Why Can’t People Say Please Online? (Stop Being A Dick)

This post has been a long time coming. I’m surprised I haven’t written it earlier, to be frank, but I think my reservations were that I’d come across as ungrateful or entitled, or just plain bitchy. Since pausing for 5 minutes and dipping into my Instagram message requests, however, I’ve changed my mind, so here it is…

Why the fuck can’t people say please online?

Seriously, why can’t people say please? I’m not asking for a hand-written side of A4, a sacrifice of your first born child or even the word please spelled out in its entirety (‘pls’ will do) - all I’m asking for is a little dose of politeness, a few ‘xxx’ or even a kissy-face emoji. Anything other than ‘from???’ which, regrettably, seems to pop up in my messages nearly every day.

I am, of course, referring to people messaging me and asking me any number of questions. ‘Where is this from?’ tops the list (despite, most of the time, the image being tagged with every item’s retailer, but we shall swiftly move on), followed by various enquiries about how to get into blogging or how I style my hair or will I send a picture wearing some 15 denier tights (those aren’t so common, but they do happen). Let me state from the offset that answering these questions is part of my job; I’m a purveyor of fashion and I put my thoughts online to be read, shared and hopefully discussed. If I got pissed off by the fact that people were asking about the content I create, then my career lifespan would be looking pretty bleak.

 

Hat - Brixton

Cardigan - ASOS

Tee - Primark

Jeans - Levi's

Boots - Old Zara

Bag - Zadig & Voltaire

Necklace - Carrie Elizabeth Jewellery*

That’s not my issue at all. My issue is with the astounding amount of messages that I receive without so much as a ‘pls’ tagged on the end. These usually run along the lines of ‘link??’ or ‘how much is this??’, whereby people seem to have lost the ability to swipe up from my stories or type a few words into the search bar of a retailers website. Again, I must stress that I absolutely welcome simple questions like this when they’re extended in a personable way, but when I get one thousand questions marks and not so much as a ‘please’ or ‘hey babe!’ in the way of pleasantries, I do get a bit irked.

Well, actually, I get pissed off, and this extends further than just an apparent lack of manners in my inbox. I understand that as you curate an online existence and your following starts to grow, people tend to see you as a little further removed from the traditional Instagram set up. To some degree, you’re no longer seen as just a normal person who happens to have a social media profile, you ~ are ~ that social media profile, and the human element starts to become detached. That doesn’t mean that the sting of someone declaring that ‘those jeans aren’t right for your kind of body’ doesn’t hit in the same, very human kind of way, though.

You wouldn’t tag your best friend underneath your old school frenemy’s latest sunny snap from Salou, laughing at her choice of bougie sunglasses, but that blogger with 4k followers? She probably won’t even notice, right?

EHHHHH (that was supposed to be a wrong buzzer sound effect, but Pages only lets me do so much, so just use your imagination). I’ve yet to come across one blogger/influencer/whatever the kids are calling us these days, who has ~ missed ~ a mardy comment on their Insta or YouTube. I have, however, received lots of screenshots laced with sadness and exasperation, as yet another back-handed compliment or outright insult is published online for the world to see. And I’m left contemplating the two explanations behind why such comments would be made: either the author sees the person behind the image as somewhat removed from the usual etiquette of online exchanges, and so thinks they won’t be affected by their words, or they simply don’t care. If it’s the latter, then they’re a dickhead. Case closed.

THE ~ LEWK ~

Just because you share your life online, doesn’t mean you’re obligated to accept rudeness. Blogging, for me, is an exchange. I create content which I hope you guys will like and find products I think you’ll enjoy, and in return, you read and shop and keep up with me, which enables me to carry on creating said content in the first place. It’s an equal playing field, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If anybody messages me asking about periods or feminism or business, I’ll happily answer - I can chat about menstruation ’til the cows come home - but in the same way that I am friendly and open and compassionate, I expect the same kind of treatment in return. Would you walk up to a girl in a shop and demand ‘size?’, without so much as a ‘would you mind me asking-‘ or a ‘please’? If yes, then dear child, I cannot help you, but if no, then just imagine the person behind the phone screen for one moment. A tiny bit of kindness goes a long way, and you’ll probably end up getting the answer you want as opposed to a stony wall of silence anyway.

