Tuesday, March 1, 2011

They really should make a manual for this...

I think blogging should come with a manual! At least this type of blogging...I used  to just blog to my family and close friends and that was different. Those people actually KNEW me. I could say what I wanted without fear. But blogging the way I blog now ( both writing, and reading) in such a public forum requires...well a bit of finesse that I at moments have realized that I lack!


I've had an experience recently where I feel like I performed a blogging sin. I didn't mean to, really. I think I operated ( mistakenly, I realize now) under the assumption that if you blog and you put yourself out there to the public, you are free to comment which ever way you like. Even if you happen to disagree with the blog author.

I had been reading a blog for a while that I actually really appreciated...I like the way that the author wrote and appreciated most of what they had to say...except for one particular attitude that seemed to be a reoccurring theme in their posts. So finally after several weeks of reading, I decided to say something. I tried to keep my comment as pleasant and respectful as possible, while still wanting to assert my opinion.

In the aftermath of that...I have realized that I was in the wrong. They mentioned in their comeback comment that it was their personal blog, and reflected how they personally felt. Any criticism given can be worded sweet as cherry pie...but it's still criticism. My comment was the equivalent of a perfect stranger coming into my house and critiquing how I, say,....do the dishes. I wouldn't have liked it any more then they did, and probably would have responded similarly  " Who in the world do you think YOU are?"

What I should have done was apply what I had learned as a child ( "If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all") and walk away from a view that I didn't share. I had chosen to read them, I could also choose to stop. I think my comment honestly stemmed from the fact that...really, I didn't want to stop reading them. I liked reading them! Except for that one particular attitude that I thought was hurtful.

So lesson learned...and I do feel bad about the incident now, because it was uncalled for, and I represented myself as a type of person that I really am not. A lot of these blogs are like journals, and people are being gracious enough to let you get a glimpse inside of them, but that doesn't mean you have the right critique them or make them feel judged. If you don't like what they are saying, please, just walk away.

I try to blog, and comment, in a way that doesn't make anyone feel judged. I want this to be a place where I can go and speak, and hopefully people can find what I started out looking for...someone who understands and has been there.

Are there lessons that you have learned while you have been blogging?? PLEASE share! I'd really like to not have to commit too many more of these painful mistakes!

3 thoughts:

Nicky said...

Aw Jenn, this is a really sweet & thoughtful post, and has some great comments in it. I really admire you for how you have composed this & put yourself out there. I think another main problem we all face when we write something - whether through social media like here, or even in an email at work, is that there is no tone associated with the words, so that gives an added twist sometimes if the reader misinterprets. This is such a nicely constructed post, with lots of food for thought for us all!

Anonymous said...

I had moments like that a few years ago when I started frequenting a military spouse message board. It was humbling, to say the least.

I think the biggest lesson I've learned while blogging is that a lot can be mistaken through written communication. You can't see someone's body language, and you can't hear their tone of voice. I try to keep that in mind when I blog. I also try to understand the intent of the message and not focus on one or two stray words or phrases.

With that being said, there's always someone who is going to be defensive or maybe upset about what you're blogging due to their own circumstances. I had that happen to me recently. I think those instances you just have to shake off. You have to stay true to yourself.

Ana said...

Or they are just hypersensitive and probably shouldn't be asking for comments. I actually do roll my eyes a bit at people who get so freaked out about a disagreeing comment. There are those rude people who are just trying to get your goat, but I've never had a problem with someone disagreeing in a nice manner. It's no longer personal space when you put it out there on the internet, and I'm surprised at how many people think it is.

And, yes, there is the issue of something coming across in a way it wasn't intended due to the lack of inflection, etc. I have just stopped commenting completely at times because I'm not too into leaving lots of glowing, "You rock!" comments instead of real discussion. But people are sensitive, so sometimes it's just easier to walk away.