Jerks, Haters and Internet Trolls

Jerks, Haters and Internet Trolls. This is my latest experience with a bully hiding behind a computer screen. What is it that makes people think they can say/do things online that they would never do face-to-face to another person? What makes people so uncivil when they are hiding behind a computer screen? Do people behave badly online simply because there are fewer repercussions to being rude, crude and downright mean?


Jerks, Haters and Internet Trolls

This is my latest experience with a bully hiding behind a computer screen. What is it that makes people think they can say/do things online that they would never do face-to-face to another person? What makes people so uncivil when they are hiding behind a computer screen? Do people behave badly online simply because there are fewer repercussions to being rude, crude and downright mean?

I have been blogging since 2008. I have been working online since 2001 at various forums on the internet. Please believe me when I say I have seen some pretty bad behavior online in the last 16+ years. There are quite a few people that are “very brave” online hiding behind the mask of anonymity. I will not go into the fact that is is a false sense of privacy on their part. An IP address is recorded when sending an email, messaging or leaving a comment somewhere. People can be traced (unless they are very, very good at ip masking, still have dial-up, or are posting from a library or internet cafe). You are not as hidden as you believe.

I have had internet stalkers for years. It is one of the reasons photographs of me on this blog are basically non-existent. And one of the reasons that my current last name (hey, I’ve been married twice) is given out to very few people. Some people are nuts, and I subscribe to a “safety first” mantra.

Last week I received a comment on this blog that was simply vile. It attacked me (who this person does not know), this blog and, unknowingly, a contributor to this blog who had shared an old family recipe. You see, I cannot run this blog on my own. I’d have been burned out and brain dead years ago trying to come up with new and different material every week if left to my own devices. I’m just not that clever. Or industrious.

While I allow (actually, I welcome) constructive criticism and differing opinions on Ann’s Entitled Life (see the comments here and here and here and here for a few examples), I have a much lower tolerance for criticism of my contributor’s work. Admittedly, sometimes they do make mistakes. Sometimes, my editing is not the greatest. I always double check the original material and if an error is found, I apologize (once I sent a lady a reward for letting me know of a mistake – because the mistake was so egregious that both I and my assistant should have caught it long before it posted).

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The reason for that disclaimer is because of the haters, internet trolls and just plain jerks. You would be shocked at how many people complain about a recipe after changing half of the ingredients! (Recipes seem to be the biggest culprit.)

But getting back to the repugnant comment…

After attacking me, my blog, the name of my blog (if you are not familiar with the story of my blog’s name, I can see where you might think it was a serious name instead of a goof), the recipe and wishing me personally ill, I was a bit upset. And I seldom get upset these days with mean internet trolls, internet bullies, or internet jerks (you know I wanted to write something worse here). I have just been online too long to frequently allow unpleasant people to get to me for more than a few moments.

Do words matter? Yes … and no. When words are disparaging to my work, friends or my family, I usually consider the source. If someone close to me says something hurtful, then yes, those words matter. Constructive criticism I take to heart and explore. There is a right way and a wrong way to present an opposing opinion. There are also ways to provoke that yield negative results. And I am sure the anonymous author of that nasty comment is happy as a clam that I responded with this post – because I cannot imagine they thought I would ever approve that comment.

I don’t know why this one cruel comment hit me so hard. I spent days trying to shake it off. I alternated between incredulous, and despondent. I (once again) spoke to Hubby about quitting blogging. Believe it or not, I do not make enough (or anything really) to take a lot of (or any really) abuse.

I wrote at least three different columns in my head laying out why mean people suck. I laid out what can be done to deal with internet bullying. I had grand passages mentally written about how to combat this type of behavior, and not encourage it. But the truth is I simply marked the comment as spam and deleted it without approving it for public eyes. (I also never approve posts with swear words or attacks on other commenters.) And then I flushed the spam so I wouldn’t be able to respond or approve (I have a propensity to overthink things, and I worried I’d approve later).

