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Be Kind.

Some people might say I am a Pollyanna, but I prefer to believe in the good in people. I have always gravitated toward good-hearted, honest, NO DRAMA people. I have no interest in gossiping about others and I deplore that “sport” in others. 

As my children were growing up, I never accepted the invitations to “Margarita Mondays” with other mothers of their classmates because I didn’t want to participate in talking about the kids or their families.

The gossip mill is toxic and I refused to be a part of it.

I still pretty much only hang with a handful of friends I’ve known since I was young. We are of like minds. We are fiercely supportive and protective of each other. We do not gossip with or about each other. It’s simple really … we lift each other up, not drag each other down.

Looking back, I think it started for me with my mother and grandmother. My grandmother used to always say “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything.” I worked hard to pass that lesson onto my children, as well as not gossiping or disparaging others. Work on your own behavior … set the tone.

Why is this such a novel idea in today’s world?

I received an email recently that was really quite upsetting. I intentionally stay kind of on the surface of social media, because I like it for sharing good things and want no part of the negativity (see my Grandmother’s advice above). But, it was brought to my attention that some fans have been getting into arguments on Twitter over what’s happening with Steve and Kayla. We all have different opinions, but arguing about stories and fighting over what Steve and Kayla do or say, or how they react to something. That is so upsetting to me.

First, although Stephen and I fight for our characters’ point of view, it’s ultimately a scripted show and our job is to “make it work” with the material we are given. We are passionate fans of these characters too, but some things are not in our control. 

We love that Steve & Kayla fans are so passionate about these characters and their love story. And I’m happy to see the “community” that has developed as a result. I’ve always been so proud that these characters have brought people together, but to learn that the opposite is happening is honestly disheartening. With so much heartbreak and craziness going on in the world around us, I want to believe this show and this couple are things that bring people together … not add to the nastiness that can sometime take place online.

I hope that anyone who has read posts here at PLANK or seen interviews with me in the past understands the kind of person I am … the way I try to live my life.

Kindness does matter. The things we say (or post on Twitter or Instagram) matter. 

Twitter groups, boards and fan clubs should be fun, supportive places to connect with people and have fun conversations. The idea that these could instead become places to shun or bad mouth people is just appalling and goes against everything I believe.

So, for me … and in the name of Kayla (who is a better person than me), … please keep it fun and supportive. Enjoy the camaraderie and leave the nastiness where it belongs – in the garbage can.

35 Comments

  1. ILoveMySnK

    I’m having a hard time staying silent about this post. I’ve drafted many replies in my mind. Each with varying tone. But I just can’t seem to let it go. It’s just been bothering me so much.

    I finally typed out a response & submitted it for review to friends because I needed objectivity. Do I just let it go and deal with it or post…. I’m posting:

    This post has been on my mind a great deal since last week. It’s always a great reminder to be kind in our everyday activities and certainly online. Hiding behind a mask of anonymity does not make it okay for anyone to be mean or to bully. That said the written word is always susceptible to the tone being misconstrued. Combine that with the limited number of characters allowed on Twitter for one to express their thoughts, and there is inevitably going to be misunderstanding. It happens, and it will always happen. That’s a fact. However, the email reminds me of something my 4 year old would do. Except this person didn’t tattle to a teacher or parent; no, she did something so completely inappropriate, I just don’t have the words. Last time I checked, an actor’s job didn’t include babysitting his/her fans online. We’re all adults. Let’s act like it, but IDK, maybe that’s just my opinion(?) But thanks to this person for making sure MB will most definitely lessen (yes, even less than what’s already happening) the amount of time she spends on SM – Note to reader: read that with a huge amount of sarcasm.

    Twitter has quite a few great options if you’re unhappy with what someone is saying. I’ve used most. First, if you don’t like what someone is saying UNFOLLOW them. If you’re not following them and they just like to poke at you and aggravate, then BLOCK is your friend. You can also mute any conversation you’re sick of seeing come through your feed. Finally, if it is that bad, you can always REPORT the person to Twitter. Nowhere in here do I see tattle tale to a star of a TV show.

