Integrity … got any?
I know … it has been a while.
What can I say. I’m knee deep in exams covering topics like Media Law and Media Ethics.
The nerd in me wants you all to know that these topics are all riveting.
I felt it was high time to address an issue that is on my mind a lot these days and it is:
Now, here’s the thing guys, I spend A LOT of time in cyber space, so it is possible that at some point, I might be the recipient of a bit of backlash; I expect it actually.
If you put yourself out there and write openly and freely, be it for a newspaper or for a personal blog, then you open the door to invite all kids of crazy into your world. You’d want to have a very thick skin in order to survive as a journalist in the digital era – it is not a passing phase.
The good news is that here on my blog, I use comment moderation.
It means that I get to put the 3 R’s into practice: Read, Review and Respond.
This is very important to me and over the last few years I have received over 5,000 comments on my blog. That is not including all the responses I have made to (almost) each and every comment.
It is a personal blog and I like to keep it personal. I like to tell it how it is. Most of my readers love this and they trust that ‘what you see is what you get’. The code I adhere to is to always keep it fair and accurate, based on the experience I have had. If we receive something in-kind, or a payment to review a product, or freebies to giveaway on the blog, I disclose that information at the end of every blog post; Honesty is also another word to throw in the mix.
I remember a couple of years ago, someone asked me to remove content from my blog because they did not like what I wrote. They felt it was un-true. I was annoyed. Imagine if I went into a restaurant and asked the Chef to remove an item from their menu because I felt he was not cooking it properly?
Those chefs have sharp knives. I make every effort to steer clear of them. The relationship between chefs and critics will always be a bit dicey – won’t it?
I wanted to blog about it but instead had a chat about the whole thing with my eldest sister – she’s awfully solid and never gets too frazzled. She said ‘ignore it. No need to mess up your lovely blog with stuff like that. Your readers don’t need to see the behind the scenes crap’.
She was right … and I have continued to hit the delete button – to the tune of well over 2,500 comments that are from what we like to call internet trolls.
In Ireland, most of them hang out over here (look at the comments on some of their news stories then wash out your eyes!)
The way I feel when it comes to worrying about what others think of me, or my WiseWords, is it is none of my damn business what other people think of me. Now, if you go making it my business, how you feel about me, on several different very public social media platforms, then I suppose it would be silly of me not to get my knickers in a twist. I’d hate anyone, like my Mammy in particular, to think I was a bit of a doormat; Because, I am not.
Anyway – my blog, my internet space is ‘moderated’ and for the most part, I am fairly well behaved on Facebook and Twitter. I try to keep it light hearted and fun but always professional. You never know who is watching you on those social media sites. They are wide open.
And that my friends, can be where Cyber Bullying rears its ugly head.
Last week I broke all my rules – because
some poor eejit a local chef – whom I have never met – took to Twitter – accusing me of not having any integrity.
Well, first he accused me of having a chip on my shoulder, and I responded rather calmly thanking him for his feedback and let it go. I was not in the mood to ‘go there’. But, this is what we call ‘feeding the troll’ and it was my first mistake. I should never had responded. I should have just deleted the Tweet and carried on studying. But because I gave him attention, I was then subjected to a few more Tweets – in public AND a few private Tweets (direct messages).
Silly, silly boy.
As I had broken one of my rules already, I decided to catch a few screen grabs of all the nonsense and throw it up on my personal Facebook page to eternalise it forever. Please note, I chose NOT to put it on my WiseWords Facebook page … where there are over 4,000 readers.
Even though this man and I are not acquainted in real life OR on Facebook, he decided to follow me and keep at it.
Then – he made the mistake of taking a dig at the Chef …
The digs kept coming and it was getting worse – challenging my integrity and also stating my work (writing) was unpublishable, so I decided it was time to name and shame. Please also note that this was all happening at 4pm (GMT) on a Friday afternoon. I had not even had a chance to crack open my first beer. Imagine if I had had a wee bit of Dutch courage on my side.
The support from all my friends on Facebook and Twitter (and Instagram) has left me floored. I love y’all muchly.
I am a blogger. Occasionally, my husband Ron and I review restaurants on our own dime and time. I will never aim be the best restaurant critic in Ireland – there are so many excellent ones already it is almost impossible to aspire to be in their league. We do it because we have worked in the service industry our whole lives. I write. He cooks. We know what we are talking about.
And here’s the thing. This is my FIFTH Christmas sitting at my desk studying for exams. I (first) went to college to learn how to write (for 4 years) and I am now in my final year mastering my craft. I may not be the best – but with a little more hard work I have the potential (and possibly the determination) to become the best. Also – incase you don’t like my constantly reminding you that I am in college – I am not highlighting the fact that college has made me smarter (even though I do hope it has just a tad) – I am highlighting the fact that I STILL HAVE A LOT TO LEARN.
I will not stand for bullying. Not on my Blog, not on Facebook, not on Twitter and most importantly NEVER in real life. People that lash out on social media sites like this (especially if you have never met them in real life) deserve their name .. Troll.
If you want to play in my kitchen then my advice is: know who has the sharpest knifes.
Those are all the WiseWords I have for today.
All comments will be moderated so hit me with your best shot xx
Please note that the negative comments all came from an employee of a local restaurant in Galway. I am not naming or linking to any of them because the owner has been in contact with me – publicly and privately – to apologise on behalf of his employee and to let me know that they do not share the same views. I am happy to leave it at that. The culprit in question had also apologised publicly – but as expected – he deleted many of his silly negative comments from my Facebook page in the hopes that he might salvage the damage he had done. I felt it was my duty to resurrect his words and am using this to remind everyone, employers especially, of the following: Once you open your mouth and put something out there, in writing, on a very public platform – even after you delete it … it is there forever – eternalised for all to see. If you use social media for your business it might be high time you write up a code of ethics (click here for Social Media Training for SME’s) for your employees so they don’t ‘Tweet’ away the reputation you have worked so hard to earn. Consider the hatchet well and truly buried.
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I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
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