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I have been blogging for 5 years. I have been reading blogs for about 7 and an active part of online forums since I was in College 15 years ago (oh the chat rooms...those were good times). People voice opinions, what they like/dislike, whatever is on their minds and other people either agree or disagree. This is how life is offline and on.
Where the big difference between online and offline lies, is in the comments. Haters are out there. There are entire blogs dedicated to hating people. Being online gives people a sense of security. They can say things they think without repercussion. They can post as "anonymous", not leave an email address and be completely untrackable (except by their IP address, but if you're anything like me, you wouldn't know what to do with said IP address anyway!). These folks can forget everything their Mama's taught them about manners, doing unto others, and other such basic playground behaviors, and do and say whatever they want.
This is a behavior that has long bothered me. I think of my blog as my home. I am essentially inviting you into my living room. Asking you to step over the Legos, ignore the cereal on the floor, dishes in the sink and spit up stains on my shirt. I am opening my home to you and while I may not show every single aspect of what goes on in my home, I am authentic and real.
So, when someone comes into my home and attacks me or attacks my family, that hurts. And it is something I don't understand.
I have certain blogs I love to read because of the way life is portrayed, the photos, the words. These blogs inspire me to be a better Wife, Mother and Woman. SouleMama, NieNie, CJane, Angry Chicken, Becoming Sarah, Mommy Coddle, Adventures in Babywearing...the list goes on and on and on.
I know that their portrayal of life isn't complete. I know that the things they share aren't everything that go on in their homes. I know that they are human, make mistakes, cry, laugh, scream, lose their tempers, etc. I know that things aren't always perfect and sunny in their worlds. I don't need to have them tell me these things in order for them to be authentic.
I have read comments on blogs that made my heart break, my blood boil, and have caused me to wonder, "Where has common decency gone?"
I understand jealousy. I have felt it. I have wanted to have the things that others have. I would love to have higher traffic on my blog, to have people wanting to meet me or buy a book I wrote. I would love to be able to support my family with my passion. And I admit, there have been times when I have read a blog where I thought, "Oh yeah, that is easy for you to say because of x,y, or z".
But here is the difference between me and the haters. I think these things and that is it. I don't write it. I don't go into someone elses home and show them disrespect. If I find that I am continually being rubbed the wrong way by a blogger, I stop reading their blog. I do not invest anymore time or energy into them, because it is not worth it.
Bloggers have become targets for hatred just like celebrities. And, since we are more accessible, we are easier targets. And "blog celebrities" take the brunt of it. There are sites dedicated to bringing down bloggers. I am not going to link to any of them because I don't want to give them any extra traffic. But the fact that there are entire sites full of people who are full of HATRED, just makes me sick.
I guess I just I don't understand what the draw is to bring other people down just because their life seems better than yours in some way. I don't understand when and why it became socially acceptable to hide behind your computer to bring someone else down.
To me, it just seems so very childish and is very easily fixed. If you don't like the blog, don't read it. If you don't agree with me, don't like the way I write, don't like how I parent or cook or take pictures or WHATEVER, don't read it.
For me, I guess I have taken the lessons I learned as a little girl very seriously. If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. Seems to me if we all listened to that advice, we would all be a lot happier.