    Now, all of this being said, the S&K fans who are also MBE & SN fans are some of the nicest people I’ve ever encountered. The S&KTG tries to embody what MB “preaches” – to be kind. Are we perfect? Of course not, but we always precede a Twitter Blast/Storm whatever you want to call it, with reminders that the tweets need to remain positive– sometimes we say the tweets should be all “sweetness & light”. This doesn’t mean that we’re always happy with what’s happening. These last few weeks are a prime example. Many are so frustrated with the lack of airtime for our faves. But, guess what, it’s okay to be frustrated. It’s okay to voice our frustrations and our opinions. It’s okay to debate story lines. It’s okay to even take sides….You know a story is well written when you can see both sides to a conflict and when the conflict causes debate. That’s what makes it exciting that’s what makes it, wait for it, a SOAP people. It’s a TV show with characters that we care a helluva lot about, but it’s a TV show. So anyone taking what’s happening to these fake people so seriously that they feel the need to spew hatefulness and meanness, has much bigger issues than those surrounding the show. I for one am keeping my drama on my TV and not in my Twitter feed. That’s just the way I like it, but again, maybe that’s just me.

    • Preach it my sista (and I mean my sister – cuz you are in the absolute most literal meaning MY sister). Hiding behind the anonymity of SM is cowardice, tattling is childish. I’ve seen so much hatred spewed it wears me out. I won’t watch the news, I won’t watch hardly any TV, SM is my outlet and to see it invade where it’s supposed to be fun, just crawls all over me. I for one NEED the laughter and the smiles the S&KTG brings and to have the other bring it down is disheartening to say the least. Let’s just all play nice in the Twitter sandbox, shall we???? Much love, peace and #kindeness <3 – IdrnkSnKkookaid

  2. Iris Cohen

    Hi Mary Beth,
    You are the epitome of class and empathy. I just treasure reading your blogs. They are inspirational and so thought provoking. Though I am not on Twitter, your words are completely true and should be taken to heart. I am sorry that some tweets have had negative connotations. Tweets about you, the characters, and the show should only be positive. I want Days to stay on the air forever.
    Speaking for myself, I know everyone just wants the best for the show and for every actor to stay on as long as /he wants to. I believe all fans of Days of our Lives just want the show to provide balance for all of the characters in meaningful storylines. We know the actors, writers, and producers. et al just want the show to succeed and work very hard for that to happen.
    I have watched Days since the mid 80’s and to even think I would ever be able to write to you is so surreal to me. But because of the person you are and the way you connect with your fans, makes me feel comfortable writing my thoughts. You are just as nice as Kayla too! I am so glad you will be at Day of Days this year. Though I am always so nervous when I see you, you are always so gracious and kind. I just wanted you to know that how much you are admired and respected. I hope I can “be” as “kind” as you are. Thank you for being such a good person and a wonderful actress.
    bye, Iris

  3. Georgia L

    Words so true Mary Beth.

    I have been blessed with a wonderful marriage. And in these 18 years I can count on one hand the times we have argued.

    But that would make such BORING daytime drama!

    I have been a fan of Steve and Kayla since the 80s and have loved watching them go through the ebbs and flows of their relationship. Now that is DRAMA.

    There are much more important things in this world that we should be getting worked up about.

  4. Cindi Freeburn

    Wow! I don’t participate in any Twitter groups and was unaware of the issue you’re raising. However, hearing what you have to say only deepens my respect for you as a person. Thank you for speaking so candidly to your fans and for attempting to elevate the discourse among your followers. Hopefully your the wisdom you imparted will encourage folks to live up to the character of the person who “portrays” Kayla. Thank you for being the moral leader of the pack!

    Best Always, Cindi

  5. Mary beth
    So sorry that you were involved in the negativity. You and Steven are two of the kindness people I know. I try to spread kindness by wearing my “kindness matters” shirt. I pray that something good will come from this, and that each of us will examine ourselves to see how we can make the world a better place. Maybe a smile, hug handshake or kind word can make a difference in someone’s life.

  6. Mary Beth,

    It’s very disheartening to see the negativity on
    social media. I know it’s discouraged me & I had to
    take a step back for a while.
    Reading your blog today reminds us just how important
    kindness is.

    By following you & Stephen (and my love for S&K) I’ve gotten
    to know & become great friends with some special people.
    I’m here to have fun! I’m always here to support my favs 🙂

    I can’t say enough how much I love your blogs.

