The Internet is great for parents. Not only can you find information on ALL THE STUFF, there are an abundance of chat forums, Facebook groups and websites where you might just find your ‘virtual village’.
However, there are a few people who just have to ruin it for everyone…
The dicks are trolly types who love nothing more than to stir up trouble on a thread about formula feeding, start a slagging match about sleep training or spark fireworks on a forum for Baby-Wearing Mamas. Some of them believe it is their duty to educate every single parent on the web because they are right and everyone else is wrong and some are just plain mean.
So, if you are a dick and using the Internet, please spare a thought for the tired, stressed or lonely parents who are online seeking support or empathy. Be kind to your fellow mums and dads – and if you can’t be kind, be quiet.
In case, you are confused as to whether or not you are a dick – this simple guide might help:
1) If you read something on the Internet that you don’t agree with and instead of scrolling past it, you feel it is your DUTY to point out the error of the writer’s ways – you are a dick.
2) If someone says ‘I raise my kids this way’ and you kick off at them because this is not how YOU raise your kids – you are a dick. Being a dick does not make you right – it just makes you a dick.
4) If you report a picture to Facebook because it features a mother feeding her baby using her actual breasts because that is what they are for – you are a dick.
5) If you read about a tragedy where a child was accidentally killed or injured and instead of offering sympathy to the parents you suggest that it is in some way their fault – you are a (massive) dick.
6) If you give your opinion on an article you haven’t actually read based purely on the headline – you are a dick.
7) If you make a comment to somebody that you would never actually SAY out loud in a real life conversation at playgroup – you are a dick.
8) If someone makes a statement like, “I love co-sleeping with my baby’ and you kick off because you take it to mean they are saying, ‘Hey all you people who do NOT co-sleep. Your babies are gonna be fick as f**k innit.’ You are a dick.
9) If you cut and paste facts and figures you have just Googled for or against a parenting method (even though WE all have access to the Internet don’t ya know) – you are a dick.
10) If you are abusive to somebody you have never even met just because they have a different opinion to you – you are a dick.
11) If you decide to ‘leave the thread/group‘ and instead of just going you announce it dramatically to make a point – you are dick.
12) If you think you are doing your bit for humankind by sharing ALL OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE on babies and children – you are a dick.
13) If you are NOT a dick but you have had a bad day and instead of having a glass of wine you go online and get annoyed about stuff that DOES NOT in any way affect you – you are a dick.
14) If you write a list about not being a dick on the Internet rather than actually arguing with the dicks on the Internet – then (possibly) you are also a bit of a dick.
Hope this helps – happy surfing!!
(This post originally appeared on Sleep is for the Weak)
About the author: Emily-Jane Clark is a freelance journalist, writer and the creator of Sleep is for the Weak – a humorous antithesis to baby sleep advice. She is also currently writing a book (with two toddlers, good luck with that). She hasn’t slept in four years so she is only to be approached if you are armed with coffee or wine or both. You can also find her on FACEBOOK and @stolensleep.