Let's call today: 'Tuesday, 4 October 2005'
wrote in the notebook:
Okay, so lately a few of my friends' blogs have been hit by commenters who either hide in anonymous or link-free names, or outright take unfair and personal shots at what the bloggers are saying.
No matter who you are, you're welcome here until you give me reason that shows otherwise.
I, like everyone, have had my share of these commenters too. Some say that its my fault, that i shouldnt have comments links, or the statement 'Feel free to comment' under my intro/blog description up top. But I believe in giving everyone a chance to say what they think - after all, that's all my blog is: a space for me to say what I think.
And in a way, I don't really mind the odd commenter coming along and telling me I suck. Im all for pointing out 'yeah well vicki, i dont really agree with what you're saying, but fair enough thats your opinion'. Each to their own, yknow.
What I don't understand is the need to build themselves up by slugging people down - the schoolyard bully syndrome.
Or not leaving an email or URL address so that we cannot go and return the favour on their own blog or contact them in any way. And so our space is turned around on us and becomes the means of communication between blogger and commenter.
I've heard the claim 'Well I dont have a blog because I'm not that pathetic'. I think it's quite brave of people to bear their souls in a public forum like the internet. Unlike the kind of diary you keep in a notebook by your bed, a blog can be read and reflected on by others, some even helping others that may be in the same situation.
The many times I've considered pulling this blog down, I just think back to when I posted about being same-sex-attracted and how I coped with the antagonism etc as I was growing up, and someone said that reading that gave them hope. It made me realise that my blog isn't just for me. So as for the whole 'blogs are for suckers' defence, I see many holes in it. Not only that, if they suck so much, why are you there? Go check your email or learn how to make moonshine or any of the millions upon millions of other things you can do online.
I guess what I'm saying there doesn't only apply to blogs. Things like the occasional prank-caller I get now and then on my phone, why are you wasting time and money calling someone and then not saying anything? Go get a hobby.
But back to commenters.
My attitude to blogs and commenting is and always has been simply this:
Personal blogs are the admittedly opinionated space of the author/publisher/contributor aka the 'blogger'.
If you don't like what you're reading, then move along. Click Next Blog if you want, and go read something you like. If the content is about you well then perhaps that's the only way you'd understand how the blogger really feels about you. Perhaps a roadside billboard outside your house would have been more appropriate?
We're not stupid, we know that once we press publish there's a chance who we're talking about will find it. As for defamation etc of 'prominant' persons, well everyone gets a bit of slander now and then, its the way the world turns. If you can't take a bit of push and shove, then you shouldn't be putting your name out in the world. And in my opinion fighting slander with slander is simply ridiculous. We're not 5 years old anymore*
*Apologies to my loyal audience of 5 year olds out there.
In cases like what I've been reading on Observations In A Small Room In A Small House recently, I say a big loud Jerry Springer 'whatever', and reaffirm my suggestion of gaining a hobby if the best way to fill time is to throw pointless insults at people, and mimic other users (ie posing) to say what you want to be said.
And if it's just playing, then say so... but remember that playing means at least someone other than you is having fun.
I know that alot of what I'm saying in defence of blogs can be said about comments boxes too, but the key difference is that our tagboards and comment boxes are a part of our space - giving outside users an opportunity (a privilege not a right as they used to tell us in school) to interact and have a say - but it's still our space. Bloggers dont have to give you the oppotunity to leave your opinion, they chose to.
Remember when you're at someone's blog, you are a guest. If you want a chance to say whatever the hell you like, then start your own blog and do it there, and everyone else will be a guest there too.
Am I alone in this way of thinking?
After all the ruckus that I've seen created over one post or comment, I have to laugh at people now who complain that no one comments on their blog. It seems that when it comes to that little comments counter, no-news is good-news.
Anonymous comments shit me too. At least negative ones anyway. Anonymous commenters slugging people that they may or may not have even met in real life may think they're being tough and cool, but really all you're doing is proving to me how cowardly you really are. I'd like to see people like this say even half the things I've read in comments boxes to someone's face. Not so brave when there's real consequences huh?
Yes, the internet give us the means to communicate anonymously, and we use our discretion as to how we use that, but I own up to everything I write, negative or otherwise - more importantly I don't throw slugs at people period.
In regards to my own blog, my name is everywhere in this thing and on the comments/tags on others' sites. It's not hard to find my surname if you look properly either. My email address is on my user profile like most people's, as is where I live.
So I'm out here, saying what I think, for all to see. Call me pathetic for having a blog if you like, but this is me; if you don't like it that's hardly my fault.
If you're someone that does any of the things I've spoken about in this post, I say simply this:
It's your baggage, don't make others carry it.
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