    Thank you!

  7. Stacey AKA BraveWidowMama

    Thank you so much for posting this. I experienced a little of this and it just makes me want to retreat. I have lots of good memories of watching the show when I was in my late teen years and was happy to “meet” people who shared the same memories. I have “met” some very nice people and just steer clear of the negative people..as I do in my life.

    People seem to give themselves permission to be much meaner online than they ever would in person. I always have sympathy for these people because I know that they must be awfully miserable on the inside. Negativity feeds on itself and hate breeds hate.

    Soap operas appeal to me because they are pure escapism. The stories are so far from real life and I love it! I love sitting down after a long day and taking that time for myself to escape.

    Trust me folks when I say…don’t sweat the small stuff…love you family and friends fiercely…focus on the positive.

    Thank you so much Mary Beth for providing me with my daily “me” time and for being so positive. It is refreshing.

  8. Mary Beth,
    I will never forget when I took a chance to travel to LA with people I didn’t know personally to meet you. It was the trip of a lifetime. As a fourth generation Days watcher, you can only imagine the my family’s excitement about me getting the opportunity to go. It is something that even makes our relationship more tight knit, and I thank you and the entire cast and crew for that..and NBC of course!!:)

    With all that being said, I believe we are all passionate about the show in our own ways, but its mind bottling that this “passion” has led to negativity and hurtful exchanges between people hiding behind a cell phone or computer. It weighs me down, and there have been times that I admit that I have been guilty of being filled with negative energy and allowing it consume. My mom and I are fans of totally different characters on the show, but we know at the end of the day it takes an entire cast to make a show and we should always support the entire canvas. I remember being that 14 year old that was heartbroken when Steve and Kayla left the canvas.. and I remember the pure joy I felt when you and Stephen returned. I know fans are not always happy with certain stories, but I cant imagine the pressure the writers have to write for everyone. I know what it feels like as a fan to see shows go such as One Life to Live, and Guiding Light. It was heart wrenching, so I chose to be grateful. Grateful that Days airs everyday! Grateful that you and Stephen are there! Grateful to the writers! Grateful to the cast and crew! There’s so much that we have to be thankful for instead of complaining. I’m speaking to myself. We all know that daytime is the toughest acting job out there. We’ve all heard so many of you tell us how challenging but rewarding it can be. Lets be grateful for this show, support this genre and the people that entertain us day in an day out.

    You’re such a positive person, and I thank you for your example. Thank you for this blog today. Its an incredible wake up call for us all. XX

  9. Great blog as always! So happy to have it back!!! I agree with you Marybeth❤ You are such an inspiration and I strive everyday to spread Kindness and to find good in everyone also!

    • That was so touching. I love you & your character & Respect you and Steve. I named my son after Stephen aka Patch. I loved watching you and Steve. I dont have drama. I avoid commenting on something people disagree on because they attack you for commenting. God stops me from doing or saying negative things. I have just God, my dogs & Days of Our Lives as family. God Bless you.

  10. Peggy Hynote

    Mary Beth, thank you for your inspiring message and for sharing your talent, your generosity, and your heart with us.

  11. Patricia Kominowski

    I really applaud you Mary Beth for this blog. Sadly, I have witnessed a lot of the negativity on social media (twitter mainly) . I have chosen not to get involved in the negativeness.
    I am proud to be one of the original #SnKTwittergroup and I have made amazing friendships that I cherish. These treasures friendships I have made – I have YOU and Stephen to thank. This is the part of social media that I only want to be part of – the postive side. So, I will continue to support my tweeps and You and Stephen in a positive way. I hope others will as well.

  12. I don’t believe for a minute you’re not as good a person as Kayla 🙂
    There were some heated debates during Steve and Kayla’s recent fallout from the Tripp reveal. I witnessed some of it and for the most part I stayed away from engaging with anyone who is rude and nasty. I think fans love these characters so much and when someone is attacking them things can get heated. I try to remember daily to turn the other cheek.
    You’ve been an inspiration to me since I began following Steve and Kayla again. Whenever I feel myself wanting to say something nasty about someone or getting upset at work with someone I try and remember your words.
    Thank you for being you.

