So let me start this piece by saying thank you to everyone who has been reading my content and reaching out with their reactions.

Now I know you saw this coming....BUT...and it is a pretty big but.

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Over the past few months, I have written quite a few opinion and reactionary pieces that have garnered attention.

Let me give you some specific examples so you can understand what I am talking about:

Gross! Am I The Only One Who Thinks People Shouldn’t Go Barefoot On Our Jersey Shore, NJ Boardwalks?

Delaware Wants To Combine With New Jersey To Become One State & I Am Just Like “Um, No?”

SUMMER REMINDER: Don’t Hit The Brakes At EZ Pass Tolls On Garden State Parkway

Some people agree and they explain why. Some people disagree and they explain why.

I have, with open arms, accepted both.

And I must say...I have had some pretty open and honest email exchanges with people about the topics listed above and it has been rather refreshing.

Here is where my problem lies.

Some of the messages I am receiving messages from those who disagree with my thoughts and opinions that are insulting me as a person.

Here are a few examples and no, I will not being revealing people's identities. Negative behavior such as this does not deserve more individual attention:

"You are no one and will never be anyone worthy of importance and that is just a plain fact." (Well, you may not think I am important but my mom, my friends and my dog sure thinks so)

"You live New Jersey which is a real sh*thole state...probably because you live there." (Jersey lovers...do your thing with this one)

"You are one of the main reasons we have all of the problems we do in this country so quit blabbering out of your ass and keep quiet." (I have a right to my opinion and to voice it, and that's that)

And these are just a few of the messages that have gone unanswered.

I am the first to say that there are a few topics that I am very passionate about and it can be tough to hear about when others disagree. (I.e. LGBTQ, Gender Rights etc.)

However, it is very unfortunate that people hurling insults at those who do not carry the same opinions or views seems to be a recurring theme in our culture.

You don't have to love me. You don't even have to like me or what I say. But you do have to respect me.

I see it on social media all the time and at that point, I don't even bother.

So first: To get so angry over a reactionary piece where I get frustrated because people slow down too much on the GSP or I get grossed out by bare feet? I'd like to think that you have bigger fish to fry.

Second: There are a lot of "sides" in this world and they will never all transform into one. But hurling insults at those with opposing views will only make them shut down and not listen to your valid points.

Keep the insults to yourself. Try giving your actual opinion...straightforward with evidence and you will find that you will get a lot farther with your argument.

Third: I am a tough chick but people forget that words hurt. Phrases like this can really send people into a dark place so whether it is political, social justice or a discussion over beach etiquette, there is never a justifiable reason to be sending messages like those written above.

And if you do feel the need to write them, I feel sorry for you because you are hurling insults from behind a computer screen.

Share your opinions. Have these conversations - no matter how difficult or uncomfortable.

But I say again...keep your insults to yourself. There is enough negativity out there already....we don't need anymore.

And I thank you.

Nicole S. Murray

The Joyous Jersey Shore and Why We Love it: From A to Z

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