I am not a psychologist and I do not play one on the internet. I honestly have no idea why that person was so mad at this poor little recipe. I do know s/he claimed to be a great baker, so the recipe must have been wrong (the Pinterest ratings and comments on this blog say otherwise). And, I definitely hope this person gets some anger management classes… goodness knows s/he needs help.

For anyone who has ever had a bad experience with a recipe, craft or other DIY after following the directions on a website (blog or otherwise) my advice? Do not be nasty. Email the contact page and ask for clarification. Many times the correct materials and/or directions are there but have been overlooked while reading quickly. You may never receive a response … or you may receive a detailed response helping you correct what went wrong. Be polite. It really does go a long way toward getting help and information.

Ok, so now that I have gotten this out of my system, I can move on and put that nasty bit behind me. I hope. 🙂 Until the next rotten comment (or email) that is. Naw, my skin is usually a lot thicker than this blog post would lead you to believe. It will probably be another few years before a horrible comment or spiteful email hits me this hard again. And I must say that just writing down my feeling about this matter has proven to be quite cathartic. Sometimes, all it takes is a good rant and a little Troll-Be-Gone spray, and *POOF!* you feel better.

I do appreciate all of you that come to my blog with the same polite manners that you’d display in my living room. You are the people I blog for, share recipes with, show off the latest crafts and homemade beauty products and give out my gardening tips and advice to. Your kind responses make my day. And I thank you.

Have you had an experience with internet bullies, stalkers or just plain jerks? How did you resolve the issue?


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10 Best Posts of 2016

10 Best Posts of 2016


Every year since I began writing Ann’s Entitled Life in 2013 I have rounded-up the 10 “best” posts of the prior year in early January. I’ve chosen my personal favorites in the past, as well as highly trafficked blog posts. This year, I will continue to highlight the highly trafficked blog posts.

2016 was much different for Ann’s Entitled Life than previous years in that Facebook completely collapsed traffic for bloggers and businesses who were not paying Facebook to get into your Facebook newsfeed. While many people still share my blog posts on Facebook (thank you! thank you so very much!) Facebook is pretty stingy on the reach those shared posts get. I did have one Facebook success story in 2016 (the Christmas Cookie Jello Shots), but for the most part, the social media that is driving traffic to my blog these days is Pinterest, StumbleUpon, and Twitter.

These were the top 10 most trafficked posts in 2016 on Ann’s Entitled Life:

20 Useful Household Hacks – This actually shocked me. While people like hacks and this post spent most of the year on Pinterest as one of my top pins, I still did not expect this post to be my most trafficked post on Ann’s Entitled Life. It was #2 in 2015, so I guess… why not?

Christmas Cookie Jello Shots – This was my #1 post written in 2016. This traffic came from all over but was driven mainly by a semi-viral Facebook share. It is a very versatile recipe so I am sure that helped too!

Twice a Year Cleaning Secret For Sparkling Shower Doors – First published in 2014, this household tip is pretty popular and very useful in that it actually works!

Orange Creamsicle Cocktail Recipe – This cocktail recipe was my #1 post in 2015. People have really enjoyed this cocktail – I’ve watched several youtube videos of people making it, and trying it live! With millions of views, this is one popular recipe.

Banana Split Icebox Cake Recipe – Originally published in 2013, this delicious dessert recipe has been on my “best of” list every year since I have published it. It is really like no other banana split icebox cake you have ever tried!

Italian Macaroni and Cheese Recipe – This yummly mac & cheese recipe continues to delight taste buds. Totally delicious!

Chicken Salad Recipe – This is the best recipe Hubby has ever made (and that is really saying something as he is an excellent cook!). This made the “best of” list in 2014, disappeared in 2015, and reappeared in 2016. We make this all. the. time. Try it! You’ll like it!

Creamy Cucumber Salad – OMG this is recipe is outstanding. It is what my Grandmother used to make. I adore this recipe, and it seems others have enjoyed it too.

Slow Cooker Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Recipe – Originally published in 2014, this recipe is actually number three all time on Ann’s Entitled Life with well over two million people stopping, reading, and hopefully making this fantastic breakfast recipe!