    ML

  13. Cindy Nelson

    Mary Beth spot on! I love that you posted this in PLANK. I want to say thank you for opening this up, directing my thinking to be more kind to all around me. I love the friends that I have made and all the conversations that we have had throughout the short year that I have been on twitter and IG with the S&K group. I have found myself less interested in the comments and post on these social media outlets in the past few months because of the negativity and disagreements about opinions. My personality does not always let me walk away when someone is attacking my opinion, and I found myself engaging in the negativity and I simply got tired of it. And then to hear that it was in the light of loving and respecting the characters that the bashing of others was taking place. Lets face it we all have an opinion and I have chosen to keep mine more to myself more than ever, and after the PLANK today I am looking deep within my self to see where I have to change to be that person that shares kindness and speaks positively and not just just be a cheek and tongue person, because I think it will get a shout out from you or a like, but I need to walk the walk and become the person that is respected for being a person. I have said many times that PLANK speaks to me personally every time a post comes out, and once again this time it did. I know what a change the #KindnessIs campaign changed my your classroom this time last year, so I am going to take the advice of your mother and grandmother because it is the same that was given to me by my mom and grandmother…….if you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. #kindnessonly is what can make a difference in so many situations and through your PLANK I discovered that and will set myself on that path again.

  14. Jen Luisi

    Wohoo! Great blog MB ❤

  15. Kecia Appleby

    I am really glad you “went there” with your blog. It has been so disheartening to read some of the things posted on social media lately. I have been a Steve and Kayla follower and Stephen and Mary Beth fan for 75% of my life. I have met some terrific people….from the days of the Lakeside Association, to The Crystal Tree and now the S&K Twitter group. Some of these women are my best friends….we have stood up for each other in our weddings!!! I chose to focus on the positive and let the negative go. As a Preschool teacher, I teach kindness and bucket filling everyday. This world needs more kindness!! Thanks again for just being you!!

  16. For those of us who read this and said “Amen” you are speaking to the choir. The first challenge of course is to live with kindness and gratitude. The hardest part is to reach those who need to change their ways and stop the ugliness, hate and judgement. Of course it starts with ourselves but how do we make it infectious?

  17. Cindy Martinez

    Keep it classy people. Love all the kind and positive people I’ve met through this S&K community. While we love our Great escape we try and stay rooted in reality and try to make reality a happier place.

  18. I think it’s great that you are reaffirming for everyone what you stand for, Mary Beth. It’s a shame that such controversy erupted on Twitter, but I find that medium in particular can be very cutthroat. I was involved in message boards in the early days of aol and they also were very cutthroat as well and, to use your words for sport!! However, I have been fortunate enough to interact with wonderful people in your fan base and I’m certain that will continue. I suspect a number of the fans who might have crossed the line are coming from a place of being very passionate about the couple, but somehow kindness and diplomacy went out the window. Social media is funny. You’re “meeting” and interacting with a whole bunch of people you never knew before, but then are somehow surprised when the fundamental differences between us come to the surface. I think social media can ultimately be part of the “good in the world” but there are some growing pains to go through.

  19. Christie L

    Lady, you sure have eyes and ears everywhere! This behavior has been an issue for a lot of us. Thanks for taking the lead. Further, I’m sorry, but I’d take you over Kayla any day. I’m so happy to have plank back.

  20. Great blog today Marybeth! You speak the truth “if you have nothing kind to say, then don’t say anything” especially on a public forum! As others have said Twitter, IG etc. Is my entertainment & I’ve come to know some awesome people thru social media, I hate logging on & seeing a bunch of negativity being spewed, Days has been my escape from my real problems for over 30yrs & it’s ridiculous that people are saying unkind things to each other over what a fictitious character is doing! Any real fan knows how much you & Stephen love & root for Steve & Kayla but at the end of the day your actors doing a job that you’ve hired to do & most of the time have no control over what direction the show is taking your character in! You have always been so kind to share some of your personal life as well as BTS Days stuff so I hope you continue to that & I’m sorry you had to be a part of someone’s unkind words.

