Column: If you can’t say something nice, don’t bother

 A picture of Morecambe to help you think nice thoughts...
A picture of Morecambe to help you think nice thoughts…


I was horrified to see the story about the proud mum who has been sent a letter by friends sick of her constant statuses online about her tiny baby daughter.

Of course the key words in this is ’friends’. They are her Facebook friends, clearly, but also know her well enough to pen a letter old-school style and deliver it through her door.

Many things about this are baffling. For a start we all have Facebook friends who are a little tedious in their offerings but surely that is solved by the click of a button. But these people can in no way, shape or form, be considered her friends – even if she has slightly overdone the adorable baby photos and used the social media outlet as a form of extreme photo album.

Call me Pollyanna, but sometimes I can’t understand why people are so mean. Muttering under your breath is one thing, outright and cowardly nastiness is another.

Of course this is an epedemic of nastiness.

You only need to spend five seconds looking at any website, social media outlet or interest group to see the intense spewing of bitter bile, however jolly the intention of the post’s author.

Perhaps this is cathartic for people but the mental distress it can cause others unacceptable.

Some people, and I can’t even be bothered to play the game and name the worst offenders, troll people for the oxygen of publicity. Sad but true.

Facebook groups are a case in point. these type of groups, often subject or interest based, seem to attract genuine enthusiasts but also the most precious people ever to grace the earth.

Fault is found with every status, pithy comments made at every genuine share, acid poured on even the most alkaline of subject matters.

The poor administrators are often the unfortunate targets as the innocent attempt to police a community of people often hiding behind fake names and novelty faces.

Obviously they didn’t have the benefit of the wise words ringing in my ear, courtesy of my mum. ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’

Published in the Lancaster Guardian HERE