As humans, we all have our own opinions on things. Sometimes they mesh with those around us and sometimes they don't.
Since starting to follow a multitude of blogs online, I've found a startling fact. People are willing to be publicly mean, rude and outright bitchy to people they don't even know over the smallest thing.
Granted, it isn't always a small thing, but still, people seem to lose perspective and respond before thinking things through.
I recently heard a friend was having trouble on their blog. I'm not going to mention who that friend was, and I haven't gone and read the trouble yet. I didn't want any specifics to accidently spill their way onto my blog post.
You've all heard me expound to some extent on the greatness of the writing community. I stand behind that. However, not only writers, but readers, read and follow people's blogs. What happen's when a reader sees authors fighting online? My guess is unless their is a clear antagonist, they're appalled with both of them.
Let's talk about conversational etiquette for a moment. If someone says something that hurts your feelings, how do you react? First, do you try to determine if they meant to? Or do you attack back, not caring if there is a misunderstanding? Do you tell them that they've hurt your feelings? Do you ask them to take it back politely? Or do you yell at them how they've done you wrong? Do you try to see where they're coming from or do you assume you are the be all and end all on the topic?
In other words, are you rude and inconsiderate or fair and polite? In a conversation, face to face, people tend to be more politic on how they respond to someone else's opinion. Not always, things are still hurtful and we still do say things wrong on occassion, but we tend to stay more polite in person. There are exceptions to this, obviously, but society on a whole doesn't do that.
But online, it seems that many people who wouldn't think of being rude to someone's face are total asshats via internet. There are ways to express your opinion that is in direct contrast to someone else's view without being rude, inconsiderate, or down right pissy. Yet, even though we have the option of deleting/rewording via the Internet, we still say harsher things than we would in person.
One might think, that since we have time to think of our harsh words, we'd find nicer ways of saying them, but the opposite seems to be true.
Don't be like this. If you want to disagree, do it respectfully. Also, don't take everything so dang seriously. Try to be helpful and informative. Not angry, resentful, and pissy.
As a blog moderator, what can you do if this happens? Delete the entries for one thing. Yeah, freedom of speech, yada yada, but you are in charge of your blog. You can say, hey! be respectful in your differing opinions. You don't have to allow that kind of nonsens on your blog, and shouldn't. Unless you're Rush Limbaugh, people don't tune into your blog to be apart of that sort of controversy. (Again, we're not talking a difference of opinion, we're talking, rude, forceful, hurtful voicing of angry thoughts and emotions.)
All in all, can we make the decision to be respectful to our fellow blog readers/commenters and try to take advantage of that DELETE button whenever possible? Let's all be professional. Would you act that way at a book signing? If so, please don't come to mine...
And that's my personal opinion. Everyone should be courteous when commenting. If not, I won't allow the comment to stand, and neither should anyone who doesn't want their readers to be exposed to that kind of angry hate.
Feel free to expression your opinion on the matter in the comments--in a respectful manner of course!!