May I introduce to you my feelings on certain matters of bloggerdom? The current state of affairs dissatisfies me completely, and since I cannot think of anything deep to post about, these thoughts must suffice. Invite anyone who is bored and offer them a cup of pumpkin spice mocha. I commence.
|Via Pinterest. Did you hear the joke about how pencils are related to blogging? I didn't, either.|
It pains me to say this, but I am tired of the My Site, My Right ideology rampaging through the blogosphere. Of course, in regards to American freedom, we bloggers have a right to say whatever we like. I can blab on about my dog or my abandoned book or the yellow sky I saw over the Texas horizon. Of course, in regards to that same American freedom and by the laws of logic, we bloggers have a right to censor offensive, ridiculous and unhelpful comments. Thus you never saw the comment of a certain gentleman calling me a Jezebel and my God a three-headed monster. (He was "simply sad" for my unorthodoxy. Inside joke for the lucky few who got to laugh and fume with me.)
But we do not have the right, as a Christian, to post whatever we like. We can't flippantly blog about things and then ignore any accountability or second opinions. It turns me off when I see blog moderators blowing off or belittling genuinely concerned commenters who disagree and wish to offer a different perspective. I'll admit I'm the first person who needs to hear this, though I try to treat all my visitors with respect and grace, even the snarkiest fish in the pond.
I understand where the movement comes from. We're tired of anonymous commenters taking stuff out of context. We're tired of hate comments and random absurdity. We want to say our piece and have everyone applaud us -- or leave us alone.
Yet we can't have our cake and eat it too. If we want to convince someone else's mind, we must give him a chance to convince ours too. If we blog publicly, we must be publicly humble. We must publicly seek the truth. This blog venture of mine has been more of a venue for how much I don't know than a forum for airing how much I do know. So spit out the bones and the inflammatory haters, but don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Since we're slightly on the topic of commenters, let me just say that I wish we had more honest commenters around. There's nothing worse than posting something controversial and getting the veiled "Interesting" or "Nice post" or "I never thought of it that way" with a nervous smiley. It's quite obvious the commenter doesn't fully agree, though I will never know why and never have a chance of clarifying or changing my mind if I never hear a second opinion. As Cecily Cardew says, "I think that whenever one has anything unpleasant to say, one should always be quite candid." Vague, haunting ghosts are worse than loud-mouthed haters.
I came across a blog the other day written by a very forceful young lady who is a witty and excellent writer. She holds almost magic charm over her followers and speaks her ideas with no fear of hearing anything but adoration. At any rate, she posted something controversial, something that knocked at the core of Christianity while still claiming to be Christian, and all the nice Christian girls got a little quiet. They decided to offer generic praises of how amazing the blogger was or nicely ignore the issue while commenting on something else. The ones who did speak up got kicked off.
I do it too. It's not that I do not speak from experience. Whenever I come across a blogger that's respected (or impresses me that she ought to be respected), my opinion of my opinions dies down to nil. In that moment, I'd rather hide in the shadow of vagueness than step into the truth of candidness. I've learned it's harder to speak my mind than I thought, even in this shadowy blogging business.
I've also learned that I should keep my mouth and my keyboard shut. Unless I know the blogger well or have read more of her work, I really have no business or purpose posting a random disagreement. And this is so frustrating -- to bite back words when I know I could just convince someone if she'd just listen to me. I used to get agitated when someone on the internet disagreed with me or when I couldn't understand somebody else or when she didn't understand me. (I shake when I get excited. My voice starts quivering. It's annoying, I tell you -- my internal writhing surfaces.) But really, it doesn't matter if kittyeyes2567 won't admit that I'm right. Some people haunt the internet just to argue, to prove themselves, to bully others. People being wrong on the internet is such a common occurrence that a girl can wear herself thin trying to correct everybody.
Not that I believe internet conversations don't impact anyone. I think the whole population of conservative Christian girls is more impacted by blogs than real relationships, simply because a good friend is hard to find. That's why I blog. For you. For us, really.
And you know what else bothers me -- and makes me laugh and grind my teeth? Wet blanket commenters whose judgments are so ill-timed that they make themselves look so incredibly bad. They try so hard to be sarcastic and cutting and condescending but do such a bad job at it that I can't help but feel sorry for them. I watched a beautiful video of real-life girl living the real-life experience of being told she was going to be adopted, and one of the YouTube commenters could only note that the music had a horrible transition. "It's a cute story, I guess, but...."
Note to bullies: When being cruel, remember that picking on adoption, domestic abuse victims and the military will not win you universal backing. Well, maybe with the latter, if you band together.
To conclude as randomly as I started, I've always wondered how exactly I come across to my readers. My sister assures me I sound like I am (I really do use big words and talk confusingly and voluminously), but we've hiked together since forever began. After getting numerous complaints from people who couldn't distinguish between sarcasm and literalism, I have to wonder. Do I sound like a page torn from Dickens? Do I come across as arrogant? Stuffy? Unreal? Stilted? [Insert unflattering adjective]?
Not that I can do anything about it. But it does give me a greater appreciation for those of you who stick around for the ride. And that's all I have to say about that...until next time.