Tuesday, July 26, 2011

If You Can't Say Something Nice...

*Hallmark winners are announced!! If you were one of the first 10 commenters on this post, please email me your info at kimborchert (at) gmail (dot) com.  And for the random giftie from me....#13 Mama Bee!!! Shoot me an email Kristal! And thanks for all your comments everyone! Get writing!

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.


Jen said...

Love it! If you don't have something nice to say...don't say anything at all.

I do have something nice to say. I love you and think you are awesome! I'm glad I've known you for over 10 years (that makes me feel old though!) Hope you have a great day!

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

I so agree.

What is more painful for me than random, drive-by, troll-ish hateful comments are the negative comments from somewhat regular readers. Not often, but every now and again in my five years of blogging, I've had someone respond to a post in a way that made me just want to shut things down and walk away. Interestingly, these weren't comments on some of the more hot-button issues I post on (vaccinations, for example, or parenting choices); instead, they were thinly veiled attacks on me or my marriage or children. THAT is what gets to me.

Thanks for speaking powerful truth here. If we could all just remember that people are people are PEOPLE.

Heather said...

I so get this. I have seen so many people that I know and adore and love get targeted by these people and I don't understand why. I can't imagine having a life with so much venom in it. Treat others as you would want to be treated is such a basic and easy lesson to learn, yet so many people turn a blind eye to it.

I love how you speak your heart and I have to say that meeting you again and hugging you at Blissdom was one of the highlights of the trip for me. And when you remembered me and asked about me and one of my tweets in the elevator, I was over the moon.


Cameron said...

I feel exactly the same way. Click away, close the window, why be nasty?

NLS 1993 said...

I feel kind of sorry for these people. I mean, it makes me mad when they're being hurtful to someone, of course. But then I think about how bored or lonely or sad they must be themselves to pass their time this way. Insecurity...it robs us and makes us do ugly things.

also. I love you. :)

Holly said...

I found your blog about a week before the Breastfeeding Bruhaha 2011 erupted, and I love it. Thank you for all your lovely posts and for your great example.

tawnya said...

I'll say to you what I said last week. There are times I'm glad I have an unknown blog of 20 or so readers who all know me. It feels safer!

Well said, Mama.

Lyndsay said...

You state it all so well.

I love your blog and I think you're fantastic. I read people that inspire me too and you're one of them!

This will all blow over and people will go back to torturing someone else. Sad, really. I'm sorry it turned into this, but I'm so SO proud of you for posting what you did about breastfeeding.


LL Moore said...

Kim....reading this reminded me of the bullies from elementary school. When I was 21 I had a chance to confront that bully and asked her why she did to me the things she did. Her answer was "because you had so much." I grew up on welfare and my mom sent me to school in not only clothes from the thrift store, but maternity clothes (her way of telling me I was too fat).

Anyway, I have often thought back to these girls, and saw where their lives haven taken them and where mine has taken me. They were always so miserable and unhappy they decided the rest of the world needed to be just like them. These were the girls who had brand new named brand clothes to wear to school.

Through it all I have realized I can't make people love me or even like me. The only thing I can do is to change me and how I deal with them/it.

You have to remember that as much as they pinpoint you, it is not you they are "mad" at but something else but you just happen to be the target. I will say these are people so miserable they do not know what happiness is. I've been there before so I kind of understand where the miserable people are coming from. It doesn't make it any easier, but for me makes it more tolerable to know I can walk away with more dignity and honor than they did. Hugs Girl!! You rock!!!

Bubbas Momma said...

I've only been reading your blog for about a year now (I think, oh let's say over a year now) and I check it everyday. I love how you put yourself out there and it really is like you've invited me into your living room. So thanks for that, you are so inspiring. Please don't ever stop blogging. Also if you did write a book, I'd probably buy it...
Bless you and your family!!

Unknown said...

A nice letter to your readers about how to write a nice letter.

Love it.


LittleGreenThread said...

I absolutely could not agree more. You said exactly what I have been thinking / feeling for a while. I don't understand all the hate. Like you, I do understand feelings of anger & jealousy. That's part of being human. But part of being an adult is reigning in those feelings and keeping them in check.
And for the record, I would love to meet you! :)

Emily said...

Perfectly said. If I find a blog no longer inspires me, makes me laugh, or causes me to think, then I no longer read it. Life is too short--and I don't have nearly enough energy--to continually have my feathers ruffled...or to feel jealous about something or someone. Biting your lip may be painful but it's so worth it.

claire said...

Yes, there are blogs dedicated to tearing a popular blog down. Some in particular are because the people have been lied to and had their money taken from them. I understand they are upset but it does not mean they are "hateful" people. To me hate is a really strong word, maybe I have not come across blogs that are outright hateful towards others but perhaps mock them in a crass and rude way.If I don't like a blog I simply don't read so I am not inclined to leave a rude comment. The thing that bothers me the most though is that if the comment is anything less than sunshine and roses it is seen as a "hateful" comment. Where is the constructive criticism and conversations we have with people that help us grow as human beings? Blogging is a public forum and invites all types of readership.
I don't always have to agree with someones blog and I should not be ganged up on if I post that I have a different point of view (but doing so in a respectful manner). In the end we are all here to support each other, no matter our backgrounds or beliefs.

mommabird2345 said...

You've said this perfectly. I love your blog. You are genuine. That is why I keep coming back.

P.S. I would totally like to meet you and I would buy your book, if you ever wrote one. :)

Beth said...

Right on! I agree with you 100%! :)

Kim said...


I agree with you, you can disagree and still not be a "hater". I don't mind a comment that doesn't agree with me, or isn't all sunshine and roses. I love having a respectful, adult conversation, and have no problem with that.

My problem is when people attack me on my blog and aren't willing
to have a conversation.

You have to agree that there are people who want to stir the pot and don't care about having a civilized conversation. Those are the people I am writing about. The ones who have the hater blogs.

It sounds to me like you are smart and stay out of the drama though :)

Thanks for your comment.

Laura K said...

I totally agree with you. I found my first hate blog totally on accident. Back when Oklahoma was having terrible storms and tornadoes I was trying to find out what town Pioneer Woman lives in because I was worried about her family. Low and behold I come across a hate blog. I couldn't believe that people seem to dedicate all this time just to post hateful things about someone else. It blew my mind. Like you said, if you don't agree with someone or don't like what they have to say then move on. There are plenty of blogs out there. Find one you like. Don't use the internet as a weapon of hate. Life is too short to spend your time dedicated to someone you don't like!

Vanessa Brown said...

I wish I did NOT know what to do with IP addresses. Cause here is the thing...the "anynom" people leaving comments are other bloggers that online really do pretend to be your friend. Sometimes us as bloggers are the ones leaving the nasty comments. At least on my blogs most of the comments...that is who it turned out to be. Which stings even more.
P.S. We love the same blogs! :)
-vanessa from inevergrewup.net

Sarah Bessey said...

(Look at me! De-lurking!)

Amen. I wish that everyone had to read it before they comment - or email.

JamiLeigh said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog. :) I've read a handful of your posts since your "Breastfeeding at the YMCA" post was featured on blogher.com. I really enjoy your blog (and I think many of the readers who follow mine would enjoy your blog too), so I snagged one of your buttons.

Congratulations and thank you for the work you put in to get that important issue taken care of.

I couldn't agree more with you on this post. I couldn't believe some of the comments people were writing on your breast feeding post! I really appreciate blogs being a space where we can articulate our carefully considered opinions in a public forum. But, when trolls attack you - sometimes, without hardly reading what you wrote - it can be SO frustrating.

I was recently bothered by some comments on one of the opinion pieces on my blog. I was whining about it to my granny and she said, "You've got to toughen up!" It's true. Bloggers do need to be tough. But, really - people should also NOT be so mean.