How to avoid being “That Guy” online – Extensive personal research conducted over several years I have to say!

We all have our own list of pet peeves with Social Media. There are plenty of articles explaining what really miffs us off about social media.  Here is a list of articles on the subject to save you the trouble of googling it yourself:

I need to take a moment to say that I consider myself qualified to remark on these, because I have almost certainly been guilty of all of these at some time and to varying degrees.

that guy

In the early days of Facebook I’d hop online after one or two tooooo many wines.

Anyway, I’d like you to benefit from the wisdom of mine and others’ mistakes.

Here are just a few of the social media faux pas that we all ought to be mindful of:

The Painfully Proud Parent
Truth is, most people like hearing about kids antics, and seeing cute pictures of our friends’ young families growing up. ONCE IN A WHILE!

– Trademarks:

  •  Seriously spamming everyone with paintings or pictures your precious kids drew, stories of their potty training antics, ten thousand photos of them rolling over for the first time or eating an ice cream… You get the idea.
  • Baby talking ON YOUR status updates. Seriously, I find this quite remarkable, seriously, do these people not have spell check? Cause spell check would not like that one bit.
  • Publishing every minor milestone. There are times that many milestones are reached in close succession, and if you find yourself posting updates about your precious bundle more than a dozen times a day, you may want to rethink your strategy.


  • Keep your content light
  • Don’t post too often
  • Put up one or two pictures of your precious bundle looking angelic,
    instead of 20 or 30
  • Poop pictures are out completely
  • Actually, any photos taken in the bathroom are probably best avoided.
  • Have a special page for everything kid related for friends and family to subscribe to if they choose
  • Find other proud parent groups and forums to post to your hearts content on! These places are great and you can find like minded individuals and EVEN SHARE POOP PICTURES!

Serial Relationship guy

The VAST majority of these guys (who are probably more often actually girls) are teens, tweens, and recently single men and women. I’ve been guilty of changing my own status to “it’s complicated” and then flew off to San Francisco without my husband for a couple of weeks some years back now. So anyone can fall prey to being this guy.

– Trademarks

  • Changes relationship status monthly or even weekly
  • Complains bitterly about ex and 24 hours later singing the praises of “The one, NO REALLY! This is the ONE! I think we’re going to get MARRIED!”


  • Just don’t
  • A relationship is private and special when it is starting out, so try and keep it on the down-low until you’ve moved in together at least maybe?

The Oversharer or TMI guy

We have all been guilty of this. Whether it is because we have too much time on our hands or we feel a little bit needy,  we have all turned to social media, looking for validation and interaction and perhaps given far too much away.


  • Posting about EVERYTHING that happens – from breakfast to bowel movements.
  • Posting photos of injuries, mysterious rashes, every new purchase… you get the idea.
  • Spam spam, wonderful spam. Posting more than 10 times a day is simply not okay. Tweeting, no problem, but probably a bit too much for Facebook.


  • Find private groups to share your enthusiasm in. I belong to a pregnant ladies private group with a few dozen women, and we spam each other incessantly and over-share about fears, bodily functions, and can post as many belly shots and photos of our baby scans as we want. Know your audience, and try and keep the personal stuff out of the completely exposed public forum.
  • Think: Would I be okay with my kids and/or grandparents to see this post? If the answer is no, maybe don’t put it up.

Next instalment

  • – The Purveyor of Politics or Soap Box Guy
  • – The MEGA Motivator
  • – Food Porn Perv
  • – Eeyore
  • – Chain Letter Spammer
  • – Warnings and Fear Mongering Sharer (this guy doesn’t check

Written by one of the Social Soup Directors ( We will not divulge which one)

A Thank You Message (and update on the arm, which is certainly not broken

We made sure we got approval before posting the blog about this guy getting picked on. We let him read all the messages if support, and he wanted to thank you all for your kindness and support.

His arm us great, and only hurts at night, and his self esteem is in good stead, despite the bullying, and helped in no small part by hearing the stories from his parents, other grown ups an even other kids; about dealing with meanies sometimes.

Aroha Nui (that means big Love) to all if you. Thank you from all the Happy Hobbits.


Our Son the Bully Magnet

Our eldest son has been bullied in one form or another since pre-school.  Some of the perpetrators whose stories I’ve become aware of had reasons for their behavior.  Some had anger management or learning or behavioural difficulties, some were going through genuinely tough times in their lives.  The evidence very strongly suggests that our little man seems to be a natural target for kids needing to blow off some steam.  We’ve gone down the path of talking with the teachers, the childrens’ parents, and we’ve even sought counseling.  We’ve tried a multitude of different avenues and the problem continues to resurface.

