Both Sides of the Internet

I have a long list of things I tell myself I Should Really Blog About and somehow I end up keeping them in my head. It has been puzzling me why this is so, but I think it is the combination of no longer being relatively anonymous and being able to talk to my Other Half about these things that I end up keeping things off the blog. It is a shame and so here we go.

Recently I was having a quick little internet chat about STFU, Parents. It is a website in the vein of Regretsy and Lamebook with a dash of Ravelry Rubberneckers and F_W (all these links should be considered NSFW) as it navigates social media sites and documents some truly unfortunate oversharing and jerky behaviour. I had an exchange with a friend who thought the site was rather mean. I agree that it is mean but also that it documents meanness towards other people. Let me expand upon that.

It never ceases to amaze me that my gender plus age plus relationship status = it is perfectly okay for people to ask very personal questions about the state of my uterus. What I take from STFUP is that I am not the only one who gets random "lol, so r u preggers? lol why not?" comments at me (or get emailed some insensitive 'lol' questions). I find some of those remarks and mails really, really mean too.

Of course, STFUP documents meanness towards other people too - particularly towards people's own children. That hilarious poop story will be infinitely less funny when your child finds it online 15 years from now - and it is really not funny now.

If a site like STFUP can make one person less likely to mommy-jack, ask me questions about my uterus and/or sexual orientation, post an embarrassing story about their kiddo, or name their child something horrid - then I am all for it. Even if that makes me a mean person. Incidentally there are also other variants upon the same theme and I think the common message is (as always): don't be a jerk.

Now that is out of my system, let me share an altogether lovely story about the kindness of strangers.

Remember the story about the lost shawl I found in Glasgow City Centre? It has been reunited with its rightful owner. In a completely unnecessary gesture, the owner has given me a gift - this made me tear up as I certainly did not expect anything.

Thank you Jules and Jules' Mum. You are amazing and much too kind.