepy. So you don’t like a blog post, you need to vent, I get it. But now you need to share her address? What comes next? Do you drive past her house? Do you park nearby and watch her arrive home from school with her children? Do you knock on her door? Can you see how creepy this has become?

I have another idea.

JUST STOP READING HER BLOG?!

Before you get arrested or wonder how you ended being that psycho online woman who began stalking someone whose major crime was to blog about sewing, knitting, babies and thermomix recipes. Let it go. Just let it go.

I don’t like everyone on the internet, but there are many places I visit each day which provide warmth, light, and bring a little extra sunshine into my life. Choose the sunshine. Follow the warmth. Don’t be a hater.

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