An Open Letter to The Mean Girls of Bala and Their Hangers On

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carla's picture
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Last seen: 2 years 41 weeks ago
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Greetings from Chester County. As you have noticed, I do not post much anymore. After all, I moved close to a year and a half ago now and blessedly a lot of your issues in Lower Merion are no longer mine. I will note that not much has changed now that I am an Auslander looking in, and if anything things have gotten worse.

I still lurk on places like Lower Merion Community Network to see what is going on where I called home for over 30 years, but don't even actively participate there. As a matter of fact I went OFF the page for more than a year and came back only a few months ago to listen to the community voices on a couple of issues but not comment. I actually am refraining from commenting most of the time because I don't live in Lower Merion any longer. What I have commented on recently has been two or three things and it has been offering suggestions for people looking for certain goods and services because as I have worked on my new home I have stumbled across some things worth sharing.

When I lived in Lower Merion there was a collective of harpy-like women from the eastern-end of the township who descended on me and others like a pack of jackals. They were of the pro-Bruce Reed variety(although some today actually claim they never knew him even when we used to see them sitting next to him at meetings after he was no longer commissioner), pro-everything Lower Merion School District did, anti-LMVUE, basically anti-everything different from them. They were known as cheerleaders and mean girls. It was easier than doing a recitation of their boring names every single time.

These women were people who did not know me, did not offer to get to know me and merely disliked me because I was vocal on topics they thought I should be a new Victorian on and just be mute. I was unmarried, no kids in my household, and although I lived in Lower Merion since I was 11 turning 12, because I was basically a Republican AND a renter at that point as an adult I was to be pulverized. I was NOT supposed to have an opinion. How dare I have an opinion? Apparently I was of the lowest caste in their minds as a single white female who rented which therefore meant I did not deserve an opinion.

I learned a long time ago that people either love you or hate you but it's all how you handle them. For the most part I have ignored these simpletons who are so limited and parochial in their narrow little view of the universe. Yes occasionally I mocked them in a blog post, but they opened the door by commenting on things in the community all of us were discussing. The irony is none of these women are captains of industry or movers and shakers in society, they are nobodies. But it is like they have this adult girl gang at times and who has time for that?
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These women thrive on being mean and petty and one of the things they dislike most is being tuned out. After I survived my bout with breast cancer I got to thinking about stuff like this again. What was important to me and what was minutia I should let go? So as a result, I exercised my legal right to privacy options on Facebook and other social media outlets and blocked a few of them. My logic was simple: I am not friends with these women, I do not care to waste anymore time interacting with these women on ANY level. I did this quietly and without fanfare. I simply made the conscious decision to not interact. Life is too short to be bothered by people who in the end do not matter in the big picture.

So what did they do about a year and a half ago? They descended on the moderator of Lower Merion Community Network, a woman I consider a friend. A woman I happen to enjoy. And long story short they bullied and badgered her because of MY, yes MY privacy settings. They couldn't see me or anything I posted which even back then was minimal. They felt however I should not be allowed on Lower Merion Community Network with ANY privacy settings. As a matter of fact they demanded of her that I change my settings and un-block them. I should interact with them because they demand it, damn it all. Oh LOL and get real.

So of my own volition I went off the Facebook page for over a year. I felt bad for Karen.

I told Karen the Lower Merion Community Network Page Administrator I thought they were being ridiculous and no I wasn't going to change my privacy settings to suit them. I mean why bother? So they could "interact" errr bully me too? And this is in addition to the comments they used to leave under things I wrote for Main Line Media News or occasionally up here on this blog. I mean d'oh they used to give themselves away or follow posts and then forget to remove the corporate e-mail they were using to follow posts up here and when they left the company the bounce backs showed them loud and clear behind their blog handles.

It is my opinion that if you have privacy settings you shouldn't have to undo them to be on a community board. And it is only this group it bothers and the reason it bothers them is because it is me. Not being self-focused or self-important, it just happens to be the unfortunate truth of these people who need to find other hobbies.

So this morning I received a message from Karen the board moderator:

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So my answer remains the same: they do not have a legal, ethical, or moral right to ask me to do this. And she is the board moderator and could simply tell them the truth: I don't really comment. As in maybe three things in six months and all had to do about referrals on who could build a farmhouse style table, where you could buy one, where someone could find some other piece of furniture and either a plumber or dentist referral. Oh.My.God. that is SOOOOOO earth shattering important to know isn't it?

These women may very well damage my friendship with Karen whom I admire and like a great deal. And it is all to their own selfish ends because a year and a half after I have moved they still have an unhealthy obsession with what I do and say.

To those women I say shame on you and grow the hell up. Not everyone in this world will ever choose to interact with you and guess what? This is isn't Soviet Russia and we don't have to.

