Friday, February 24, 2006

Somtimes the mirror tells the truth.

As you can tell by links to the left, I read a few blogs through out the day. There are some that aren't listed there, as they don't update frequently. For the most part, the blogs listed are very good. Some have garnered their authors notoriety, book deals, and a new beginning in their lives. Which, I think, is truly a wonderful thing! Some are personal, some deal with work, and one or two are photo-only. On the blogs that have comments enabled, I do leave a comment, if the mood strikes.

Most of the time, my comments are received as they are given, as observations from what was posted. There has been a few times though, that my observations are lambasted, and I am told I am being judgmental. I have increasingly found this as odd, as I cannot begin to judge someone I don't know. I read what they've typed, what they've put out into the public domain of the internet, and post my observations. Just as all the other people do. And yes, some of them are lambasted as well. So, I started thinking about this, and it dawned on me why one or two of the authors were getting so upset, as in the past, I had this same problem with comments left in the various blogs I've had.

When I first find a blog, I always go back through their archives. I'll pick the first month they started, and read that entire month. Then I jump ahead a few months, until I am relatively caught up to the present. That way, I can get a sense of where this person is coming from. What is important to them, their fears, their concerns, their joys, etc. This way, when I comment on a particular post, I feel I am better able to make a more informed observation. My problem, it seems, is that I remember what they've said in the past, and when I comment on a current post that brings up what the author has already stated, I am told I'm being judgmental. I truly do not see it that way. Oh, I do apologize when that is what is perceived, but how can I be judgmental for something the author themselves has already stated?

We, as human beings, are emotional creatures. None of us likes to have a fear that we've already said we have, commented on. When that happens, we get defensive, and lash out at the person who dared to type those words, even though it pertains to the current post. When this happens, we are looking in a mirror, seeing ourselves, and do not like what we see. Instead of acknowledging this, and accepting that we had originally put it into the atmosphere, we lash out to an innocent bystander, trying desperately to hurt them as we have hurt ourselves. It generally doesn't hurt the bystander. It only feeds the fear the author has. It's like that fear is ruling them, and until that author can deal with that fear, and do whatever he or she needs to do to win over it, they will continue to lash out, alienating a lot of readers along the way.

My advice, about blogging, has always been the same, and it's advice that I have started to take: If you don't want negative comments, unwanted advice, or differing opininions in your comments section, then don't enable your comments. Or, moderate them, so that you can weed out those comments that differ from your thinking. However, if you don't want to do these things, then accept those differing opinions and those observations you feel are off base. Don't attack the commenting author. You've put those words in your post, not the reader. Every now and then, a reader will make an observation that we ourselves hadn't thought of. When that happens, it is wonderful!

There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.
- Mother Teresa-
Edit: With as upset as some of these blog authors get, when ever they get one or two negative comments on their posts, it makes me wonder how they are going to deal with the negative reviews their book(s) will receive? After all, not everyone is going to like their book, and give them the adoration they are now getting from their "loyal" readers. It concerns me what will happen to these authors, that are pinning so many hopes and dreams on these book deals, when they aren't as successful as they are dreaming they will be. I wonder if these publishing company's are giving any councel to them? I wonder if there is anyone in the authors corner, keeping them grounded, their heads out of the clouds, and helping them see the reality of their situation? It's such a slippery slope, having something depend on the fickle buying public.