A few years ago, a friend of mine named Cheryl started a group page on Facebook about Caln. She called it Caln Watch. It was started because basically that township is run like Shady Dell Acres. (Yes I can indeed have that opinion.) Meetings weren’t being recorded regularly back then, etc. Lloyd Farmhouse had been sold to a developer (who is still allowing that historically listed farmhouse rot.) Basically she tried to start a page that did right by her community.
But community on social media is not necessarily the people whom you wish to share a cup of coffee with and face it, people can and are as rude as F. My friend is in her 70s, widowed, and with a huge heart and a moral compass that actually always points to trying to do the right thing. So imagine how sad I was that people have been so terrible to her and rude that she felt she had to post this in her group:
THE COMPLAINT about CALN WATCH:~ Cheryl Spaulding 6/28/23 Caln Watch
Mark Walsh posted a complaint about this page. I cannot find it, but I am happy to respond. I suppose the key question about what content SHOULD be in Caln Watch depends upon two things, your definition of what Caln IS, and what that looks like here. When I think of Caln and this page, I think of it as essentially a local newspaper. Once upon a time, millions of years ago, I wrote for the Daily Local News. Not long, not important stuff, human interest stuff they sent me out to cover. I like that kind of thing. People liked what I wrote. Also once upon a time in Caln, there used to be FOUR relevant local papers. One in Coatesville, one in Downingtown, one that covered both, including Caln (Thorndale) and the Daily Local News. The only one left is the DLN and it’s pretty much useless. Those papers used to cover all kinds of things in our area. They actually had reporters who attended most of the township meetings and reported on them. ALL the townships locally and most meetings. Can you imagine that? They reported on local kids that won awards and sports teams. They reported on places of interest, restaurants, etc. And yes, they commented politically. I think that the loss of newspapers has affected all of us because, in truth, we know very little about the place we live and our neighbors. We are bombarded all the time in papers, on the TV, on the internet about state and national, and international news and things we can do nothing about. I do not believe that has helped our society and I believe it is the source of our distrust and hatred of each other.
So, why do I post what I do post? Well, I would love to have a nice staff of folks to send out to cover things and post more about our community. Things we don’t know about and we would love to know about. I am just one person. I am retired, so I have more time than most of you to try and figure out what is going on in Caln. I attend most Twp. meetings so I can tell you what YOUR government is up to. I welcome input from local businesses we can go to. I encourage all to post events for the same reason. I post those lost pets AND kids because we ARE a community that can come together to help. I post those lists of pasta, etc. because some of our people love to cook. Lists like those are hard to find. It’s not important stuff, but believe it or not, I get a lot of thanks for them.
So yes, indeed, Caln Watch is both wide and narrow. It is a reflection of my interests or what I can find to post and that may well not jibe with your interest. I get it. And yes, sometimes things get my goat and I post because I am angry or concerned about an issue. Think of it as the Editorial section. Editorials exist to make people think. Pro and Con. If it made you think, then it succeeded.
IF one day I win the lottery, which is highly unlikely since I rarely play, but IF it happened and I was one of those multi.. multi-million winners, one of the first things I would do is start a REAL newspaper for us. Online, but a real FREE newspaper with real reporters assigned to work for us. In the meantime, yes, indeed, this is a poor substitute for that. It’s the best I can do. It is not enough. It is too much. It is too biased. It is not biased enough. It’s good and it is bad.
We have grown to more than 4,000 members with more than 3,500 who regularly stop by to see what might be of interest. I will never be able to satisfy all of you. I cannot and no newspaper can. And I would LOVE to change the name of Caln Watch to something more like a newspaper…maybe The Caln Dispatch. Unfortunately, Facebook will not allow me to do that. So we are stuck with that.
Newspapers are living breathing things….with two sides.
As for me who produces this page….I have lived in Caln Township since July of 1978, coming up on my 45-year anniversary. I have raised 3 children here and 8 grandchildren. I will turn 77 years old in Dec. I have more years invested in Caln than most of you. Caln Watch is in a way, a gift to all of you. If you do not feel that way. If you hate what I write, well, don’t belong. But don’t throw rocks at each other or at me. Just say you don’t agree or don’t like it. I get that. I accept that. What I won’t accept is hatred and meanness. Be kind, even when you disagree. And yes, I could use a dose of that medicine myself sometimes. On the other hand, if you like some of what I post. If I have made you aware of something you didn’t know. If I have made you think, well then, that is all I can ask for.
As for YOU. I would love to see people post more about Caln. I am happy businesses post, but you have families. You have children who have gotten awards, play sports, do things. Post. There are anniversaries. Babies are born. Friends and family die. Post. You have interests, what are they? Post. The more YOU post, the less I will need to and that would be welcomed.
And so, this is my reply. And now there will be comments. And some will be mean no matter what. The world it seems, is too full of mean people.
With regards, Cheryl
Oh I get where she’s coming from. I get it. I get obnoxious comments like she experiences and occasionally threats. People seem to think that because they are a member of a group or on a page on Facebook they should be able to be as vile as they choose instead of scrolling past what doesn’t interest them or they don’t agree with. It always seems to escape these fine upstanding keyboard warriors that it isn’t their personal page or group, so they are essentially there because whomever runs it allows them. It is actually a guest relationship. Not a divine right of kings.
I found the comment she referenced. Facebook/Meta does make life difficult at times and even if you haven’t deleted a post as an administrator, sometimes their blasted algorithms make it difficult to find something even if you wrote it yourself.
So this spawned comments because with some it’s like a virtual car wreck and they can’t scroll by they have to verbally vomit:
I only shared a selection. You get the gist. So let’s talk about the other Caln group page. It’s also a closed group that I have no interest in, and here’s it’s premise:
Funny thing is this person seemingly started a group that has as it’s raison d’être to mock my friend Cheryl and call her a Karen, etc., yet guess what? There they are in the original group Caln Watch she started:
Cheryl is much nicer than I am, I would just remove them from everything . Apparently people complain about her administering her group how she feels is the best way is for her – you know because it’s her group page – and they complain and start a SECOND group because they can do it better yet they stay in her group? Alrighty then. Pretzel logic hooray!
(Gosh I bet these people just love NextDoor. But I digress.)
Now this second closed group page has a super fan:
A social media train wreck watching what they feel is a social media train wreck? Gosh. The drama. The spelling. The grammar police need to be phoned immediately!!!
But hey it’s a Facebook group. Misplaced senses of false entitlement with a distinct lack of awareness abound.
Here’s a thought: instead of being rude to a 70 something year old woman who always tries to do right by her community, just don’t belong to the group, don’t follow the group. It’s not your group, it’s hers. Are you all following?
When we are in someone else’s group public or private, it’s not ours, it’s THEIRS. It’s the same with pages. The admins/creators control the content, they add and delete whatever they so choose. We are all just guests. Guess what? Cheryl is my friend and I don’t agree with everything she posts but I don’t take it as a personal affront because it’s HER group page. I can just scroll by.
Why am I commenting about this and writing about it? Because I find it appalling the way people act on Facebook and this is a great example. Pennsyltucky is as Pennsyltucky does.
Cheryl Spaulding should be thanked for all she does for her community and all she and her husband did together. If you don’t like her group, actually leave it. But show some respect. She’s earned it.
Ok over and out for this latest social media manners tour and Facebook behavior mocking.