My so called (online) life

so called life

Having a presence online is a bittersweet thing.

Most of us have a Facebook account and lots of us tweet. Many of us also stick our heads over the trenches and blog, exposing our lives to the interweb for better – and, very often – for worse.

Strange as it sounds for me to say, as someone who lives a lot of her life online, I find it very difficult indeed. An inconsiderate remark on a social meda platform can be heartbreaking. A well placed blow can be devastatingly hurtful.

I have blogged a lot on here about life with endometriosis and living with a chronic illness, which lef to me founding Project Endo, daily digital support for women with endometriosis. For every woman I support through this work who thanks me for it,  there will always be someone else online who thinks I am attention seeking. Equally, for every woman who is thankful for the posts, another will disagree with how it’s done or what is said.

You can never win online.

In the blogosphere, the cat claws can be out even more, creating a playground bully effect seeping through your WiFi. You simply cannot please all the people all the time in either the online world or the real, actual 3-d looking thing outside the screen and it’s just not tenable to even try.

People like you or they don’t, and that’s fine. Nobody likes to be told, directly or indirectly that they are surplus to anyone’s requirements in their lives, and the cruel rub of social media is that you can be told in no uncertain terms and with lasting and damaging effect,

Right up until my 20’s I had barely encountered any nastiness from friends. I am lucky to have a strong and loyal group of school mates who love each other, support each other, and will be there no matter what. They may tell me I am an idiot, or have behaved in a way they don’t think is ideal, but nothing cannot be sorted. That is real friendship.

I only encountered the confusing, manipulative kind of “friends” later in life, and was ill equipped to know how to deal with it.

Whether offline or on the t’internet, snark is hurtful, damaging, and toxic. It usually comes from the snarkers very own place of insecurity, sadness or confusion, but is hurtful none the less.

In so many ways I wish we could go back to basics, unplug, not “be” online, out there like a sitting duck waiting for the strike. But, I blog and write online, so you live by the followers and you live with the nastiness too.

When someone tells you they don’t like what you do, it can be a learning curve. You can take the comments on board, work with them, and be even better if you choose. Or, if it is a shadowy, well placed but ill advised dig, switch off. I look at Eva and Mia, those real life, loving, beautiful Minis and nothing else matters. I talk to my real life, actual 3-d friends and the online shadows don’t seem to have their hold. I look at all I have achieved, my 2 degrees, portfolio career and businesses run despite living in pain every single day.

You can’t please all the people all the time. But, you can be true to yourself which in the actual olde worlde 3-d place is all that really counts.

Do you find online life difficult at times? Would you disconnect if you could?




Jo Gifford

My work is about helping people work in smarter, creative ways + getting their message out to the world via killer content—blogs, copy, images + social. I am a designer, writer, blogger, mentor, author, creativity addict + prolific geek. You could call it a portfolio career of multi-potential multi-passions. I call it being me.
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  • MrsB

    I have been blogging for almost 7 years and have never encountered nastiness. Maybe now that I’ve started a new blog and write about my radical sugar-free life people will get annoyed! :) I have to say though that I haven’t even seen nasty comments on blogs, somehow I live in a bubble with nice blogs and rainbows and unicorns.

    Don’t let bitter people get to you – they don’t matter. They spread negativity and in the end karma will get them.

    • dexdiva

      Hey, thanks so much for the comment – I love bubbles with nice blogs and unicorns, they are the best places to hang out! 😉 xx

  • Helen

    So far my on-line presence hasn’t been noted so much – apart from by spammers, natch – but unpleasant and often bizarrely hostile remarks seem to be part and parcel of cyber space: see Youtube comments and Dawn Porter posted something very similar to what you’re saying here. And it’s the prospect of receiving what seems like this inevitable abuse which has partly put me off from putting myself out there – so good on you!

    Although I have suffered on-line abuse it actually came from someone I know in real-life; a guy my sister used to go out with + who she currently has a restraining order on. It seemed seeking me out on facebook (using a fake name) and making comments on one of my blogs – thank god you can moderate them! – was his way of continuing to intimidate. And yes, when I’ve received horrible messages it has made me want to retreat, like a snail.

    But in truth whether I ‘know’ these people or not, it just makes me feel sorry for them. Who on earth not only spends their time critcising other people for their opinions, ideas and work, but also has the audacity to post it to them!? It’s just crazy, a lot weird and when it boils down to it down right cowardly.

    I don’t know you at all, but I came across your blog the other day and I’ve signed up for your blog course. I love your free e-book on creativity and look forward to the blogging course – and getting myself out there a bit more. My word for this year is ‘courage’ you see!

    Thank you,

    • dexdiva

      Helen, thanks so much for your comment. I am so pleased you signed up to the course and really hope you enjoy it. I would love your feedback – however critical, despite the nature of this post! – and wish you well in your blogging journey – stay in touch xxxx

  • Jo Warren

    Sounds a bit harsh hon, hopefully you’ll not be put off but a few nasty comments. I got an old guy stalking me recently, I had to email him and tell him I was uncomfortable with his relentless following on every aspect of social media and he was being benevolent, so god only knows what it would be like if he started to say nasty things. Scary out there :(