So, I’ve been reading blogs for about 1 million years (maybe a little less) but, that’s about right…. I started reading my first blog years before I had ever considered starting my own (I mean really, why would I just write nonstop about myself. HA! That’s changed… ;D) and, I’ve met so many amazing/wonderful/awesome people through blogging! Yes, people that I can truly (in real life, not just the life in my computer) call real friends ::hi guys:: and I know there are more people out there I’m going to meet and fall internet love with in the future. And, on top of that… blogging has given me the chance to do what I love for a living (a small living… but, it’s my job: and I love it). So, that’s the fabulous side of the internet!
The ugly side of the internet…: being mean behind the cover of your computer. Luckily I don’t run into too many mean people on my blogging journey… but, they are there. And, I’ve been hurt by them. I’ve seen them hurt other people. Sometimes these mean people don’t even realize that they’re actually being mean. It seems to be a lot of assumptions and wild imaginations. But, they run with it and are mean.
In high school did you ever wonder what the home life was like for the kid that was awkward and never had clean clothes? Was he or she abused… was he or she unable to afford to clean those clothes? Or, was the popular kid actually content and secure in his or her own body? You don’t actually know. I know blogging is not high school, but sometimes it can seem that way. I guess what I’m TRULY trying to say is: be nice. Stop and think before you say something mean. I am not completely innocent, but I try my best to be a nice person. I want to be friendly. I like people. But, the ugly meanness I see puts me off.
Blogging is scary. You put yourself out there and share parts of your life with people you may not actually know… While I may write and share a lot on my blog, I don’t share everything. So, you may not really know what’s happening in my life. You may not know that I get 50 emails a day and can’t respond to each one… because I need time with my family too. You may not know why I chose to do something… and take offense that you were not invited. You may think I never read your blog because I don’t comment often… but, I probably have stopped by more than once. I may not respond to every comment on my blog, but I do read each and EVERY one of them (I love them. Thank you!).
We all have bad days. Seriously… I have many… they totally suck, but I try not to let my anger and frustration leak out onto everyone around me. Have you ever read a blog post and thought, “Holy crap… that person is out of their mind! I’m going to tell them exactly what I think of that! Tell them why they’re wrong and stupid.” BUT, instead of commenting right then and there: take a moment… step back… rethink. If I really want to comment on something that upsets me… I’ll come back later when I’m not all fired up and say something terribly mean that I never really meant in the first place. It works. Try it!
Step back and rethink. This works for talking bad about someone. My girlfriends and I try our best to keep negative gossip out of our lives. We don’t want to talk bad about people. We want to see the good in everyone. So, we just don’t gossip very often. It’s hard. You know there’s just that one person that upset or hurt you and the thing you’d like to do MORE than anything is tell someone that can relate to you all about it. Before you do that… before you write that email to complain to someone about another person… step back and rethink. Maybe that negative thought doesn’t need to be shared.
When you write those hurtful words in a comment, email, or say them out loud… it hurts! It’s not nice. Luckily, like I said earlier, I rarely see this in my blogging world. BUT, when I do see it: it’s lame.
Be nice. That’s it.
I am a 28 year old South African living in the Netherlands. As a way to "diarize" all the major changes in my live and share my expereinces I started blogging. It is still small, and not impressive at all but I have beeeeeeg plans! I am telling you this because your blog is one of a few that inspired me to do so. Yes, it is crazy scary. Ignore the trolls!!!! I recently came across the "Blogger's code of conduct" and I really liked the principle of it that protects people who put their most inner thoughts and ideas on the internet for anybody to see (from wikipedia):
The Blogger's Code of Conduct is a proposal by Tim O'Reilly for bloggers to enforce civility on their blogs by being civil themselves and moderating comments on their blog. The code was proposed due to threats made to blogger Kathy Sierra. The idea of the code was first reported by BBC News, who quoted O'Reilly saying, "I do think we need some code of conduct around what is acceptable behaviour, I would hope that it doesn't come through any kind of regulation it would come through self-regulation."
O'Reilly and others came up with a list of seven proposed ideas:
Take responsibility not just for your own words, but for the comments you allow on your blog.
Label your tolerance level for abusive comments.
Consider eliminating anonymous comments.
Ignore the trolls.
Take the conversation offline, and talk directly, or find an intermediary who can do so.
If you know someone who is behaving badly, tell them so.
Don't say anything online that you wouldn't say in person.
Good luck in ignoring the trolls, they are only out there to provoke.
That was interesting to read. I completely agree.