Friday, July 12, 2013

Blogging Thoughts

This is going to be a two post day, with a regular post to come later. 

This morning, I wanted to make some comments about some blog posts I've read lately, but, even more so... about the comments that followed them. 

Twice, lately, I have read blog posts where a comment was made... or comments, plural... and the blogger felt compelled to defend her posts, or defend her actions.  

I admire them for defending themselves.  

On both blogs, however, there was a hailstorm of commenters who roundly criticized those who dared to criticize "their" bloggers...

The first was three weeks ago, and I was the hapless blogger who... agog at a picture I saw on the blog which I felt should never have been published .... typed a one line comment without thinking and incited a storm, literally a storm in which I was called names and told in no uncertain terms what should happen to me. 
I was aghast, both at the post and at the responses. 

I should not have made the comment... but, as I said... I typed first and thought later.  The lady had every right to put something on her blog she felt was okay, but I felt was horrible. 

Last night, I read the blog post of a lady whom I featured for a year in our right hand column on this blog.  I do not think she ever was aware we featured her... ours is not the kind of blog she reads, as she is mainly a design/decorative blog.  She is a wonderful writer, and a wonderful photographer, and has helped me several times in the past with questions I had about blogging.  She was generous with her advice to me and many others.  
Yesterday, she wrote about her disgust with those who criticize her blog and her actions on it. She feels that she has been the target of constant negative comments and she is tired of them.  

The response from some of  her readers sickened me.  They defended her by using curse words and threats against those who dared to criticize their "friend".  
It left me feeling horrible all evening. 

I sat and talked to Keith about it, because even though he does not comment a lot on the blog, he reads it daily and talks to me about it.  He is also very wise, and cuts to the chase through all kinds of stuff in the way. 
I asked him how people could become so strident and terrible. 

His explanation made me think about the comment I made 3 weeks ago... without thinking. 

He said the net has empowered us to act in ways that we would NOT do in person... we would never, ever think of saying some of the things I have seen on these two blogs recently to someone's own face. 
I am as guilty of it as those people who wrote those terrible curse words and threats, no matter how I felt about seeing the horrid picture on the lady's blog upon which I commented.  I made the comment... but, looking back... I should just have decided never, ever to open that blog again. 

A year or so ago, a good friend of mine, for, indeed, we make friends on the net, I am convinced of that... a blogging friend of mine was the recipient of numerous nasty comments.  She made her blog private, and only those to whom she issued invitations are allowed to see it.  She is the second of those I know who has done this.  I hope we may never have to do it, because we enjoy reading your comments,  and I have learned so VERY much from reading all your blogs, but boy, after reading the comments on the blog last night, I know why people no longer make their posts visible to everyone.

It has left me shaken, and made me think.  I'm going to try to always THINK before commenting... and hope that I haven't hurt people's feelings by what I have written.  

I agonized over whether to post this as I drove on an errand this morning.  
I decided to go ahead and do it, because I truly believe I am as guilty in my own way for posting without thinking, as those who made all the excoriating comments.  

Let's all just try to be nice to each other, and if you don't like/disagree with a blog... you have the power to never read it again! 


  1. Well said and you have hit the nail on the head. So often I offer my opinions on my blog and while I try not to ever offend, I know sometimes I do. I know that yes, I have a blog, it it public. It needs to be remembered. I think criticism is good because it teaches us to become better bloggers. But like you, I hope I never have to go underground.
    Well said

  2. Two main things have guided me in my posts and my comments (not that I don't stumble sometimes). 1) My parents (mom and step-dad) and sister read my blog, and 2) my mother always taught me to only write things – ANYthing – that I wouldn't be embarrassed for my dear grandma to read. Well, there IS the third thing: I do want to be a good ambassador for the Lord in all I do. Oh, then there's another principle I try to live by, which is to treat everyone as if they have thin skin and be thick-skinned (not easily offended) myself!

    1. Don't laugh, but one of the things I try to think of is "Would Michelle approve of this?"

    2. Well, it sure made my eyes widen!

  3. I think this was well said and well put. I've been lucky to not have problems like this so far. I don't restrain myself very often in things I post but there are plenty of things I don't. I do feel that a blog is very personal and very public and you have to know that as the blogger and the reader- it's unlikely we'll all agree with each other 100% of the time. I've seen plenty of things I didn't agree with, know I would have handled differently, or simply would not have shared on my blog anyway. When I see something I disagree with, I usually just don't comment, unless it's constructive. I think criticism can be good - but only if it's constructive, the fighting and nasty comments made towards bloggers and then the readers is just wrong. I don't agree and I just wouldn't engage in that. If it's something that really upsets me, I don't read the blog anymore. But I think we also have to keep in mind we are all different and see things that happen in the world differently. Good idea for a post, it's an interesting topic. Hopefully one most of us won't have to deal with too personally.

