My Public Service Announcement

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.

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About TheSmirkingCat

I am endlessly trying to make sense of a world that has completely and unapologetically lost its mind.
This entry was posted in anonymous commenters, blogs, common sense, duh. Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to My Public Service Announcement

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I get so tired of coming across stupid comments like these on the blogs I read.

  2. LOL! Great post.I will point out though that many times readers DO take everything a blogger writes at face value, and don’t, for a fraction of a second, wonder if the version of truth they are gobbling is skewed. So to add to blogger common sense, if a comment offends you either ignore or delete it…or, don’t allow anonymous commenting. Easy peasy fix!

  3. Smirking Cat says:

    I don’t allow anonymous comments on this blog. Too much hassle and drama.

  4. Crys says:

    “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”Now that made me laugh. I couldn’t even imagine how I’d go about that, should it even ever (and I wouldn’t) attempt it. Could you imagine that conversation?Dear irresponsible girl, I’m writing a blog about how irresponsible you are, and basically call you a failure. Would you please send me your side of this in about 20 minutes? I’d like to post it asap. Thanks.He he he

  5. I concur. πŸ™‚ That being said, as a blogger, I welcome comments that tell me that I am being a complete bonehead. Although my blog is my online journal, sometimes, although it is very rare(;-)) I am a bonehead and it takes someone else to point it out to me. I take these comments with a grain of salt, but I do pay attention and consider the source. AND, I have left not-very-nice comments, with my name attached, when I don’t agree. But it may just be that I don’t agree with that post. That doesn’t mean that I don’t agree with everything about that person or blog. Maybe I’m less sensitive than most.

  6. dragonmctt says:

    Too Funny! I think, too, people blog for support, and frankly, if you have nothing supportive to say, don’t say anything at all! (Didn’t these anonymous posters have parents?) The blogger’s whole reason for having a blog is to share how he/she is feeling, what has happened from his/her perspective, gain support, or maybe gain a new perspective from a kind, but different viewpoint. There is no need for nasty comments on anyone’s blog.Someone who is good with technology needs to design some kind of animated .gif that you can place over a nasty comment left by a reader and repeatedly blow it up!

  7. Smirking Cat says:

    The world would be a lukewarm place if people never left comments disagreeing with the blogger, or offering different viewpoints. But people who leave comments just like I described: “I don’t like what you have to say, and you made me read it!” are absurd.

  8. I agree with NSNM, I don’t want an “atta girl” for everything I post or “you poor victim” if it is evident in what I posted I am contributing to the problem.That is why I leave my blog open for various comments, not just the warm fuzzy ones for my ego.I know some people need the constant validation which is why I suggest limiting commenters. It’s wonderful how posts can be password protected now (I don’t ever ask to be a part of those types of blogs because I’m a fan of open, honest dialogue), deleting or ignoring unwelcome commenters, or like Smirking, remove the ability to be anonymous.I don’t get why there is any attention drawn to how others choose to post a comment if the blog allows for it. I can’t stand censorship or telling others what tone they should have when they post to others when there are so many options to control it according to personal sensitivities.Some people have thicker skins than others…for those who are slighted by someone who disagrees with them, even vehemently, their blog shouldn’t be open for the possiblity of those types of comments. The onus is on the blog owner..not the commenter. We are in a society where we have the right to free speech regardless of your opinion of another person’s opinion. Why not take personal responsibility for the fact some people open themselves up for the possibility someone might not agree with their perspective and limit it when you have the option. I have to wonder for those who whinge on and on about how it is their blog, don’t comment, why they are trying to control the actions of others when you can simply do it without the drama, and no longer make it an option.As for me, I prefer dissenting points of view so I leave the option open on my blog. If comments penetrate my rather thick skin, I’ll remove it. Simple. No fussing about it.People have no idea what a blogger needs from comments. There are bloggers who wants all types commenting on their blog, not just the constant support/validation ones.

  9. Smirking Cat says:

    This post, however, was about commenters who seem to feel they had no control over what they read, or that they should not expect a blog to be personal or biased. Disagreeing commenters are a separate animal.

