A Rant and A Challenge

People in our ‘blogging community’ often wonder why we are seeing an erosion of bloggers.  Why readers seem to be down – comments seem to be down – and bloggers seem to be falling off the face of the earth at a more rapid rate than in the past.
Often time Twitter and Tumblr are cited as the reasons for this issue.  Those platforms make it too easy – make it so you don’t have to sit down and think of a post to write from start to finish.  You can sit down and do quick thoughts throughout a day instead of that post pressure of yore.
But there is another reason overlooked.  It is the fact that we start wars with each others – wars of words and blame.  We can’t just take the high road on the internet. No, why do that if you have a keyboard and a screen between you and your enemy of the moment.  
We read too much into something someone has said or not said.  We can’t just ask questions. Nope. We have to assume and attack.  That is the preferred battle approach – assume and attack.  
And when our attack method is met with a parry back.  The response is “Oh, my God, can you believe so-and-so did something so childish??”  A great irony given it was a childish act that started the battle.  God forbid someone respond in like.
We call each other’s babies ugly and get upset when the person whose baby is under attack responds or does not respond.  We don’t ask thoughtful questions in private. Nah, why do that if it can make a blog post.
I have watched assumptions get made and people attack others way too much this past year.  The community of support has become a community of mockery and fighting.  
Why keep blogging if that is what your fellow bloggers are doing out there? They were once your friends and now your enemies.
Is it any wonder people are ditching it for Twitter or Tumblr?
Tumblr brings forth a new audience of people.  You can simply repost or post pictures. Or you can post ditties that may bring your followers to “Love it” or even comment.  Instant feedback.
On Twitter, it seems – if you want instant support, you have it.  Either way – actually – for things that require legitimate support as well as support for “OMG can you believe he said that” sort of posts.  It is funny to me how a platform can be both a high school yard and a bar at the same time.  
Regardless of your spiritual belief….love thy neighbor flew the coop a long time ago.  
And each time I see karma bite someone in the ass, I also see a person wonder aloud “how could that happen” without really any examination of their own actions.
(thanks Twitter)
For 2012, I challenge all the bloggers to rediscover community again. Embrace our differences.  Ask for clarification before blasting people.  Show the support you got when you started to blog – whether the blogger is new or old.  And finally, realize people have different opinions – and that’s OK.  

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Hubman says:

    You know what’s almost as annoying as what you’re talking about it? Talking about it anonymously. You have something to say to someone, say it to them, call them out on their behavior.

  2. Am I jaded to the point where I should just walk away from it all because I’m starting to think that re-discovering community is a bit impossible? Maybe the jaded comes from the projects I run and how some days I get more flak than help/support (like if I’m *gasp* late!)

    I also believe that what is dubbed “high school mentality” is in fact…forever. I can remember in school when I’d have problems sometimes with mean girls and my mom would always try to reassure me with “it gets so much better after high school” and it didn’t. I’ve worked with adults of all ages and seen the petty behaviour time and again. The two-faced-ness. The ugly words. Judging people on their looks (like that girl I mentioned once when I blogged about HNT & WW, who posted this whole “you’re ugly quit being naked” post). All of that stayed alive and well throughout the years. I think it’s a personality trait, not a maturity thing.

  3. Maggie says:

    I left for reasons other than this and didn’t go to Twitter or Tumblr, I just continued on with the private blog I’ve always used (that no one has ever seen). Blogging to me was never about readers or comments but I see more and more whining about losing readers and not getting comments or whatever. Why do people blog? For attention? For comments? To get things out of our minds and into words? Some of the above? All of the above? I wasn’t aware of a lot of the drama until after I quit publicly blogging. It’s childish and like Dangerous Lilly said, it’s a high school mentality thing and it’s definitely compounded by the relative anonymity of the internet. Even when we “know” the person we’re attacking (or have even met in person!) it’s easier to forget they’re real because you don’t have to look them in the face when you talk bad about them.

    Not to mention the fact that I’m seriously wondering where everyone gets the time/energy to attack strangers on the internet. Now that I don’t blog I can’t recall how I found the time to even type out a few sentences a day.

