An appeal to civility in 2015

Some people collect stamps, some build and race model cars and others garden. Me? I travel. And I blog. That is my hobby and that is how I see it. I enjoy sharing my world with my friends – and others.

Over the last year, I have become concerned, disappointed and distressed at what feels like an erosion of civility in social media. Just as we see teens bullying each other, so I see adults behaving disappointingly.

I welcome your comments. I want to know where I go wrong, what I can learn and what your perspective is. 

Last year one reader wrote “worst travel advice ever.” Really ? Why not just say “I disagree with your advice because….

Another told me I was a disrespectful person because of the way I wrote about something. Really? With respect sir, you do not know me. You do not know how much that accident profoundly impacted me.  He told me that “like most websites, I would probably block his comments“. That says something about this person. If you are blocked every time you comment, maybe it is less a conspiracy and more about your lack of civility.

Sadly we call such people “trolls”. They hide in the dark, waiting for one wrong footed mis spelling, or mis opinion and leap up ready to devour. Instead of engaging in civil discourse, they leave people maimed and smarting.


One friend got so distressed by the rampant onslaught of trolls, that he shut his blog down.

In a disagreement over beliefs, such trolls have told me that I am “stupid”, “ignorant” and “evil”. Really? Stand in front of a mirror. Would you really say that of someone you don’t know?

In being asked to cease writing lies, a stranger to me refused and asserted it was his right to write what he wanted about anyone even if it was lies. Really? Even when it is not true?

I see people being bullied on Twitter. Really?

Are we really at this pinnacle of technology finding our best use is to create anger, dissension and labels? I don’t see that as progress.

In 2015, I call a halt to this. As I said: “I welcome your comments. I want to know where I go wrong, what I can learn and what your perspective is. “

Social Media is meant to be social. Abuse me or other readers, then I will block you. Place a comment? Then be prepared to defend it it discuss it.

Happy to discuss. In the meantime, enjoy this:




  1. Totally agree with you. Thank you for calling out incivility. Great job……and may the incivility trolls live forever under the bridge.

  2. Sadly true, Martin. As a person of strong opinions, I admit I sometimes find it hard not to come across as too aggressive, and try to be civil. Hope I succeed. I consider it is arrogance (including in myself) to put people down, but even my worst thoughts pale into insignificance compared to some of the things I read. It is a bit counterproductive, too, as abuse,etc. immediately causes people to dismiss a person’s comments as troll rants. I guess if something had a valid. argument, they wouldn’t need to resort to abuse. I suggest it is because social media allows us to say things we wouldn’t have the guts to say to a person’s face because it has a degree of separation from the person. I always found that I could say on the phone (to businesses, etc) much more firmly, even vehemently, what I would have been too intimidated to say in person, even if I knew the person on the other end, and in the case of social media we don’t even know the people. Sometimes that is useful, but often not as in what you mention.

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