The upshot of all of this intervention is that all of his counsellors have told us there’s nothing to worry about, and he’s actually a very well adjusted young man.  We did have one very expensive child psychologist tell us to keep the screen time down to less than two hours a day.  We do try, but seldom succeed.

It has recently gotten so bad that we’ll be changing his school for the second time in his academic career.  He’s eight years old.

His reaction to the situation makes me simultaneously proud and exceptionally sad. I fear my mom-o-meter of pure parental pride and emotion may just overload completely.

It upsets all of the adults in his life that he doesn’t seek intervention or report the incidents.  He doesn’t talk to the duty teacher, and he doesn’t even talk to his home-room teacher about it.  As an adult I assume it is because he is ashamed or doesn’t want to seem like a tattletale.  After talking to him at length about it, it seems he’d just rather not deal with further confrontation, and chooses instead to carry on back to class where he is, for the most part, considerably safer.

His teacher makes no attempt to hide the fact that she enjoys our cheeky eldest child a great deal.  Her, and his GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) teacher have both expressed fondness and appreciation for his academic ability, but even more, for his humour and temperament.

My husband and I have a terrifically colourful vocabulary.  The result of being exposed to our constant swearing has meant our children find it quite normal and more than a little tiresome and appalling, and choose not to swear – seemingly ever, despite the fact their peers often do.  (An unforeseen parenting win, and long may it continue!)  At any rate, I checked, and his teacher confirms this.

Our son is very small.  Which of course comes as no surprise to either of us as throughout our academic careers we were both close to, if not the tiniest in our classes. He’s smaller than most of the five-year-old new entrant kids in his school and as such, he gets carried around and thrown about like a rag doll.  It breaks his heart, is emasculating, and his gentle disposition means he is not one to retaliate.  His grandmother insists that he should turn round and wallop the perpetrators, and then they’d leave him well enough alone.  We’ve encouraged him to take up karate or some other form of martial art, but he is utterly disinterested, and would rather stick to playing his drums and video games and reading his comics and books.

What our wee man lacks in stature, he more than makes up for in intellectual prowess and advanced vocabulary.  He’s your stock standard geeky first-born kid.  He relates better to people pretty-much any age but his own.  He does not want a large group of friends, and he does not crave attention.

I started writing this blog a couple of weeks ago.  Every day my first born baby has come home with a new story of some playground incident, from his hands being pried from the monkey bars so he fell down and cracked his jaw, to being pushed violently out of the queue at athletics day, to being excluded from play or teased.

He battles on, and saves the tears for when he gets home.

Tonight I looked into his big brown eyes, framed by Snuffleupagus-length lashes, and I told him that this being a kid shit doesn’t last forever.  I told him that all the stuff that makes it hard for him at school right now, is exactly the stuff that is going to make life easier for him as a grown up.

He hugged me.  And his eyes got a bit watery.  And he said in an earnest and moderate tone generally reserved for grandfatherly figures: “Well, I think I’d much rather struggle through the kid part, because you are a grown up for much longer.” He paused, squeezed me tighter and continued: “It just feels like the being a kid part lasts forever when you’re going through it.”

So tomorrow I send him back out into the trenches.  His words, humour, self-esteem, and the knowledge that he is Loved and respected for exactly who he is by countless people (including his teachers, parents, and the handful of kids who “get” him) are his armor.

Thanks for reading.



Eight Late Great Love Stories – Part Two


Eight Late Great Love Stories Throughout History

5)   Gene Roddenberry and Majel Barrett


I am unashamed to be an ardent Star Trek fan.  Not quite a Trekkie, but I am sure my evolution to becoming one will take shape in its own time.

I feel that Roddenberry was not only a trail-blazer and well ahead of his time on so many levels, but also a bit of a prophet in his vision of the future.  And I am very fond of Majel as she was a dedicated wife and mother, and the first lady of Star Trek.

The couple met in 1961 and by 1969 the couple finally married in a Shinto Buddhist ceremony in Japan (neither of the pair subscribed to any particular religion).

Majel Barrett is probably best known as the voice of the computer and Nurse (later Doctor) Chapel.

Barrett and Roddenberry collaborated on countless endeavors that were directly and indirectly linked with the Star Trek Franchise.

Roddenberry died of a heart attack on October 24th 1991.

Gene was survived by his wife Majel, son Eugene Roddenberry Jr. and his two grown daughters from a previous marriage (Dawn and Darleen Roddenberry) and two grandchildren.

Majel remained an active and vocal part of the Star Trek franchises and continued to make appearances throughout the many series.

