Thursday, March 15, 2012

Online Mean Girls

I originally wrote this post in Summer or early Fall of 2011, I just hadn't posted it because I had the wrong year on my scheduled post.

Do you remember in high school all the cliques? There were jocks, nerds, Goths, skaters, gangtas etc. Then there were the mean girls. I don’t really remember there being a certain group of mean girls.  I mean there were people that were mean but they weren’t mean to everyone. High school is full of catty witches that cause all kinds of drama. There is a possibility there could have been, I went to a huge high school. I didn’t even know everyone in my class. There were over 4,000 kids in my school and over 800 in my class.  I bet you are wondering what I was.  I was me, I didn’t have a specific group, I was friends with all kinds of people. I didn’t discriminate. I would dress however I felt that day. It might have been something from Abercrombie, or a tie dyed shirt and corduroys ‘, or really baggy jeans. I really tried to just be myself.  I didn’t really care what anyone thought of me.  I was kind of weird I guess, but I have always been unique.

I had my moments where I was mean to others, I think we all do. I had been pretty mean in my past but it wasn’t a constant thing, I don’t think. Usually I was nice in school, for the most part; I am not going to say I was an angel because that would be a total lie. Now, that I am an adult, I decided not to be mean anymore, not to not like someone because someone else doesn’t and you feel that false sense of loyalty. I can definitely say that I have grown up, but then you have those cases where the meanness never really went away.

I want to tell you a story about a group of women I encountered.  I am not saying it was the whole group of them; I don’t want to label them all. I know that there are some really nice women in this group, but there are some that make me upset.  Many of the interactions with the select group were just like being in Jr. High again but with 30 and 40 year old women. Have you seen the Subway commercials where they have the adults with the kid voices, it was kind of like that. I originally joined the group because I started scrapbooking and I found it one night and decided to join. At first all the women were really nice, kind of maybe too nice.  I really enjoyed going there, until I started to notice the drama. Now I am not talking about drama where someone is “trolling” trying to start drama, but it seemed like if you didn’t really agree with the majority, it was a bad thing.  We are all entitled to our opinions you know.  It wasn’t even really anything major like world issues, it was like ridiculous things like things that didn’t even matter, something like fabric softener brands.  I can’t really remember a good example.  

Some of the moderators were horrible, and would say hurtful and mean things to the members. I was friends with a few of the moderators so I knew about what happened behind the scenes. I knew that they would talk crap about people on their super secret moderator board.  They shouldn’t be able to do that, it shouldn’t be allowed.  My understanding of a moderator is someone who is there to help and keep the peace, not add more fuel to the fire and egg the fights or arguments on.  I think that some of the moderators grossly abused their rights and responsibility.  Those who had issues, would private message one of the administrators, and no matter what the issue was they would always stand by their moderators, even if they said something like “if you don’t like it you can leave.”  I am not sure that is helpful or caring, or the way things should be run at all.

I felt like there were a lot of repeat discussions about topics that we already knew at least twice that it would start an argument.  It seemed like it was on a cycle for example, oh we haven’t talked about food stamps lately and so it’s time to do that and stir the pot.  It wasn’t as if it was a new member asking or bringing it up. It would be the moderators or the owner of the site.  If it were me I would try and nip things in the bud before it got bad, as it always had.  Another thing about the group is the moderators would talk about illegal activity, such as reusing stamps that were not properly canceled out off letters or packages.  Who steals stamps? It is ridiculous, and illegal and in my opinion wrong. Maybe that is why stamp prices keep going up.  Stamps are not that expensive, sure they might add up, but if you can’t afford to send something like scrapbooking supplies than it is ok to not participate.

I know with the scrapbooking, I felt like every other day they wanted money for something, which was weird for being a money saving group.  They called them “donations”. I am not sure if they pocketed most of the money and just gave out prizes of stuff they didn’t want from the clearance bin from the craft store. None of the prizes were ever anything really worth “winning”, it was usually just a few little items that were never useful.  I never donated. I didn’t know what would happen to my “donation.”  I didn’t really participate in the challenges though so, it doesn’t really matter. I would have preferred to take my $5 or $10 and buy some useful stuff instead of a couple paper flower cut outs and 6 inches of ribbon.

I know that there are some great women, that I am still friends with after leaving the group.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they were reprimanded by the leader of the group for it. I can be an outspoken person when it comes to issues that I believe in, if it involves children or anyone in general. I am known to speak my mind and not keep it to myself like a good little mindless drone.  I will express my feelings and say something, and if you didn’t fit in to that little cookie cutter, then well your opinions are not welcome. I actually had the co-admin tell me that my opinions were not welcome. I think the discussion was about welfare. I am sorry, but I have strong feelings that if someone is on welfare they are not lazy or on drugs and that their children deserve to be able to have an occasional treat.  You don’t know their situation.  I tried to ignore it. 

When I would talk to the leader I would normally receive an almost automated response: Thanks for your concern Sheila, I will look in to it. Thanks.  Even though, nothing was ever done. If it was someone who was a moderator or really good friends of the owner it was swept under the rug.  If it was someone else then they would get in “trouble.”  It was all such a headache and it reminded me of being in Jr. High school arguing about what boys you could like or who you can be friends with. I am so glad that I am not involved in that group anymore. There were so many toxic discussions on there.  Have you ever experienced anything like this?


  1. Yes, I have LOL. I think many grown women DO tend to have cliques still but will be the first to say there ARE no cliques. I always say if you can't see the cliques it's because you ARE the clique!! Baffles me too. Only one opinion is allowed if you're part of the popular or powerful girls clique I guess. So sad they never matured.

  2. I think that women in general are all too often catty, with ourselves and others. If not checked, it can become a lifestyle. It is unfortunate that what they think makes them happy is exerting control and tearing others down. Makes me wonder how much good they could accomplish if they weren't so busy running around being snarky.