Thursday, January 23, 2014



As a rule I tend to stay out of flaming discussions on the various yahoogroups and facebook forums but I saw first hand today how one can fall victim to the “bullies” of the internet through no fault of their own.

I had recently joined  a yahoogroup that was based on a certain piece of equipment I own and use for our small business.  I’m on various other groups about this same piece of equipment and have received numerous wonderful hints and helps on the item.  So I joined this group hoping to learn even more.

I want to say right now that joining various groups and forums is generally a rewarding experience that can help broaden your education.  None of us knows everything and we can all learn from the experience of others.

I had been on the group for about three weeks and there had not been a single post on it.  Just as I was about to unsubscribe from it due to lack of inactivity a post popped up about a new model of the unit and it asked, would you be purchasing it.  Why or why not?

I watched the responses for a couple of days and then posted that I would not be buying one because of the pre-planned five year life expectancy of the units put out by this company.

I found myself immediately viciously attacked by members of the group for spreading false rumors, lies and other malicious deeds.  I was reprimanded for purposefully trying to destroy the GOOD reputation of the company—they have a fairly low overall customer service rating with thousands of users across the nation—and other horrible deeds of misconduct.

Why? Because I told the truth, plain and simple. 

 So in my second post I explained a situation I had just had with the manufacturer last week.  An issue that had totally disabled my old machine and when I called their customer service I was told it was due to the upgrade I had been required to do to keep the machine operable with their online support.

I complained about the fact said upgrade had caused the problem and asked for help in repairing/replacing this vital piece of equipment and to an accessory that I was using with it that had been destroyed by the upgrade.

I was told they knew it created the problem, that they “expected” everyone to replace this machine in 5 years or less and that the problem was my problem because basically they didn’t care. That it was in fact a known issue that the most recent upgrade could, and most likely would make machines 5 years old or older not work.  I was told this by three different levels of customer service. That when I had gotten on the forum sponsored by the company I found posts that stated the exact same thing by company representatives.

When I had mentioned this on the other lists and forums others repeated they had experienced the exact same problem and that is why they now used a similar piece of equipment by a different manufacturer.

Luckily my dh was able to do some tweaks and got my machine back partially working to where I can use it in a limited capacity.  I stated on the yahoogroup, due to the poor customer service and the fact they admitted three different times, by three different reps,  that the machines were actually built to the point you had to replace them every five years and they had no plans to either correct the problem or offer discounts on new equipment of any worth,  that I probably would not be buying the new unit, but would look at their competitors.

Again it was insinuated I was lying and purposefully going off topic to malign the company.  I replied that I was glad the attackers had not had a similar experience, but I had experienced it just the week before and therefore would probably not be buying the new unit. That I had simply answered the question would I be buying it with a no, and with the explanation is to why not as per the original posted request.  I left it at that.

In this day and age people hide behind their keyboards and if they don’t like something someone says they attack, with no true knowledge of a situation.

What has become of our civilization?

I believe humans have a right to their own opinions

I also believe that common courtesy has been thrown out the window by many of today’s younger generation.  Instead of asking me what I was basing my opinion on and getting more details they attacked without cause.  Not just one of them, not all of them, but a few.  It was not what they wanted to hear.  How dare I say something negative about the company and their customer service! It did not matter to them what I had said was the absolute truth, it was not what they wanted to hear/see.

Much like today’s political fray where if someone doesn’t agree with your political views the opposition will immediately start slinging mud at you. This virus of uncivilized behavior has spread into all aspects of our life. 

There doesn’t seem to be a week go by that we don’t hear of some child committing suicide due to cyber bullying or see one political side or another attack the integrity of their opponent. 

Emails are faked, I have actually had this one happen to me once when someone didn’t agree with my political views on a political group.  She faked an email that was supposedly from me to try and discredit me.  I proved beyond any doubt that the email was fake in under five minutes, thanks to my knowledge of how the system worked that it was posted on. If I had not known how to do the task I did she would have gotten away with her out and out lie. 

Once she was outed she tried to blow it off as a joke, because she got caught.  It was cyber bullying plain and simple, because I had stated a fact, with documentation, she didn’t like.  A fact that by the way has more than once proven itself to be true without a shadow of doubt. She knew she was wrong, but rather than admit it or let the matter drop she resulted to committing fraud with a fake email. Because she could with keyboard anonymity .

Unfortunately she is not alone in such activities.  Such underhanded methods are becoming the bread and butter of those that hide behind their keyboards.

What has happened to us as a nation?

Before the worldwide web people communicated in letter, on the phone or GASP in person.  Now they use the anonymity of a piece of electronic equipment to behave like animals. 

I was aghast to see a post earlier this week where one person posted on facebook to their brother that their father had died!  Can you imagine the shock of such a posting?

Shouldn’t such an announcement have been made in person, or at the very least via the telephone?  To post it on the web like that, where it might be missed if the person has an active newsfeed is to me unbelievable.  Yet it happened.  I’m still stunned by the unfeeling aspect of the poster for doing it. How many other family members and friends saw the post and were stunned by it as well?

I know from personal experience that one family member uses strictly texting for everything.  Short little bursts like “Call me about Mom.”  She couldn’t pick up the phone?  It took longer to type that text than to push speed dial and place the call. This same person, who truly has no power in the family, uses texting to try and order others around on matters she has no real say on. 

She seems to think that as long as she can push buttons on her smart phone she has control of whomever she is sending the text to, that they will jump to her every command. It seems she feels it doesn’t matter what she does or says because she doesn’t have to look the person in the eye, or at the very least speak to them in a proper manner.

