Warning: Weirdness and personal details contained within. Mostly weirdness. You've been warned.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Blogging rant

I've just been reading a post by a blogger I like where she explained that she wasn't sure if she was going to keep blogging.  I've read several of these over the last few months, and have seen other bloggers I like simply stop posting.  Some do it because their family obligations are more important, and I get that - if your writing is taking the time that you would otherwise spend with your children/significant other/whatnot then by all means cut back/cut it out.  A couple have said that they can't think of anything to write and have started to dread trying to think of something to write, which also makes sense because if you're doing it for fun then it should be fun.

However, others say that they don't like the criticism or harsh judgement they get from readers on their posts.  It's really sad.  If someone in their own little corner of the internet doesn't feel comfortable voicing their opinion on their own blog, then there's a problem with this system.  I am disappointed when bloggers feel that they can only say what their readers want to hear, and that they have to cater to their readers' every desire to avoid being cut down for their opinion.

An opinion is just that - a person's idea of something.  It's not a fact, it's not right or wrong.  If someone else has a different idea, well and good - state the opinion and spark a discussion.  If you disagree, you have a right to state that if you wish.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion, we can agree to disagree.  However, if you are going to be rude about it, if you aren't open to the fact that other people are also entitled to their opinion whether it jives with yours or not, then feel free to go elsewhere.  Or expect to have people call you out on your ignorance, or ignore you.

Criticizers claim that they can be jerks in the comments due to free speech, so why can't freedom of speech hold true for those starting the discussion?  Why is it that in offline social interactions people will make an effort to be courteous to others and keep their opinions, if not to themselves, then at least somewhat civil; but online that civility gets thrown away?  If I was invited to someone's house and started telling them to their face that their ideas were stupid and they were a terrible parent/person, I would rightly expect to get kicked out, or at least not asked back again.

And yet people do this online quite frequently, with no expectation of consequences.  There's not a lot of recourse for bloggers.  One can make their blog invitation-only, or try to keep up with comment deletion, or suck it up and ignore it, hoping their blogging community will too. Why are people online able to get away with abject rudeness and lack of forethought or concern for others' feelings?