  4. I've been verbally attacked by two people lately, for posts they didn't approve of. At first, I posted their comments with the others, figuring that if they had the rope to hang themselves, why should I interfere. After some prayer and introspection, I realized that I knew where those people were coming from, and though they were completely out of line, nothing was to be gained by showing their rants to the world, so I deleted them. I DID reread my posts and decided that if people would take me to mean exactly what I say, instead of trying to insert their own unfortunate experiences into them, there should have been no problems with the posts. There are a lot of troubled people out there, indeed, we all have a few. All we can do is be as understanding as is reasonable, and delete the crap when it comes. Incidentally, I have yet to see anything troublesome on your posts (except maybe for the snakes in the henhouse ;-)). Keep up the good work!

  5. Hey, I never figured I get so much flack when I posted about that kid running all over me at the horse show. Some how I became the bad guy and villain.

    All of a sudden, my horse was to blame, I could have done something different. I decided to edit comments 1st. Then after the numerous emails I received that is when I went private.

    I always said its my blog I can post what I want. They said if its on the net, they can post what they want. I had already been thinking about going private and after that remark it sealed the deal.

    I can post or not post whatever I want and the invited readers can read or not read.

    Life is too short for me to have any additional stress added to it. I have more than enough things to worry about. The internet should not be on my list.

    You and your man Keith, the goat babies, chickies and puppy dogs have a fantastic weekend.

    Say what you want and if they don't like it they can delete it or go private.


  6. I try to be very careful about what I post, just as you do...and I agree that there are just some things that are better left unpublished or unsaid. I would hope that people could privately send a message if they were offended...but unfortunately that isn't the way it works in this world. :( I have comment moderation enabled, so if someone says something nasty, I can just not publish the comment. Thankfully it hasn't happened yet! I agree with what Keith said...that it's easy to post things on the internet that we wouldn't otherwise say...and that's what we tell out kids regards to their electronic careful what you write, because people cannot interpret your tone of voice! Keep up your blogging Mary Ann! :)

  7. This was a good post Mary Ann and your hubby was right on about it being too easy to say something we would never say to someone's face. If I read a blog post I don't agree with or find objectionable, I just don't leave a comment. What did our moms tell us...if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all! I enjoy reading your blog and hope you keep posting for a long time! :)

  8. I agree :)
    I think what your husband said is so true.
    I have heard of others who blog who have made their blog private because of peoples crude comments.
    If you don't like someones blog why comment, just move on...

  9. Great post, Mary Ann, and I agree. I know who you are referring to. I read her blog because I love her decorating style, but I have only commented once or twice. It's too bad she felt the need to defend herself, I think, but at the same time what she said needed to be gotten out there for those critical souls to see. I hope I haven't ever offended anyone, either. I would never do it on purpose, that's for sure. Sometimes on my blog the comments aren't offensive but you can tell the visitor didn't really read closely because their comments reflect that. I wonder if those that criticize others really read what they say before they hit Publish? It's hard to think that people are deliberately cruel in their remarks, but I suppose they are. What they get out of it...who knows? I think our blogs are sort of our homes and when readers come to it they are guests and should act accordingly. As your hubby said, they wouldn't act that way in real life. Well, most wouldn't. If something is not to their liking, then go away and don't come back! It's really simple. That's just my 2 cents.
    Have a great weekend!

  10. I try to keep our blog on the funny side cos i enjoy writing in that sense of the spirit. I am sorry you have run into this. I do agree with your husband tho, about the internet making it easier to say things we would not have the back bone to say to anothers face. "Along with the good comes the bad." I do enjoy reading your blog alot Mary Ann.
    stella rose momma

  11. I do try to be happy and positive. I'm sure I've made comments that would be upsetting too. If someone asks for an opinion or links to a meme where people are expected to comment, you have to know the diversity of the audience. I try to keep those things in mind when I post. I've only ever had a couple of unpleasant comments in the three-and-half-years I've been blogging, so that's pretty good.


I love comments!