It’s time for over-60s to set an example

Calling people idiots, gossiping and ganging up as a group on a person with a different opinion to yours. No,

Calling people idiots, gossiping and ganging up as a group on a person with a different opinion to yours.

No, it’s not a children’s playground.

In fact, it’s a social media page full of grow adults who have children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren of their own!

We’re sad to see the amount of bullying and anti-social behaviour arising on social media these days amongst over-60s.

It seems almost daily we’re called on here at SAS to deal with name calling and nastiness on our Facebook posts. What starts as discussions on just about any subject, can soon turn into a thread of dozens of comments of grown adults fighting over the simplest of things.

I mean, come on, we’re all adults everyone! Surely we can have a discussion about Trump, about Hanson, about race, religion or our society without attacking each other.

You might not agree with someone’s comment. But that doesn’t mean you need to call them an idiot, a leftie, a racist, a moron or bring their personal life into it – and sadly, yes, that’s an example of some of the recent behaviours many of you may have seen on social media amongst people over-60.

It’s not just here at SAS of course. It’s all over social media. It’s the one friend on your page with strong political opinions, it’s that comment an older family member makes to you… or a comment you make to a family member.

We used to just think that bullying (and in particular, cyber-bullying and trolls on social media) was a behaviour endemic to our grandchildren’s generation – dismissing it as an issue amongst the millennials.

But now it seems that’s a behaviour learned from our generation, passed down to our children and sadly passed on to their children.

In a time when free speech is a topic of conversation, perhaps we need to remember that free speech comes with another responsibility – the responsibility to think before we speak, and think about what constitutes bullying behaviour.

Remember the old sayings – think before you speak or if you haven’t got anything nice to say don’t say it at all?

Well, maybe it’s time to put those into play again.

Have your opinion, share your opinion, but do it in a way that’s respectful and pleasant.

There’s a lot of things that we don’t like or agree with in today’s society, and we shouldn’t be adding bullying to that list – it’s bad enough amongst our grandchildren’s generation!

Bullies shouldn’t be welcome in any community or generation, especially a generation like the over-60s who should know better.

The Baby Boomers are the generation who are becoming increasingly isolated, who are stereotyped often as “old grumps”.

Perhaps it’s time we all set an example, broke the stereotype and showed our grandchildren that bullying and degrading others from behind a computer or a keyboard is poor form.

Tell us, have you been a victim of bullying as an over-60? Why do you think there’s so much anti-social behaviour amongst over-60s on social media these days?






  1. Dee  

    “recent behaviours many of you may have seen on social media amongst people over-60.”
    It happens occasionally on this site too, as recently as this week. And there’s always someone willing to step in and back up the bully in their attacks too.
    Fortunately most people on here can discuss differences civilly without getting personal.

    • Phil Spencer  

      I read once that if an online conversation goes on long enough eventually Hitler will be brought up, and it is an indication that the person who brings Hitler up is losing the argument, so they feel that they have to do something extreme to have the final say and in their mind win. It is the same with online bullying and the behavior associated with it, the person that starts bullying feels like they are losing the argument so they have to resort to hitting below the belt so that the conversation ends with the person they have picked on and in their mind they have won the argument, never-mind causing great distress at the recipient of their actions.
      This comes about because the bully cannot adequately articulate their views or that they feel like they are intellectually inferior to their opponent, so by hitting below the belt and displaying aggressive behavior, in their mind they have not only shown great strength and ‘smarts’ they have also won the discussion.

    • Jack  

      I honestly can’t believe you’d have the cheek to post this comment Dee. Perhaps it’s to make you
      feel somewhat better for your constantly bullying posts on Starts at 60 over recent times ?
      I’m sure you’re a very nice lady face-to-face but sadly this post only tends to make you look like a complete hypocrite.

      • Mary  

        And here we go again. Name calling only gives us an insight to the callers character. I also make the occassional spelling error. Oh. My

        • Guy Flavell  

          Yep, you’ve just made that “occassional” spelling error. Oh, My.

      • Dee  

        Since I was called “greedy” and “lazy” for having the audacity to be a part pensioner, I guess I can add “hypocrite” to the list.
        I will never accept abuse without retaliating in some way (and neither should anyone!) and won’t be commenting on this subject again. Next time I get personal abuse, I’ll be going straight to the moderator.

        • Jack  

          Come on Dee, buck up … be a billy goat. “Greedy, lazy and hypocritical” are really not that bad in the way of comments to a post. I’m sure you’ve seen far worse than this at times on SAS.
          Plus, they can’t be at all personal as the writer doesn’t know you from a bar of soap. All they
          are doing is responding to a comment of yours that they believed to be either outlandish
          or just not true. So, please never stop posting your comments as most of them are quite
          balanced and fair. It’s just the occasional silly left-wing stuff that probably gets peoples’ ire up I guess … thus the “abuse” as you put it. BUT Dee, always gleefully give it back as hard as it was given. I look forward to your future posts in anticipation of some more fun.

          • Guy Flavell  

            Completely agree with you Jack. I bet Dee’s a really lovely person but she tends to take writers’ responses to heart far too much. She mustn’t take comments personally as this will only upset her. She should be saying “aah, that’s just silly Guy” and either not respond
            or give him the full treatment in retaliation.

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