I was trolling through some of my favorite blogs this morning and came across Jenna's blog at Cold Antler.
A couple of days ago she wrote a post titled "On Comments" about readers of her blog who posted negative comments to the point that she's considering not allowing commenting on her blog at all.
This got me to thinking about blogging in general. One of my BIGGEST concerns when I first started blogging would be "what would people think about what I have to say."
This single thought, in and of itself, is with me every time I hit the "publish post" button.
It's my auto-censure.
Am I writing something that's too personal, too controversial, too snarky? If I'm not sure, I sit on the post for awhile and consider "diluting" the content a bit. How honest do I really want to be? Will SM think what I've shared is too personal? Do I really want to talk about things that might piss some people off or open myself to criticism?
When we sit down face to face we use the social "manners" that we were taught as kids. There are just some things that people in polite company don't discuss or if you DO discuss it, you tend to "tread lightly" so as not to offend.
I tend to think that my blog is light and fluffy. You won't find any earth-shattering discoveries in any of my posts. I'm walking the sunny side of the street for the most part. I like to point out the humor (sometimes embarrassingly so) in a situation but I don't do it to cause hurt. I do it because I honestly think it's funny.
Still, it makes me reflect.
I personally love to make comments and get comments. I learn so much about what people think, what they've experienced, what their life's lessons have taught them.
I've never gotten what I considered a "negative" comment here. But I do understand how that could make the hair on the back of my neck stand up. You bet I'd be defensive. And then I'd probably be sad.
I've learned over the years that you can be told how great you are 50 different ways to Sunday, but if just one person has a criticism...Well, that's all you hear. Then you think badly of yourself, your performance. You start to question yourself.
And that's just too bad...
Maybe we all need to be reminded about our manners. What is it they say?
If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
Words to live by.