I read a post yesterday alarming me to the fact that we can be brought into the middle of an online dispute, without even being aware of it.
Vered from Mommy Grind was accused of taking sides after leaving a comment on a popular blog. All she wanted was to commend the blogger for a post well written and in return she got involved in a flaming war she wasn’t even aware of. Apparently this “war” cost her some long term subscribers as a result and she can be forgiven to wonder what went wrong.
This raises a question though: “What is it with bloggers these days and their ever increasing need to publicly humiliate others?”
Do bloggers feel the need to hurt, just because they are “invisible”? Or is the online vehicle responsible for our behavior instead? I know we could go on endlessly discussing this problem as long as there are blogging wars going on. In previous posts we established quite clearly the responsibilities we have as bloggers toward one another.
When I look at the various events when bloggers have publicly slogged each other, I see a total lack of respect. What baffles me is the vehicle we use. We portray to have some air of worldly knowledge by using the Internet, while looking down our noses at those who don’t.
So how come we can’t show respect, courtesy and acceptance of the other persons opinion, instead of biting each others ears off? Has the Internet made us a lesser quality human being?
Definition of a blog
What is the definition of a blog really and why does it matter so much when it comes to being more acceptable of other bloggers?
Here is the description from What Is, which in my eyes is pretty accurate:
A blog (short for weblog) is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for general public consumption. Blogs are defined by their format: a series of entries posted to a single page in reverse-chronological order. Blogs generally represent the personality of the author or reflect the purpose of the Web site that hosts the blog. Topics sometimes include brief philosophical musings, commentary on Internet and other social issues, and links to other sites the author favors, especially those that support a point being made on a post.
The author of a blog is often referred to as a blogger. Many blogs syndicate their content to subscribers using RSS, a popular content distribution tool.
Since we have established that a blog is really an online journal, how can we abuse others for voicing their concerns, beliefs, experiences and their preferences?
Aren’t we supposed to live in a free world. Allowed to have our own opinions. Plus, who says that we are right anyway?
I think when we interact with each other as we do online, we will most frequently come across other people’s blogs and not agree with what they are saying. Which is fine. But not agreeing doesn’t mean to go into a full fledged online war.
But I’ll be damned to hold back my own opinion
If that is what you were thinking, so am I. I don’t hold back in stating my opinions if I feel like I have to. However, there is an art to how we communicate it. I suppose sometimes we need a near psychology degree in order not to step on other people’s toes. In the end, it’s all a matter of respect.
Treat others as you like to be treated!
While I feel for Vered because she was caught unexpectedly in something nasty, I realize that we can never agree with everybody and there will always be people who have the wrong picture about our intentions – our personality.
So be it. I stopped worrying about what others think of me a few years ago. I know who I am, the people I love know who I am, my friends know who I am and this is enough for me.
Is it enough for you too?