Majel passed away in 2008.

I’ll always remember her best as Lwaxana Troi, the eccentric and involved mother of the Ship counselor Deanna Troi on the USS Enterprise captained by my all time FAVOURITE Star Trek captain ever: Jean Luc Piccard.  Lwaxana often made unrequited advances toward Jean Luc, and their relationship was a source of great amusement for me growing up.


Gene and Majel will be blasted into space together in 2014.  The pair will be accompanied by messages from cast, crew, fans and suporters of the Star Trek franchise. How unbelievably cool is that!

6)    Johnny Cash and June Carter

Most people know this beautiful story.


I won’t bang on about it, instead I’ll just share with you the super great song their relationship inspired Johnny to write:

Walk the Line is one of the all time best songs ever written.

And you know what… because of her, he did walk the line.  He cleaned up after years of battling with addiction.

Love their story.  Always in awe of the legacy that their music left, and how many borders and genres it crosses, and how many souls it touches and lives it affects.  Thanks guys.  I mean that.

7)    Voltaire and Emilie du Chatelet


I thought it was important to put a couple in that was less than conventional by Orthodox standards.

Voltaire and Emilie were not married, and continued their long and fruitful romantic, physical, intellectual and professional relationship under the watchful eye of Emilie’s patient husband (an arranged marriage which she was very fortunate to have made) Marquis Florent-Claude du Chastellet-Lomon).

They had so much in common, not the least of which was a mutual respect and insatiable quest for knowledge.  They agreed on many things, and when they did not, they seemed to carry on an amazing and genuine respect for one another regardless.

Emilie was, inadvertently perhaps, a staunch feminist.  Thanks to her father’s salons, genius, and liberal and logical views, Emelie was one of the few women of the time to receive a higher education.

She was supported and admired by men throughout her life.  Treated as an equal.  And left a legacy that far surpasses her prolific repertoire of published works.

Throughout the passionate and long lived affair the couple were entirely indiscreet (even by the dismissive standards of the French court).  They were renowned for their public displays of affection and their  assertion that “rules were for other people”.


They met each others’ match in every sense and had a beautiful and awe inspiring Love.  They both knew countless languages and were prolific at maths, science, philosophy, everything really.  When they fought.  They fought in English!  I LOVE THAT!  If I was a massive intellectual, multilingual superhero, I think I’d fight in either French or German.

Voltaire and Chatelet were not a conventional or monogamous couple.  They both took many other lovers and Emilie died giving birth to a daughter that was the result of an affair with the poet Jean François de Saint-Lambert.

The child died roughly 18 months later.

Emilie was only 42.

8)    Nicholas and Alexandra


These two were another notorious couple of PDA lovers.  The Russian court did not lend itself to affection or any weakness, perceived or otherwise.

By many accounts, Alexandra was a bit of a bully.  Many of us remember learning about the Russian revolution, and the execution of the entire Romanov family, orchestrated by Rasputin, who was invited in by Alexandra as an act of desperation to save her heamophiliac son.

Nicholas was utterly dedicated to his socially awkward and overly ambitious and enthusiastic wife.  Alexandra, aware of her alienation set about to becoming more Russian than Russians in order to win a place in the hearts and minds of the court and the people.

Nicholas did try to appease his country and his wife.  Many accounts portray him to be a gentle family man.  Not interested in the lavishness of court or hungry for power or influence.

Alexandra, however, had different ideas on these matters.  Sadly, without the support and owing in no small part to her prickly personality, her plans never did pan out.


As an act of desperation to cure her only son she got wrapped up with that dodgy dude Rasputin and her entire family (except some believe Anastasia) were shot on July 17th 1918.  I already said that didn’t I?  Sorry, its been a long day…

These two adored each other.  Nicholas was a sweet and dedicated husband to his arguably pushy and misguided wife.   He Loved her, probably knowing full well, that most people did not feel the same way.

The tragedy of their story to me is not her unsuccessful quest for power and repute, but the fact that they would have been a perfectly happy and normal couple had they not been cursed with the burden of royalty.  Having greatness thrust upon them and being prey to a tragedy of errors and circumstance ripped them from a long and healthy life together as a family which they no doubt would have enjoyed had they been born to more common stock.

Sigh.  That’s the thing about history isn’t it… We can look back a century later at the what-ifs and re-create a happier ending for the protagonists in our own minds.


That’s all folks.

Tune in later this week for my first instalment of “Leading Ladies in my Life” where I’ll tell you all about a couple of Lawyers Ladies I know and how much I have learned from their friendship and influence.

Have a great rest of the week everyone.