Some friends persuaded me to check out a couple of social media community groups, whereby some members ask questions and others answer, or recommendations can be solicited, or grievances can be aired.
I've snooped around two such forums, and was added by a moderator I don't know, but who must believe that everyone can add something valuable.
Sadly, in real life, that is not the case. I continue to be amazed how quickly an innocent "conversation" can turn nasty.
If you "do" social media, you know what I mean.
Who ARE these snarky people? Why, they are our neighbors - yours and mine.
Recently on one page, William from Boston asked the "transplants" in the general population of the page "How happy are you with your relocation?" He indicated he is considering a move south when he retires soon.
I was astounded by some of the negative remarks I read! Apparently, one poster was so vehemently ugly that she was booted off the page. I didn't see what she wrote, but someone else suggested she needed to hug a puppy and chill out.
Of course, people are expected to voice their opinions - that's why the page exists. But to those whose opinions complain about how boring, slow, pitiful, lacking, etc., this little slice of heaven is, my opinion is: "If you hate it so much here, please leave!"
Thankfully, there were a number of quite positive responses, lauding our community, its beauty, neighborliness, and lack of snow.
But more than one person said there is nothing cultural to do here. Well, that is just not true - one glance at the arts calendar in this newspaper will prove it.
Many commenters were vocal about other aspects of the community: The restaurants are mediocre to horrible. Healthcare is pitiful. Traffic is unbelievable. (Really? Compared to D.C. or Atlanta? Or Boston?)
One smarty-pants even said "We are full. Stay in Boston." (I think that person was joking, but I'm not sure.) Another said something along the lines of "All you people moving here are driving up our prices."
I wanted to reply to the man, who certainly got an ear full, that we aren't as backward, as slack, as horrid as some would have him believe. But I feared reprisal from the wolves of hate.
So I thought I'd do it here. Maybe it will remind all of us of the benefits and blessings of living in the Lowcountry.
Dear William from Boston,
Congratulations on your coming retirement! I'm glad you are considering the coast of South Carolina for your next big adventure. My Lowcountry is a fabulous place to live, play, work, raise a family, and someday retire.
I guarantee you won't be disappointed or bored. Here's a short list of why: Art in all its glorious forms, from canvas to pottery to dance to symphony, with a healthy mix of rock, folk and Americana); history (Gullah, Civil War, Harriett Tubman, Reconstruction); amazing nature, from graceful herons and magnificent eagles to gnarly alligators, gorgeous trees, white sand beaches; cuisine of every description, breweries, distilleries, tea and coffee; religious diversity, churches, synagogues, Buddhists, Sikhs, Unitarians and more; sunrise over the beach, sunset over the rivers; and so much more.
But mostly, it's the people (who sometimes get weird online) that make it great. My neighbors are a delightful mix of multi-cultural wonders - black, white, brown, tan and olive - in all shades and hues; old and young; gay and straight; liberal and conservative; wealthy and needy; working, volunteering and retired.
If you choose to move here, most of us will welcome you. Just don't bring that snow with you.