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.
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.
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