You read a lot of blogs, right? You spend a good chunk of your online time reading the blogs other people write which you find interesting and entertaining, right?
Some folks have a definitive idea what their blog’s about. Their posts are targeted, full of information, and have purpose. Other blogs are rambling walks through someone’s life, words sort of spilling out of the author’s head as they walk along their life’s journey and share it with you. Others fall into neither category and offer other things of interest to their readership. Still others are somewhere in between, sometimes being informative, sometimes being rambles, and sometimes not being much of anything at all.
All of those are fine, and you find a particular set of them interesting.
Have you ever visited a blog where one of the commentators, or several of them maybe, argue with, disagree with, or just flat insult the blogger? Sometimes it’s just a snarky remark, and sometimes it’s a full-blown assault on either the blogger or the commentators. Full-on flame wars ensue. Sometimes the host jumps back in the fray to defend themselves, sometimes they just ignore it and move on with their lives. (A lot of this depends on how many comments the blog draws on a regular basis, I’m sure. The more traffic, the more likely the blogger is to be attacked.)
With a personal blog, it’s a hard thing to watch. Someone puts their thoughts, their feelings, their inner workings out on the Internet. On the one hand, they want someone to read them, give them feedback and maybe offer them insight. On the other hand, they don’t necessarily want to be attacked (there are some bloggers where this is the intent, I’m sure, but that’s a specific category of blog by itself). And they don’t want to have to defend themselves against people whose values, beliefs, opinions and views differ from their own. A blog is someplace where someone shares something with the world. Sometimes they don’t want to offer an apologetic for what they’re offering. (Sometimes they have to, and there’s no way around that, but again, that’s a certain type of blog.)
Being attacked in your own home isn’t fun, and it can leave one shaking one’s head, torn between wanting to defend themselves on instinct, and trying to take the high road and decide they shouldn’t have to defend themselves. A blog – a personal blog anyway – should be a safe haven, a place where someone goes to have their say, their piece, and their peace. At least it is for me. I don’t want to feel the need to defend or justify what I have to say, why I say it, what I think or believe or hold in value.
And, when someone comes along and doesn’t respect that – when someone comes along and thinks it’s their place to put me in my place, or it’s their right to tell me where I get off, or comes along just to tell me how much they don’t like my posts for any reason – I get a little defensive. Matter of fact, I view it as someone being invited into my home and then spitting in my face as their host by disregarding or disrespecting my hospitality.
Let’s face it, the Internet is loaded with jackasses. They’re going to occasionally wander onto your little corner lot in the cul-de-sac of cyber-space. That’s all well and good, but in so doing, do they have to spit on the host whose house they’ve entered? It’s even more insidious when they come initially in supportive, peaceful ways, under the flag of friendship, and then begin to spit. It’s more hurtful and even more disrespectful, if that’s even possible.
What about you? I know the regular readers I have would never do this to someone else; at least, I’d like to believe that. But have you had it happen to you? How do you react if and when it does happen? What’s your response? or do you even know? And more to the point, if you’re not finding a blog interesting, entertaining, informative or both, why would you bother to attack the blogger rather than just … not reading it anymore? If it isn’t to your taste, or if it is in general and the blogger says something you don’t agree with, why bother taking the time to attack instead of … clicking away to one of the other millions of blogs the blogosphere has to offer?
What do you think?
All original content © 2009 DarcKnyt
ALL rights reserved.