There is a blogger here in my town who is quite well known. She has a huge following from all over the world. In addition to her fans, she also has detractors, some of whom have taken their dislike and created spin-off sites where they say really nasty things about this blogger and snark the hell out of her posts. (I’m not linking to them or mentioning them.)
A couple of weeks ago, one of the local newspapers had an article about mommy bloggers. One of the bloggers they referenced was the one mentioned above. A decent amount of print space was given over to discussing the criticisms about the blogger and why she seems to generate so much strong negative emotion. In fact, when reading the article, it felt to me like an inordinate amount of print space was given over to this part of the blogger’s story. It didn’t mesh all that well with the article as a whole.
After I read the article in the paper, I thought about it for a couple of days, then read it again online. I made the mistake of glancing at the comments section on the newspaper’s website, where most people were saying some appalling things about this blogger. Commenters who probably view themselves as being good and nice were savaging her and tearing her apart in a way that left me feeling queasy. Naturally, most were hiding behind pseudonyms and Anonymous.
I’m not here to discuss the blogger in question or her work, but I will say that she is an average person, just like you and me. She’s not some evil dictator who has committed mass genocide and thus earned the vitriol directed at her. She could be you or me. I know I am not alone in feeling queasy about what people were saying, as other bloggers in town have told me that they too were really put off by the hatred and negativity, which went way off topic and dug down deep into personal attacks.
A great many of you reading my little blog have your own blogs and you, like me, blog for fun. It’s not a job, it’s a hobby. Blogging is just something we do because it makes up happy. If people show up and read our stuff, then we’re even happier. Comments increase our happiness quotient a bit more.
I recognize that when I put my opinions here in the public eye, not everyone will agree with me. In fact, I’m expecting push-back on this post. I’m fine with that. I like spirited debate. I won’t, however, allow personal attacks or nastiness and I will delete that shit without a moment’s hesitation, especially since my daughters read this blog and your comments.
I don’t understand why anyone would feel compelled to respond to a blogger or blog post in such a negative way. When a blogger has shared his/her story with you, why would you tear them apart? To me, doing so is akin to being invited into a person’s house and you respond by leaving a pile of poo on the living room rug.
In the past seven years I have left hundreds — thousands, probably — of comments on blogs and I cannot remember a single time that I have left a nasty remark. If I can’t say something positive or leave remarks that add to the general discussion, I don’t say anything. If I am actually offended by what the blogger has said, I don’t respond — after all, it is their blog and they can say whatever whatever they want.
And if you don’t like a blogger — have a personal problem with them, in fact — why read their blog at all? What’s the point? You don’t have to read their stuff and be offended by it. Why go to the effort to write something nasty on their blog or spread your hate to other blogs and websites? Why put that kind of energy into being negative? There are very popular bloggers whose work I don’t care for, so I don’t read their stuff. End of story.
I’m curious about what you think about this. Am I off base here? Am I missing something? Would you leave a negative comment on someone’s blog?