Why You Need Lemon Balm In Your Garden – This post on the many uses of lemon balm has been very well received since published in 2014.

For the most part, my older posts have been the blog traffic driver. When I look at my Top 25, the only posts that were written in 2016 to make the list are Jello Shots (there are three in the top 20), a few DIY Beauty, and the Sock Bunnies (these are so cute! Make them for Easter!)

I always find these “best of” roundups fascinating! (I am easily fascinated. )

To look back past past best ofs:

10 Best Posts of 2015
10 Best Posts of 2014
10 Best Posts of 2013


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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!


Good Morning!!! and welcome to 2017!!!

For the last eight years, I have written a New Year’s Day post filled with blog updates, new series ideas, and what to expect in the upcoming year, first on Coupons, Deals and More, and continuing the tradition on Ann’s Entitled Life. This year is no exception.

Note: on Tuesday I will post the 10 “best” (in other words most trafficked) posts of 2016.

Well, like for so many bloggers, 2016 was a mixed bag for me. I finally broke down and signed up with an ad network (MediaVine) and the blog is now making enough money to pay the bills. Hubby may pass-out.

My traffic dialed back as Facebook is now a pay for play service, and all that lovely Facebook traffic from prior years no longer exists. If you wonder why you don’t see your favorite bloggers, websites, brands, etc in your Facebook stream? It is because Facebook took a pretty hard algorithm line on 1/1/16 and it is nearly impossible to see a page who isn’t paying to get into your stream these days (unless you go to the page and like/share and/or comment on basically everything).

The good news is my Pinterest traffic picked up. A lot. My Pinterest page is now a top 10,000 page (according to the stats I receive from my scheduler) out of 150M+ pages, and I am thrilled with that development!

Going forward… I am retiring two features: Laugh for Today, and That’s a Wrap.

The laughs used to be very, very popular when I posted them five days a week, but since I am down to Monday only, they have barely been viewed. And, believe it or not, it takes some time to find them. So *poof*, gone! I will still be posting them on Facebook on Saturday – or at least that is my plan at this point – but that is all.

I plan on posting three (sometimes four) days a week going forward. Since most of the blog traffic now comes from Pinterest, and people don’t actually go to the homepage to see what is new, I feel I can cut back (and not end up burnt out). Old content works well for Pinterest as I mainly post recipes, crafts and gardening these days.

Because I am only posting three (sometimes four) new posts per week in 2017, a weekly wrap-up is no longer needed. All the new weekly content will be seen on the front page if someone clicks the home button.

I am hoping to introduce a quarterly magazine in 2017. The price is still TBD, but I do not expect it to be very expensive (still working out those details, though!).

My Facebook page is going down to four posts a day (mine + other people’s posts) from the current five posts. Facebook is pretty useless these days for bloggers who are not paying (and why in the world would I pay to get better reach on a recipe!?), and who have very small pages, like I do. It takes a lot of time and energy to locate great content that no one shares, soooo Facebook gets less of my time. (Ironic when the bloggers that know me know I admin 10 group pages on Facebook!)

For myself, I am back to conferences in 2017. I swore I would no longer go to them, and then I became an online course junkie instead. Most online blogger courses that I have taken have been major disappointments, so I want to see if I can glean any new ideas at the conferences. One conference I am attending is for “advanced” bloggers, one is a mastermind meet-up, one is online (heh) and the final one is your typical meet-and-greet. Since the non-online conferences are all within driving distance of our Florida condo, I figured “why not!?”

That’s about it for now. I want to thank you all for reading Ann’s Entitled Life. I wouldn’t mind if you all commented a bit (ok a lot) more. I love interacting with people who read Ann’s Entitled Life. I’d like to get to know you all too. So please feel free to comment on the blog!!

If you would like to follow Ann’s Entitled Life via newsletter or social media, this is where we can connect:

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And I can always be reached through the contact me page or by emailing me directly!

Do you have any New Year plans? Resolutions? Goals? Ideas?

I wish you all a very Happy, Healthy, Fulfilling New Year. May 2017 be a year of much happiness and joy for you and yours!


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