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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Sorority of Blogging

Phew. If any of you have kept up with the events on this blog over the past couple of weeks, then you know that I am officially neurotic, sensitive, and neurotic. In that order.

I had the unfortunate (dis)pleasure of being, first, un-followed and then verbally b-slapped publicly all right here on this blog. All within a matter of days. Who knows, maybe it was all by the same person. *shrug*

For seasoned bloggers, this is all in a day's work. For someone like myself, who is new to blogging, who tends to wear her emotions and heart on her sleeve and works herself into a tizzy trying her darndest to make sure NO ONE'S feelings get hurt, this was troublesome.

I really thought long and hard about even discussing the whole rude commenter because I didn't want them to get any further satisfaction out of knowing they got to me. But I don't want to hide things. And I'm not made of stone. And darn it, it's my blog about my life.

I also learned some lessons along the way...

For one, I can't THANK enough all of those who came to my defense/support from the blogosphere. People I DON'T EVEN KNOW jumped in and said some really terrific things about me and for me. I had a couple of my "best girls" jump in to scrap and get my back too. (Kat, your comment actually made me all misty. You really "GET" me. You also really "GET" it.) Thank you!

I had a few people from my church also offer support--people who I don't interact with on a daily basis. I was really touched.

And then there were those who said, "Let it roll off your back." "Well, that's what happens when you put yourself out there..." and my personal favorite, "Then quit blogging."

Wow. Um, thanks.

Bitter much? No, not really. Maybe just a little shell shocked. But I actually have come away with some great boundaries and some decisions about my blogging that needed to be made. I just didn't know they needed to be made until all this happened.

I've learned that "bloggers" are truly the only people who "get" it. And by that I mean understand why I would be so bent out of shape about some random stranger vomitting negativity on me. This blog is like an x-ray into my thoughts. My bloggy friends and family all understand because you're putting yourselves out there every day too. You know what it's like to expose yourselves and then have someone swoop in and kick you in the teeth.

So, fellow bloggers, how do you all feel about these things? Have any of you been in a similar situation? I know a blogger in particular who was and AS SOON as I heard that someone had left a rude comment on their blog, I raced over to defend. I just realized that not everyone is like that. While some may feel bad and empathize with you, they don't want to get involved.

I never thought I would feel any kind of kinship AT ALL with people like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, etc...Now I (sorta) do. Stop laughing at me. I'll give you that it's a flimsy analogy, but still pertinent.

Everyone is so quick to say (and myself included, at one time) that when you put yourself out there in the public, you are opening yourself up for attack, criticism, and gossip. I used to feel that way. But now I'm not so sure. Funny how things change when the shoe's on the other foot, huh? In my own defense, I hardly expected someone to get so hot under the collar about something I typed innocently, tongue-in-cheek and off the cuff. I also DEFINITELY never foresaw that anyone would say that I should expect it (which I hear as 'deserve it') and should "stop whining" (My paraphrase). Now, to be clear, NO ONE actually agreed with the rude commenter.

I just don't think it's fair to say that bloggers should expect or deserve to be treated so poorly, rudely, or disrespectfully by people simply because they blog and put their thoughts "public." Even if I put my thoughts (about a nameless cashier who gave me TMI) up on a billboard, is that really cause for personal attack? Well, I don't think so, anyway.

But those are just my thoughts. And if you're reading them and you don't agree, please don't feel it's necessary to "set me straight."  Feel free to exit stage right and read no further. If you feel differently and can express that in a considerate, respectful way...by all means, I'm all ears!

But there are some changes being made around MandyPville. This is my town and I'm the sheriff. This is a dictatorship, not a democracy. If I don't like what someone says to me or how they say it, by golly I will delete. The delete key is my friend.

I also now know better who gets it and who doesn't. I won't go barking up the wrong trees anymore. It just ends up being stressful for them and me.

And for you all...I'm still your girl if you need a sympathetic ear or someone to have your back. I've always tried to be and I will continue to do so...even if it's not reciprocated.

Now, tomorrow back to the lighthearted and mundane...I think.

9 comments:

  1. I've been in this position. In fact I've been in a worse spot. In my situation the person actually went as far as finding my adult step daughter and tried to bring her in on the issue.

    It can be hurtful, intimidating and scary if it goes too far.

    However, I refused to let it bully me into stop blogging. It is something I do for me and no one else. Unfortunately sometimes negative people who comment are a part of that.

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  2. Holy moly! I missed out! What on earth happened? Whatever the story, you handled it oh so well and yes, by all means you have thea authority to hit delete!!!! What a thoughtful and well-written post, Mandy. I just wrote about "The Unsubsribers" yesterday - I feel your pain sista! Love the part about the new sheriff in town...Too funny...

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  3. Here's my take - it's your blog and you should "run" it however you see fit. I do the same with my blog. I've only had to delete one comment, because I'm not about to spend my precious time defending my posts to complete strangers over the internet. If I wanted to do that, I'd join a political discussion board, ya know? Anyway, keep up the good work. You're a pleasure to read!

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  4. Wonderful post as always! You have such a way with words!
    There are like a metric ton of things I want to say, but it's almost 1am and I am slightly "off"
    I am just proud as can be of you for this post. Hello High Road!!

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  5. You are so right about bloggers being the only ones who truly get it! It is tough not to take it personally when you get the rude comments, but ever since I went to Bloggy Boot Camp and Scary Mommy told us that rude comments mean you've made it as a blogger, I've felt better about it and I have gotten up the courage to hit the delete key and move on. I hope I didn't upset you by telling you not the let the comments get to you, I guess I was just trying to say that you shouldn't let it make you feel bad about blogging, etc.

    There are seriously just some people out there who LIKE being miserable and get satisfaction about putting other people down. For a couple of the rude comments I"ve gotten, I emailed them back thanking them for their comment and telling them how they boosted my confidence as a writer. Since they are trying to do the opposite by leaving those rude comments, I feel like telling them that gives it right back to them!! Don't let them get to you...because that is what they want!!!

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  6. awww so sad you had to deal with all this...

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  7. Laura: I can't even imagine having someone try to include my family in that. What a sick person! I'm sorry you went through that.

    Marsha: Words to live by! Thank you!! You're right...my time IS precioua and I don't plan to engage in any more back-and-forths with them again.

    Natalie: Thanks for commenting. Yes! You did miss a lot...Thanks for coming by to offer your support! =)

    Crayon Wrangler: Your comment made me laugh out loud!! Thank you! Thank you! One of my biggest supporters!

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  8. Mary: You didn't offend me. It's different hearing it from someone in the front lines. And I know that you can say that having experienced it too. Thansk for offering your support!

    Jessica: See whathappenes when you go out of town?!?!? Thanks for commenting. =)

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  9. You are DEFINITELY not obligated to keep comments that are nasty or whatever. Like you say, it's your blog. Don't feel bad about that at all!

    I once wrote a story for the newspaper I used to work for that got the most awful, upsetting comments. I was really upset. But then I realized - they were reading, and they felt enough emotion about the topic to comment. So I was doing my job.

    Personal blog? Completely different. I don't get why anyone would leave a derogatory comment. You might disagree with something, and you can offer your opinion diplomatically. Otherwise? GET OFF THE KEYBOARD!

    Thanks for stopping by today btw!!

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I LOVE COMMENTS! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I appreciate what you have to say. Just remember...if you don't have something nice (or constructive) to say, don't bother. I reserve the right to remove, delete, or ignore any comments I find rude, disrespectful, derrogatory, or inflammatory.

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