Expecting a hello, a please, and/or a thank you is not a lot to ask - it’s just common human decency. If you wouldn’t talk to your barista the way you’re about to talk to a person with 150k followers online, then don’t send the message. Don’t write that bitchy tweet. Don’t screenshot that Insta story with the intention of mocking it to your mate, only to accidentally send it to the blogger herself. This isn’t a ‘boooo, us poor bloggers, stop bullying us!’ type of rhetoric - this is a ‘just be a nice, normal human’ kind of rhetoric. Just don’t be a dick.

From here on out, I’m not responding to messages that aren’t polite. And hey, if that makes me sound like an entitled bitch, then I guess I’ll wear the badge, but honestly, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for a smiley face every now and then.

And on that note, thank you for reading, and here’s some snogs on me xxx

FLUFFY CARDIGANS

  • You are 100% entitled to people being polite. What frustrates me the most is when the items are actually tagged, yet they still ask in the comments. It is so simple hah! You’re looking gorgeous as ever

    Abi | abistreetx

  • LOVED this post, CHlo! The amount of rude messages I get and so many bitchiness online also because they hide behind a phone screen, and yes, forget that we are still human but just have a following number attached to our name. Its hard and people really need to learn!

    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie xx

  • Yes! Like you mention above, someone commented on my instagram post the other day just saying ‘App?!?’ SORRY I think what you mean is ‘what app did you use to edit this?’ Honestly. Are we animals?

    P.S love the hat.

    Faye x
    i wish i could wink

  • Megan Ellaby

    SO funny you wrote this, I was saying the exact same thing to George just on Monday!
    My messages are filled with questions without manners and it drives me MAD!!!!!

  • Here’s some snogs back! Another amazing piece 🙂 (smiley face for you, hehe) I don’t know why people have a different etiquette online than they do in person. Also, you inspired my latest post sweet and gave me a creative kick I needed <3 xxx

  • Omg yes, I’ve noticed this recently as well, it’s ridiculous!

    Hannah | Wild At Heart

  • The sass is real & I love it. Damn right people should have a few more manners online! What is it about being behind the protection of a screen that makes people forget they’re talking to an actual human being with feelings. Guaranteed they’d never speak to people like that face to face! Much love to you and sorry you have to put up with people like that! x

    Becca
    http://www.rawrrbecca.co.uk

  • Absolutely loving these type of posts from you! It saddens me that putting a screen in the way means people forget how to be decent human beings with simple manners. Like you say, you wouldn’t do the same thing in public, but for some reason not only is social media for the fast exchange of words/content, but it means apparently we don’t even have time to say please and thank you, which is actually completely unacceptable. The worrying thing is, with social media you actually have time to think about what to say, unlike being face to face and people are forgetting to use that to be polite and to dish out a compliment every once in a while.

    Great post, completely agree.

    Paige
    pagetwentyfour.co.uk

  • Hallelujah! Please and thankyou for writing this! I’m honestly not mocking, and think this is a stellar thing to talk about
    Although I don’t experience the same issues as you, negativity online stops me wanting to use it at-all, and it’s a sad state of affairs if the thought ‘will i be judged?’ comes before ‘i like this, imma share it’. I know this post is more about questions/question marks, but something as simple as being nice, seeing more please and thankyous, would go a long way to making social media a friendlier place. That I like to hope people would be like, in reality.
    Went off on a tangent, but your think pieces have that effect! xxxx

  • As always, loved this post. You are so right, people are such keyboard warriors or maybe people are just rude in general, but feel like they can be their true selves online. xx

    Tiffany Tales | Lifestyle & Beauty

  • Holly White

    I couldn’t agree more with this Chlo! People are soooo rude, and it’s not that hard to attach a ‘please’ or ‘thank you’ onto your sentence!

    Once again, you’ve taken the words (that I would not be able to explain v well) out of my head and articulated them perfectly! Xxx

  • Yes yes yes! Kindness goes such a long way and it amazes me how some people can act online & in real life and think it’s ok. I always put an ‘x’ at the end of everything or an emoji. Good on you for refusing the answer rude messages xx

    Summer, http://www.thetwinswardrobe.com


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