  4. Beryl says:

    2011 was a sucking chest wound of a year, partly self inflicted, partly not. Your post resonates with me. The reasons you offer in explanation are my own. I began blogging at a time in my life when I realized how alone and out of sync I felt with my place and understanding of my existence, my needs and my truths. I had got to a place where not matter how furiously I was paddling under the surface to maintain some semblance of what I thought would make me happy, I couldn’t pass off even your most standard of water fowl floating serenely along. This post also resonates because recently, I crossed a bridge in my personal life I can’t uncross and my instinct since that time has been to return to writing. It’s cathartic and offers some respite for all the sometimes seemingly relentless noise in my head. I think about the gifts of insight bloggers receive and play forward and I feel the pull to return here. Still, I also remember the harsh words, the judgements, the pettiness and the betrayals of spirit I committed, whether purposeful or not, and feel compelled to self examine very carefully. My own numan frailty is daunting enough without thinking of what things were ever perpetrated upon me or could be again as they are for anyone who opens themselves. Even as I write this, I’m not sure what the best course is, but what I hope to do is make a decision devoid of fear. What I hope to remember is what you have put forward for all of us to consider and that is to be kind, be compassionate and to focus on our truths and not someone else’s. An outward thank you to you for this and for all the other times you’ve expended your own emotional currency and stood brave enough to offer us yourself. To me that is what blogging is in its purest distillation

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  8. Topaz says:

    I’ve had a personal situation keep me from blogging as often as I have. I’ve tried to steer clear of the blog cattiness that I’ve seen consume some bloggers. I appreciate the support that met me in my early blogging times. I wish all those bloggers were still with us and glad some still are (including you). And though the tone of blogger relationships have changed, I’ve chosen to maintain my mores as they were when I first posted.

    If others do the same, even if they don’t comment, it puts a smile on my face. Let’s see if others take the challenge in the new year.

  9. BluEyedBader says:

    We never do seem to far away from the high school mentality… I always hated that mentality and while I was friends with every clique in high school I was never that popular. Mostly because I did not care to be.

    I had my core group of friends that I would spend time with and that is all that matter to me… I seem to do the same thing here. The blogs that I read are the ones of the people that I connect mostly with. There are a few that I branch out for but there are only a few that I read on a regular basis..

    I write for myself, I write to open up my feelings that I can not tell others… it is like therapy for me. I have been introduced to some people that I care about even if I have not met them in person and that is a bonus.

  10. Bob says:

    Very few read my blog (est 08/2006) so there’s never been a problem with petty ass bullshit comments. I’m an average guy. No problems. Happy. Probably too boring to stir up negative comments. Sigh.

  11. Chapter Two says:

    Oh how true how true. I agree. I can not stand how things turned and oh so quickly. I did write for myself and appreciated any comment I got- except the comments like you speak of – or worse! someone popping in and letting me know someone, a blogger I didn’t even ‘know’ usually, wrote a huge rant about something I said. Or worse, something they assumed I did!!! what????? sigh….give me a break. I got out of the habit, and didn’t make the time- that is my excuse but the reasons for both go back to what you say. Bravo

    and as for pointing it to someone or another. if the words sting maybe they are meant for you. I don’t know

  12. Dana says:

    Hrrmmmm …

    My blog had taken a hit for many of the reasons you mentioned, but the ease of micro-blogging and the commitment to other internet projects lead the way for me.

    Blogging takes time and energy. Supporting the blogging community takes time and energy. There are fancy apps for twitter and tumblr that allow ease of access and, as you mention, instant gratification.

    The nastiness? Lord knows I’ve been on the receiving end, and (if I’m honest) the giving end of that on occasion. My recent issue with a “stalker” (someone I met online and eventually IRL) outing my tumblr to my employer has made me leery of opening up on the blog again.

    That said? I miss writing – writing with content. That type of writing doesn’t have a place on tumblr nor on twitter, so maybe it’s time to blog more regularly again.

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