Again, she is not alone in this.  We all probably know someone like that.

Such sense of power is not only wrong, it can be very harmful to all concerned.

Keyboards have become the weapon and the shield of the world and it needs to stop. 

A simple statement can be misread by someone and a huge senseless fight can ensue.  An accidental leaving on of the all caps key makes it seem like you are shouting, when in fact you don’t mean to.

Then if someone says something mean they try and cover it with LOL! As if that will take the sting out of their false accusations.  I sometimes think that should be considered a banned anagram.  It is overly used and often used in the wrong context.  But then I am not the word police.

There are people who seem to live to be what is commonly called a “Troll”.  Why? What type of sick joy can someone get out of being on a list to strictly stir up trouble?

Not too long ago I was in a fast food restaurant and a man was there with his young son.  The man was making a big deal out of how he and the boy were having a “father and son lunch.”  Only the man was wearing two different smart phones, and a pager.  All of which he used during the entire thirty minutes he was with his child.  What type of quality time was that for the child?

While it is great they are teaching computer sciences in all levels of public education now there still needs to be room and time made in the day for teaching such things as cursive writing, spelling without a spell checker, basic math—not common core,  how to balance a checkbook, how to make a meal, or repair a car, build a birdhouse, sew an outfit, play an instrument, or draw a picture, but all of these are in the process of or have already disappeared from our public school system.

It is time to step back and each of us look at our own use of the keyboard and how it has dehumanized us.  Pick up the phone, call a friend, write a letter, send a greeting card.  Reach out to one another.  It is time to become unplugged.  

Believe it or not, most humans are really nice people when you meet them face to face.

Re-establish relationships with your family.  I know my family is guilty of calling each other in the same house on our phones to say dinner is ready rather than take the extra steps to go and tell the person.  And we wonder why we have weight issues. Well at least we eat dinner together nearly every night.  That is more than some families do.

Should the grid go down, as many seem to think it eventually will, would you even know how to talk to others face to face? Maybe unplugging now is the biggest prepping we as a nation need to do.  When was the last time you actually just had a good long, uninterrupted chat with a friend or family member?  When was the last time you played a board game? Not one that interacts with the television or a computer, but a board game. Remember the fun of Monopoly marathons?  The peace and relaxation of putting a jigsaw puzzle together with someone you care about?  Not a computerized one, but one you can actually pick up the pieces and turn them around to try to see if they’ll fit?

How does this pertain to anything any of my blogs deal with?  It pertains to each and every one of them by the fact they are my effort to connect with people without politics, without flaming and with a feeling of trying to help others.  It is also pertinent in the following manner:

Jan’sWordless Words—The implication on the group was I was not welcome there and may not be able to post again because I dared to say something might possibly be wrong with the customer service of their beloved product.  I hadn’t flamed anyone and in fact merely stated that I was repeating what I had been told by the company themselves.  I on the other hand had been accused of lying and threatened.  Now I am not posting, showing my disdain for them wordlessly.

Mind YourPennies—In my original post, and in the third/last post I mentioned that I thought I personally would wait to see the reviews on the new product to see if there were any known issues with it as well because I wasn’t going to spend $300 for a unit that the company may not support or even continue to make within the next 3-5 years as they have done with numerous of their products.

Also to use the newer unit completely I would need a $10 monthly online subscription to it.  This would mean a new budget line item, that I wasn’t sure I wanted to add. That is simple budget sense.

Anytime you add a new budget line item you should think about how it will affect your overall budget and would it truly be a plus or maybe a negative.

See the USA the Mystery Shopping Way—If I should buy the unit it would be after doing several mystery shops with the retail sites, the online site and their customer service and learning more about it.  Just because it is new, doesn’t make it better.  I was considering the item for when we travel after retirement IF the future reviews were good, because it was smaller than my old unit and because I would not need to carry my full accessory load with me to do so.

However, many of the campsites we stay at do not have internet access, so how would I use the unit and that online subscription?

Patterson’s Princess Plan—I have numerous items that work with the older unit, that may or may not work with the new one.  The new one actually requires certain other items to be purchased to make it run.  I’m in the progress of totally decluttering my life.  So why would I want to add more stuff and more emotional aggravation?

I will also add that I will lurk on the group a few more days, but if it looks like it is strictly for the ego stroking of the owner, who was the ring leader of the attack, I will declutter that list from my life and my computer.  After all less is more right?

Outside a Dog—because I use this to review movies and books there is a good chance in the future I would also review the machine and the online requirements to go with it.

Patterson’sPantry and Patterson’s Pantry Recipes—since the unit could be used in some of the self publishing I’m looking at doing it could affect it greatly.

Webfoot Tub Designs—the equipment and the possible customers for the website could be affected by whether or not I purchase the unit or not. While it would offer a few new functions to use in creating our product I am already not using everything already available to me.  So finding out more about the unit is essential in my decision making process.

All in all this rambling missive revolves back to one thing and one thing only being civil to one another in a human contact sort of way, not from the anonymity of a keyboard.  True human contact needs to be re-established. I think it’s time we all get back to it.

Jan who knows that if these women had been facing her eye to eye they would have never attacked her in such a manner in OK.


  1. Very good reading though I am sad it happened to you.

  2. Thanks Cindy, My shoulders are broad I can take it, but unfortunately not everyone can. It saddens me when I see it happening to others.

  3. I strongly agree with this, "how one can fall victim to the “bullies” of the internet through no fault of their own." Internet is a technology that is very useful and this can be use for bad things as well. We just have to be responsible enough in dealing with this thing because we-ourselves is the captain of our ship.

    Military spouse career