Alright y’all, I need to be serious for a hot minute. Usually, I wouldn’t even attempt to be serious but this is actually important. At least, it’s important to me and I really hope it’s important to you.
I love blogging and one of my favorite parts of blogging is interacting with all my followers and commenters. No joke y’all, you’ve brought so much joy and laughter into my life and have been a never-ending source of encouragement and support. It means so much to me, you don’t even know. You guys get me and that has been one of the best surprises of my life. I love that I can brain dump on this blog and say silly and ridiculous things and y’all are right there with me. I have such an amazing group of follower and commenters. I’m a lucky girl.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case for many blogs. Recently, I’ve been reading more and more blogs and specifically, blogs that get Freshly Pressed. And I’ve been appalled. Not at the blogs themselves, but at the comments. Y’all, people have been writing some of the most obscene and hateful things in the comments section. Not just any people, other WordPress people. Other bloggers have been metaphorically shitting all over these posts. And I know that Internet vitriol is practically the standard at this point, but I didn’t realize how badly bloggers treat other bloggers, especially those who have gotten some exposure. I guess I always thought that the people writing hateful comments were anonymous trolls who didn’t understand how much effort and emotion goes into writing a blog, and how personal blogging is. I was wrong. I was dead wrong. Because as I read comment after comment full of cruelty and personal attacks, I was aghast at how many of those were other bloggers, other people who should know better than that.
Blogging is deeply personal. Even if you’re not writing about yourself, it’s deeply personal. Bloggers are human beings. That may seem like the most obvious statement in the world but I think the dehumanizing element of the Internet has caused us to forget that. Bloggers are people. That blogger you were just calling an “ignorant asshole” because they don’t like your hobby? Yeah, that blogger could very well be the kind-hearted cashier at your grocery store who always helps you out and has the smile that brightens your day a little bit. That blogger whose writing style you just referred to as “dumb as shit”, that’s your child’s pediatrician. Or how about that contrary girl blogger who you wrote “deserved to be raped” because she lives her life joyfully? That’s the same girl who held the door open for you when your hands were full of bags.
I’m not saying you have to agree with and support every blog you’ve ever read. Let me tell you, I’ve read plenty of blogs I thought were full of malarkey at best and simply hateful at worst, and you know what I did when I read those blogs, I just clicked off the site and never went back again. I didn’t write something obscene and anger-filled on their wall just because I disagreed with them. If you don’t like a blog, just don’t read it. Y’all, it’s really that simple. And sure, an argument can be made that by blogging, we bloggers are putting ourselves out there and so are open to attack. I don’t think that’s the case. Why should putting ourselves out there justify an attack? I put myself out there everyday by leaving my apartment and going to work, that doesn’t mean someone has the right to punch me in the stomach or shout obscenities at me. In fact, if that happened, most people would be horrified. You never have to attack someone, verbally or otherwise. And this isn’t to say that I don’t believe in frank discussions on blogs. I love going to blogs where you can find great discussions happening in the comments sections. People aren’t always going to agree and absolutely everyone has a right to express their opinions and feelings, but that should always be done with common human decency in mind. I don’t have a problem with a commenter saying “Hey, Girl on the Contrary. I think you were way off on that one. I couldn’t disagree with you more for reasons A,B,C.”, however, I do have a problem with “You’re a stupid whore.” I will be apt to consider the first comment and will probably delete the second.
This leads me to my next point, when you’re personally attacking someone for a post that was opinion based, what exactly do you think you’re going to accomplish? Calling me a whore will not make me more likely to consider your point of view. So, why even do it? What is the point? I don’t understand what comments like these accomplish except for making someone (a real person remember) feel horrible, or making the commenter look like a vicious monster. It’s absolutely pointless and doing it benefits no one. Again, that is their blog, they are well within their rights to post whatever they want to about whatever they want to. It’s the point of writing a blog. And if a blogger doesn’t like your comment and doesn’t publish it, guess what? They are completely entitled to do that. It’s THEIR blog, they don’t have to publish anything on it if they don’t want to. And they especially don’t have to publish comments that are personally attacking them or may be offensive to someone else. Their blog, their rules. You may post whatever you like on your blog, although I would qualify that with, while you would be well within your right to personally attack another blogger on your blog, I would strongly advise against it because of that whole common human decency thing. Feel free to write a post that opposes theirs and give your reasons but keep it respectful and decent. Even if they weren’t respectful and decent on their post. Why? Because you are probably the better person. Be the better person.
Just be kind to each other. As bloggers, you know how much effort and emotion goes into writing, so be kind to other people who are putting that same amount of effort and emotion into their blogs. And if you don’t like it, don’t read it. It’s really that simple y’all.