  21. Great message Mary Beth! It makes me sad that this even had to be said! I too keep my circle small and try very hard to avoid the gossip train. I’ve had to quit groups, boards I’ve been on etc…to stay away from it. It amazes me how many people thrive on this. Keep on spreading the love. You are seriously the most positive, motivating person I’ve never met! 😁❤️

  22. Susan Nolen (suzzy1969)

    Thank you for today’s blog. I’m in total agreement with you Mary Beth!….Thank you for always being an inspiration to me and for always spreading love, kindness and goodness!

  23. Wow…this is interesting.. and sad that it is happening. I think some people forget this is a show and Steve and Kayla aren’t “real people”. You’re just reading the words written by others. Sure us fans want you to be happy and everything but if there was no conflict and discord there would be no show.
    I do not like people who gossip. My husband grew in in a very small town (2000 people) and gossiping was their entertainment! When we would go visit we would know everything about everyone! I also follow the rule that it you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all. I have taught my children that also. We do slip up once in a while like the last time we were all together my daughter started to say something about a coworker and my 5year old great grandson speaks up and says “ if it’s not nice don’t say it”. Lol

  24. Well said! Thank you.

  25. Ok so first of all you should give yourself some credit – you’re just as good of a person if not better than Kayla 🙂 You don’t have your life scripted, remember? Yes, there’s a group of us that adore the Steve and Kayla couple and you and Stephen Nichols that portray them – immensely lol. But we also know it’s fiction, those of us with our feet on the ground anyways. We see and thoroughly appreciate ALL that you two put into your characters and the love you show your fans. It’s sad that so many think they can hide behind the mask of social media. Yet, in these sad few months, it’s social media that’s provided me with this group of friends (that I’ll get to meet at DOD) that have given me the support I’ve needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other. So, MBE, keep being YOU. We ignore the hate as much as we can and know you do too. You INSPIRE each of us – THANK YOU! – @Idrnksnkkoolaid

  26. Nancy McCarthy

    I am actually very relieved this has been brought to your attention. I hope everyone reads this and really hears it. It was almost 3 years ago when this S&K twitter group started to form. At first it was just a few fans sharing memories of Steve & Kayla. Reliving the old days by tweeting little YouTube videos of the 80s. It was fun to tweet about it and share the good old days with fellow fans. Little did I know, we would actually become friends. Meeting for weekends, flying out to LA to meet you & Stephen, and going to some great events. Great, great memories were made. Honestly some of the best times in my life & fast/fun friendships were formed. But I have to say, in the past few months I have purposely stayed away from Twitter. The negativity is just too much. That’s not what this was about. Not the group that started almost 3 years ago anyway. Of course, as a Steve & Kayla fan, I’m disappointed that I’m not seeing you & Stephen much right now, but getting on social media to bitch and complain about it is not the answer. Like your grandmother (and mine) said, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Let’s try to build people up, instead of tear them down!

    • Ditto what Nancy said! Our Twitter group was always referred to being the sweetest Tweeps like the characters we adored. I wish for every “member” to continue that approach of kindness & when necessary, just taking the high road. Let our little guilty pleasure be a place for fun & sunshine. 😊

  27. Thank you for this. Yes. ❤️

  28. Hank you so very much for sharing this blog Mary Beth! I got onto social media several years ago after I stopped working because of you and Stephen. I don’t know if I was naive at first but over time I noticed more attacks over characters, stories and couples. Some were brutal with name calling etc. It was so disheartening to see. Sometimes it can be best to walk away from a disagreement or just say I respect your opinion. Time is short and what we need in this world is more respect and love not hate. Again this was greatly appreciated❤

  29. I’m so glad you posted this! I have met some pretty amazing people through you and our mutual love of Steve and Kayla. I came for the fun and to escape the stress of real life. Lately I’ve notice it get a lot more rough out there and so much drama. I have enough drama in my everyday life I don’t need it where it should be fun. I love my peeps and I love the show! I hope people take your advice and run with it! Thank you for always being such a positive light in a sometimes dark world ❤️

  30. Well said! I am in total agreement with
    you.

  31. Traci Whiting

    Love you MB!! I honestly didn’t even know about the “fights” on Twitter 😬 I hope whoever is a part of it stops because I don’t like that you’re upset.

  32. Lisa Carnevale

    Love this! Will share with my two daughters! Pass the kindness please!

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