Recently I discovered a new blog that I like, and I found a comment that another reader had left there, essentially to the tune of, “You suck. You only tell one side of the story. You force your opinion onto others”, then this commenter proceeded to tell his/her one side of the story and ramble on long enough to bring blood to the surface of my assaulted eyeballs before I mercifully just stopped reading.
I would chalk it up to an isolated ignorant windbag, except I have spotted similiar comments on many blogs whose subject matter is anything slightly more controversial than kittens or recipes (not at the same time, please). At first I was annoyed, but THEN…!
I decided to perform a public service. You’re welcome.
Rather than assume these people are morons or cowards, let’s assume they just fell off a spacecraft as they were jetting back to their planet, which has no blogs, and they need some Common Sense Clues about Blogs, which I am at your service to provide:
1. First, most blogs are, essentially, online journals or diaries, and thus, are generally very personal, a telling of one person’s perception and experience…what I am gently getting at is, dear, is “Duh, blogs are one-sided!” For instance, this is my blog, my story, my words. If I had to gain every participant’s perspective and portray every single side to every story, I’d publish a post once every Haley’s Comet (about every 75-76 years, if you are not that into science). It should be assumed, by any reader with discernable brain waves, that a blog written by some stranger in cyberspace is that person’s own spin; and there’s nothing wrong with that, unless you feel comforted by unquestioningly believing everything you read online. In the interest of sharing more than my perspective, however, I can illustrate what is likely the “other” side of my story in 2 sentences: “Smirking Cat sucks. Everything she says is crap.” There! Now my blog is officially multi-sided!
2. Unless there is a horrifying blog crime ring I have yet to hear of, or partake in, to the best of my knowledge, no one is forced to read anyone’s blog, and therefore no one’s opinion is actually shoved onto anyone. Trust me, if there was a way to force someone to hear my opinion and wield my blog as my evil weapon, I’d have found it already. I read a lot of things I don’t agree with or am flat offended by. Unless I feel like the writer is open-minded enough to entertain another angle, I simply leave. Yes, that simple! Back button, click a link, close the browser window, yank the plug on the computer…whichever route you like best, you are always free to leave. Wow, wasn’t that empowering?
3. I’m sure it’s no coincidence that every single comment I have read, on any blog, to the effect of “You suck! You force me to read your opinion!” has been left by someone signed as “Anonymous”. Yes, one good indicator that what you are saying has precious little value is your unwillingness to even sign your fake blog name beneath it. Believe it or not, Smirking Cat is not on my birth certificate (it’s true), but I at least still use the same consistent name no matter where I leave a comment online, because I wouldn’t post it in the first place if I didn’t believe it and feel open to discussing it. Leaving an anonymous nasty comment is the same as saying “I am going to take my cheap shot from beneath my rock, and since what I have to say is incredibly stupid, I won’t leave a way for you to call me out and ask me to explain anything! So there!”
Thus concludes my public service announcement. Help yourself to some refreshments on the way out, and if you know any Anonymous commenters, kick them my way. Always glad to help.