  10. I’ve never read a commenter state they had no control over reading the blog or that they didn’t expect a biased one.Many do comment on biased ones, pointing out it is biased, when it appears many take a blogger’s version of truth at face value. They offer another perspective as their comment. I don’t see error in it at all if the option to post it is available.While I understand it is common sense that people are biased and usually present just their perspective, sometimes it is good to remind people of this reality because it gets forgotten in the “she’s such a psycho” remarks. I’m not just discussing stepmother blogs, but divorced mother ones too.The only way to control it is to limit a commenter’s options…not trying to influence or control a commenter by talking about how stupid they are commenting that way. I have found if you are dealing with cybertrolls or stalkers, the less attention or drama you give them, the more likely the behavior stops. Or..limiting ability to comment in a way you don’t approve on your blog (which you’ve done).While I love your writing style and agree with you on many points, I think giving more attention to undesirable commenting with a thread about how silly it is only adds fuel to the fire. KWIM? I think what I’m saying is relevant to the original topic.Off topic: Love your Sylvester posting…I have a cat just like him. You have a way with words, was in tears laughing.

  11. Smirking Cat says:

    I would link to the post, but I don’t know the blogger well enough to know if she’d welcome the attention. The commenter accused her of “forcing her opinions”, which I found amusing: how does one force someone to read something online? And when that person returns to read more, who is making them do that? I’m not sure we’re talking about stalkers or trolls here, simply people who seem indignant that an opinion in conflict with theirs is published online. That is far, far more common than stalking or trolling (is trolling a word?)

  12. Dijea says:

    I LOVE YOU AND THIS POST. Basically this is why I now have to approve comments. I just don’t approve the really nasty ones. Amen, praise Smirking Cat.

  13. macocha says:

    Let me add – that I would hate to get the comments that say you suck or what not – but I love to get folks opinions on things I write – whether I agree or not. Everything is open to debate as everyone has their own opinion – it is how that is handled. But then again – I don’t get many comments…(wah)…lol

  14. Lydia says:

    Man, I want to join a “horrifying blog crime ring.” That sounds like a lot of mystery and fun! πŸ™‚Great post. Love the anonymous comment makers and their ranting flames. Isn’t it nice that blogger has delete?

  15. Smirking Cat says:

    OK, if everyone can keep it on the down low, Lydia and I are going to start a horrifying blog crime ring. We’ll come up with our secret handshake at the first meeting. Shhh, we’re trying to be all sneaky-like about this… πŸ™‚

  16. I am totally down with the horrifying blog crime ring… πŸ˜‰ I hope there are cookies!!

  17. as always, excellent post… Hell, you even approve my tirade comments! LOL πŸ™‚ And I soooo want in on the blog crime ring thingie *wink* I concur with everything everyone has pretty much said so I wont reinvent the wheel here… the world would be boring if we all agreed on every issue 100% of the time. If ya dont like what you are reading, offer up an alternate view without personal attacks. If you are not equipped to do that, move on. πŸ™‚I’m surprised I dont get more “you suck” comments. I’m pretty frickin opinionated LOL That is shocking, isnt it? πŸ™‚

  18. Medea says:

    Opinions are one thing, but insulting someone’s point of view and being hurtful are pretty unforgivable. There are ways of expressing a difference of opinion without being nasty. I think I read the comment you’re talking about and there was plenty of gratuitous observation on the blogger’s personal morality that had no basis in fact.Words are hurtful, and being on the receiving end can be painful. It doesn’t make you oversensitive, if you feel hurt as a result.BTW – I know an evil cat. If I don’t feed him immediately in the morning he throws me a dirty look then brings back something to disembowel in front of me as revenge.

  19. Demeur says:

    I haven’t seen anything on your blog here that’s the least bit controvercial. You’ve had trolls here?I’ve been blogging for nearly two years now and only had one troll who never came back.But I guess us cat people have about the same mind set.I should post a photo of my cat but I need a black tie. She’s a tuxedo cat of course.

  20. Smirking Cat says:

    I have had trolls who did not like my opinion that fathers have rights. However, I’m not sure they count, since I know who they were. This post was more about comments I’ve seen on other blogs, with topics ranging from political opinions to stepmoms to feminism.

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