I have let your collective of unimportant, unattractive, self important nobodies go, and now it is time for you to do the same.

So Karen, you want to throw me off that board, that is on you and I am sorry you feel that way. Of course it begs the question of how can we expect our kids not to bow to peer pressure if as adults we can't walk that walk ourselves.

Why did I write this post? Simple: bullies in any form have a hard time hiding in broad daylight and I thought it was high time Lower Merion residents knew what these women were up to, which is in essence bullying a woman performing a community service so they can get to someone who chooses not to engage and who walked away. Shame on them for doing this to Karen. It shows how pathetic they truly are. I would also suggest that when these people make their eventual moves and run for school board or commissioner or planning commission or PTA or Civic or whatever (or put their spouses up to do the same)that you remember these ARE their true colors.

Ladies, the proverbial Alice doesn't live here anymore. Stick to applying deodorant diligently and move on. You should also note the huge kindness I did by NOT listing you all by name. I did not wish to further embarrass you or your families. In your pursuit of self-important righteousness it doesn't matter to you I am sure, but it should. Now grow up and move on or take up knitting.

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LMT Observer's picture
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Last seen: 2 years 28 weeks ago
Joined: 2009-04-25 :31
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Really? 

A decision was made by the moderator of the Lower Merion Community Network (Karen Toole-Ebert) to ban Carla from posting there rather than permit Carla to use privacy settings of her choice to block some others on the network from her posts, and only from her posts?

Was the decision based on any offenses or problems other than some blockees were offended by Carla's decision to block them?    

Given the above,  an ironic surprise to find the below July 11, 2013 post by KTE (Karen Toole-Ebert?) at the Lower Merion Community Network

http://lowermerioncommunitynetwork.com/

How to get the best Facebook privacy settings

Posted by in Social Media Tips

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How to get the best Facebook privacy settings

There are hundreds of posts about how to optimize your Facebook privacy settings. Every single day there are stories about people sharing something they didn’t intend to.

This post is going to provide the absolute BEST possible advice about how to ensure that you maintain your privacy on Facebook.

via How to get the best Facebook privacy settings.

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dmuth's picture
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Last seen: 1 year 5 weeks ago
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Let me see if I understand this: Karen told you "unblock these people or I'm kicking you off the group".

That's messed up.

 

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carla's picture
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Last seen: 2 years 41 weeks ago
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Yes. They complained that my privacy settings made it impossible to see my few and far between posts that were not about anything earth shattering- a couple of business referrals,etc. I was supposed to undo my settings so they could have access to me basically

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"Well behaved women rarely make history" - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

dmuth's picture
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They complained that my privacy settings made it impossible to see my few and far between posts that were not about anything earth shattering- a couple of business referrals,etc.

That's not how Facebook works.

I still find the "we demand we have contact with Carla" to be very creepy.  In fact, this may have run afoul of Pennsylvania's "cyberstalking" laws.

 

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carla's picture
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Last seen: 2 years 41 weeks ago
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yes I told Karen something along those lines but it is her choice. If she wants to enable people like that and leave herself wide open to problems that is her issue. She told me I was wrong and that it was quite all right for her to ask people to change their personal settings to participate on her board. Everything that goes around comes around, however. And she in effect has shown that she in fact can be in a sense, bullied herself. Which I find sad.

I have noticed since we started discussing this the star votes on the post have gone down. Apparently we are not supposed to be discussing this in public LOL

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carla's picture
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Last seen: 2 years 41 weeks ago
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LMT Observor, no offenses or problems other than I chose not to interact with some people. One would have thought a board moderator would have been thrilled to have a member strive to avoid controversy. I put up with enough crap to last a lifetime while standing up for what I believed in while living in Lower Merion, so I decided when I moved I no longer needed to interact with certain people, people from certain groups. And truthfully who cared but some of them and why? I moved.

I find it VERY interesting that this whole privacy thing was posted- and ironic. But I try not to judge Karen too harshly because those people haranguing her about my privacy settings must have been AWFUL for her, almost like bullying and well I get that some people really want everyone to like them.

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter if I am on that board or not- I
don't live in LMT any longer and what does it mean to be on there anyway? World peace?

It is Karen's board and if she chooses to cater to those kinds of people well that is a pity, isn't it?

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bc59's picture
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Last seen: 3 years 45 weeks ago
Joined: 2010-03-18 :57
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OMG so ridiculous and petty. I also noted that LMCN now  requires you to "like" their facebook page before joining the community group.  The rules also say that you are not supposed to discuss political issues, but they often do, and the moderator does not kick people off who do.  Also note that this "private" group has over 2,000 members, so its practically a public group, but the moderator gets to decide what contect is OK or not, and apparently gets to decide what privacy settings people can have.

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