What Pisses Me Off: Negativity on every post! 88

What pisses me off


View Profile

Recently some people have stated they are considering leaving Starts at Sixty because they are sick to death of the negativity; negativity against the government, Australian society and worst of all, name-calling and personal insults against the writers.

Surely as mature adults we can comment, even have heated discussions without resorting to childishness? We have a unique opportunity via this website to share the length and breadth of our experience and our combined wisdom, why are we abusing this privilege?

Do you ever think before you post? Do you give a damn whether you are insulting someone? Have you wondered why writers are hiding behind “Guest Contributor”? Look at the comments and the insults, perhaps there is a clue in your words?

An illiterate comment is not a waste of my valuable time, your nasty remarks about the bad spelling, syntax and punctuation are! Be grateful you have the education to point out the faults of others.

Someone does some good and we must find fault. I’ll give you a solid example: recently in the Books section there was a blog about the awarding of the Man Booker prize for literature to Richard Flanagan!

Could we just congratulate him? Acknowledge and celebrate a man and his book?


We had to raise politics, nothing to do whatsoever with the story. Whether we agree or disagree with Richard Flanagan’s point of view, he is entitled to hold it. Ironically, The Narrow Road to the Deep North tells the story of the Thai Burma Railroad where the authors father was a POW. I wonder could the right to hold an opinion be one of the things his father fought to preserve?

What happened to “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”? If I chose books based on the lifestyle and opinions of the author being totally in concert with mine, my library would be minuscule!

Even on the fashion pages, politics gets a run with comments to the effect that if the pension were higher the readers could buy the featured clothes. Some of the fashion is out of my price range; I accept that and don’t begrudge those who can afford to buy these items. Good luck to them. In the meantime, I’ll see what’s on sale at “Cheap Cheap”.

Our community writers spend huge amounts of time and effort, for no remuneration, writing blogs on a multitude of different subjects. The opinions of each and every writer deserves a better response than, “Yuk”, a recent insightful comment on a fashion piece. A simple, “Not my style” would suffice.

Then on an investment blog, a comment asked those who travel overseas to stop sharing their stories because not everyone can afford travel. Further remarks were rude about the “silver tails” who can afford to travel. Why? Can’t we just vicariously enjoy the armchair travel and the writer’s story without resenting them and name-calling?

Many community members do not have children and/or grandchildren. How would you feel if someone asked you to keep all your family stories to yourself because not everyone can share your experience?

This website has been set up for us, the Starts at Sixty community, to have a voice and, as you may note, I have a voice. Like many other community members, I live on a pension. In my time I’ve earned, and spent, the big bucks; bad investments took our savings.

Now I have a choice: play the blame game, stamping my big feet and telling all and sundry “not fair” OR live more simply, enjoying memories of the high life, but revelling in the fact that whatever fate sent me, I am still here as strong and feisty as ever.


Here’s a challenge, how about a good news time, where we don’t name call individuals, organisations or politicians of any persuasion! Have your opinions please but consider your words. Let’s make November, No-Vitriol-ember!

Karen OBrien Hall

Karen O'Brien-Hall followed many careers in her life and loved each one! From accountancy to the hospitality industry, from managing an employment agency to Executive Assistant to the Chairman of a multi-national, when she retired Karen was in Public Relations. Whatever her career path at the time, Karen is a lifelong volunteer. Married to "the love of my life", John, her second love is community theatre where she enjoys acting and directing. Karen enjoys time in her garden and can always finds time to read, around 8 – 10 books a month. Her reviews appear on Starts at Sixty, Goodreads,The Reading Room and her own page http://www.facebook.com/ReadingReadit

  1. We all have the freedom to choose what we want to read so if we do not like something we can always skip it and therby not be offend or feel that we have to make negative comments.

    2 REPLY
    • I totally agree with Ann. I was raised to the thought that if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. Have a great day all. 🙂

    • I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.
      So long as we live in a democratic society and not a totalitarian society we all have the right to express our opinions so long as it is not defamatory.

  2. Waking up every morning with gratitude is the start of my day, I have a beautiful family, gorgeous friends and my health. I see beauty in all things and always look for the positives in people and situations. Negativity just brings you down. When people are negative or abusive, I usually delete the comment if I can or skip it if I can’t.

  3. The best places to go are were a big choice is available and that is why it is important that all people feel they have a place on the site. I do not always agree with things but that is where you have your say. I hope people realise that some people are not very aware of others but that a lot of people are so nice! It is a site like life full of the Good the Bad and the Ugly !

  4. Well said. I’ve had some 60+ people say “now I’m this old I can say whatever I like” and we all have that choice I suppose. But everything we do, every choice we make has consequences whether we’re 70 or 17 – so thanks for holding a mirror up to those who choose to not consider others feelings – hopefully it can help make a difference.

    1 REPLY
    • Now I’ve reached 60+ I don’t have to read everything, I can, delete, or skip over people who do not agree with my way of thinking but choose to denigrate what I have said.

  5. Great post. Id noticed your examples. This last week has been particularly bad. Here’s to a life affirming November

  6. Hear! HEAR!!! Perhaps the anonymity of Internet encourages widespread negativity. Let’s focus on the good, comment intelligently on the debatable, & make a concerted effort to be positive…. Acknowledge the difficult job of the person cleaning the toilets, thank the person clearing tables or mopping the floor or providing good service. And smiling uses fewer muscles than scowling 🙂

  7. Negativity is with us whether we like it or not, and negative comments on any particular issue are as valued as are positive comments. I, and I assume most other participants on this forum do not want to be part of a ‘Yes Minister’ environment where we keep ourselves warm by peeing in each others pockets.
    Diversity is ‘reality’.
    What I cannot agree with however is the rude and crude personal insults.
    As to politics and financial aspects; those issues affect almost every aspect of our lives, and our opinions regarding travel, fashion, or purchasing power etc are necessarily influenced by our financial circumstances which in turn and to a large extent are dependent upon political realities.
    Your commenting guidelines say it all.

  8. Well said Karen. I too am amazed how many people have to be negative in heir posts for no other reason than to just be negative. It’s like, nothing to add so I’ll just criticise someone or something. I do get a giggle from some negative comments though as I imagine the writer is a dog just having to cock his leg everywhere.

  9. I whole heartily agree with the writer, especially regarding the fashion page, with some of the comments, it was is if you are over 60 you have to dress as though you are down trodden…I feel this is just the start of a new life { well for me it is }.. I feel younger and more stylish than I have at any other age

  10. We do have to wonder what sort of life some people have to only make negative comments. Perhaps ignoring those comments is the grown up thing to do. I know that is what I do in my day to day life, as sadly we can’t get away from negative people and their nasty remarks!

  11. Excellent, very well said. I used to get all wound up about political posts, I know zilch about politics but social media made commenting easy. Until, someone called me an idiot, and rightfully so, I had made a really stupid comment. Now I THINK before I post, just as I would think before I spoke in reality.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *