On Sunday, we saw a band of people get together to create #twittersilence in protest against the spate of abuse, bomb and rape threats directed at female writers, journalists and politicians.
I don't condemn anyone if that was what they chose to do - your Twitter, your opinion, your life, your way of dealing with things.
But it wasn't for me. I just don't get the idea of being silent. I don't get what it was hoping to achieve. Especially as a minute past midnight some of those who had chosen to take part came back with more tales of the above threats.
Doesn't silence mean we're giving into the these sad, lowlife losers who get their kicks from trolling and threatening? Doesn't silence equal fear? Isn't that exactly what those people want?
I understand that changes need to be made - no one should be allowed to make another person's life a misery through fear or stalking - I get that. But this isn't about introducing an 'abuse button' on Twitter - which I think will end up being the most 'abused button' ever. This is about making sure that threats, lies, hounding and stalking are taken seriously and dealt with swiftly. With Twitter I would imagine that, now they've recruited so many new members of staff, it's a fairly straightforward process but we also need to consider the saddos who make it their life's work on other platforms such as blogs. Temporary IP addresses (VPM's) need to be denied to private individuals - it's an oversight that will lead to further mischief and abuse. Why should any honest, decent person need to shroud their internet activities if they have nothing to hide? Why should that be an option?
I haven't been threatened and I hope I never will but I know what it's like to have someone so wound up by your very existence that they feel they have to keep trying to stick the knife in - where they just don't want to let it lie, move on and get on with their own life.
It's annoying - in the same way as a fly you want to swat or a constant dripping tap - but it's also intriguing. What have I done to upset my own stalker so much? What's their real problem with me? I know it's not someone who knows me in real life - although they like to pretend that they do - so why do they feel that they need to spend so much time on following my every move and condemning me for it?
The facts are these:
*We sent our son to private school - big deal!
*We struggled to keep him there when our circumstances changed but we did it and we're proud. It was worth every minute of the worry.
*He suffered from school phobia - a very REAL condition - which, with our support, he overcame.
*He was not bullied - EVER.
*We appeared on 'This Morning' and in 'The Daily Mail' to help other kids - I met with three other families face-to-face and had email contact with many others who thanked us for highlighting this condition.
*I write popular chicklit novels - two of which are based on my observations of certain types of mothers and show them up for what they are, in a tongue and cheek manner. Most of my reviews are 5* - nuff said.
*I made good friends with parents at my son's prep school and his secondary school. The decent ones!
*I am a size 38C bust and I wear size 12 jeans - I'm not fat or skinny. I am most definitely not 'corpulent'!
*I eat chocolate and crisps! Who doesn't? Unless of course you're a lettuce leaf sniffer as featured in the Mummy Misfit books.
*I smoke - disgusting but true. Not a cheap brand though - cos I ain't a cheap kinda gal!
*My kitchen is painted in 'Tapestry Thread' - a period colour. Not nicotine or menstrual.
*My family - those close to me - and my friends, are incredibly proud of me. I don't embarrass anyone. It's far worse to go around leaving 'anon' comments on blogs - does my stalker proudly tell their family and friends what they've done? Being a writer is a massive achievement - being an anonymous bully is not.
* I am very happily married - I love, live with and laugh with my soul mate. I count my lucky stars every single day that I'm married to such a wonderful man.
So that's me, in a nutshell. The me that drives someone nuts! They've been reported and I will track them down and shut them up. I don't publish their comments on my blog any more because that would give a voice to their lies. But I always respond to them.
Because, in short, I won't be silenced.