Saturday, September 12, 2009

On blogging and commenting

A new record has been set here: 45 comments (and counting!) have been left on a single post. Wow. Of course, two of those comments were left by me, and a handful were left by my husband, Michael, so I don't know if those actually count. Roughly half of the comments actually pertained to the subject matter of the original blog entry.

I went to bed last night having made up my mind that I was going to get up this morning and institute the Comment Moderation option that Blogger offers. The Comment Moderation feature results in all comments requiring the approval of the blog owner (me) before being posted publicly on the blog. 'Cause the truth is, I'm sick of the kind of shit that went on here yesterday. Not that it's ever gotten that out of hand before, and not that it's an every day, or even every week occurrence. But it's not the first time that someone has decided to use my blog as a forum to try to bash me, call me out, or otherwise put me in my place. And frankly, that's just not what my blog is for. And it pisses me off when people can't - or choose not to - exercise common courtesy and decency just because they're hiding behind a computer screen in some other corner of the world.

But after some further thought, and bouncing it off of Michael, I'm choosing not to institute Comment Moderation at this point. I've always known that the option was there, and I've chosen thus far not to utilize it because I want to keep my blog real, and I'm really not in favor of censorship. (Despite what Beth asserted in one of her comments that she has seen me delete every comment by my father-in-law, or some such BS - well, that's just complete BS. In the entire history of my blogging, which at this point spans over three years, I have deleted exactly ONE comment from anyone, and yes, it was a comment left by my husband's father, and I deleted it because it was a very personal message directed to Michael which I felt should have been sent directly to Michael and not left publicly on my blog). If you go through my blog and see various deleted comments, those have been deleted by the commenters themselves, and I have no power or control over that.

I realize that I am putting myself out here publicly. But the more I think about it, the more I dispute that I should therefore welcome any and all comments, whatever their tone. That's like saying that just because I walk out my front door and put myself out in the world, that I should expect and even welcome people coming up to me and arguing with me, insulting me, or whatever. There is still something called common decency. There is still the choice to be a polite human being. And while I fully accept that people may disagree with some of the things I write about, I don't agree that anyone should feel free to use this as a springboard to assert their own contrary opinions or to take me down a peg or two. This is not a debate forum. It's not even a discussion board. There actually are forums and message boards that serve the sole purpose of providing a place for debate and discussion.

And despite the fact that I choose to put my life out there publicly for the world to see, the truth is that I actually do pick and choose what to make public and what to keep private (like current issues concerning my in-laws; I have enough respect for them that I have kept that off the blog and private; I wish I were afforded the same respect). I actually am very protective of my family's privacy. You may think you know everything there is to know about me and us, but this blog is just the tip of the iceberg.

What this, my blog, is, is an outlet for me. An emotional outlet, a writing outlet. A place for me to express myself. To record events in my life. To process things that are bothering me. To share news about myself and my family. To connect on some level to other human beings who might have some personal experience with some of the same things I write about. It's nice to feel less alone, and whether I get that benefit for myself by blogging, or provide that for someone who reads my blog, it's a good feeling.

Of course I enjoy the positive feedback I receive. The supportive comments mean a great deal to me. Do I hate it, or am just unable to deal with it, when people disagree with me? I don't think that's altogether true. Yes, I'm thin-skinned and hot-tempered. That said, of course I realize that the world is full of varying opinions and feelings about all kinds of topics. It's the spice of life, right? Right. What gets me all fired up is when someone decides that my blog is the perfect place for them to call me out or start a heated debate or discussion.

If you don't like me, or what I write about, move on. Nobody is forcing you to read my blog. If you have a personal beef with me, email me! There's a link in my sidebar to email me, and there always has been. If you have strong feelings you feel compelled to write about, go blog it on your own blog! Seriously, you can start a blog for FREE, and I assure you, it's very therapeutic.

I realize that I sometimes write about sensitive and/or controversial topics, like home birth and my views about modern maternity care, infant vaccinations, God (or absence thereof), even dogs in public places. I will continue to write about things that are meaningful to me. If you have a differing opinion or perspective that you believe might be constructive or beneficial to me, please, feel free to share it, so long as you can do it in a kind and respectful manner. Because honest to god, I'm just going to start weeding out the assholes.


ashamom said...

And that's the way we like you Lisa!!!
Your blog would be boring if you didn't write about your feelings about issues.
I was worried that you might ban annonymous posters so i got myself a nice google account! Ha!

Love, Asha.

Michelle said...

All I can say is - bring it, babe. We'll keep reading. A@@holes be damned.

(See? I can't clean up my speech anymore. I'm so sorry!!)

Jammie said...

Dear Lisa,

I am so sorry that you and Michael had to face such hurtful things yesterday. It is never easy to have someone attack our character, especially when the person doesn't really know us.

I encourage you to stay the course by taking take of yourself and your family. You may find that just talking to the therapist is enough. If not, you will be confident in taking the next step!

You befriended me when I really needed one and I wish I was there to laugh and cry with you and even babysit!! All my love to you , Michael and the kids.


Anonymous said...


You ROCK!! Keep on blogging and just forget about ALL of the negative crap that people have tried to tell you. Focus in on what matter most to you. Any one that feels the need to be hurtful or disrespectful of you can take a long walk off a short Pay them no mind, and go on with your life. Don't lose any sleep over the negative words that people want to share with you. It's not worth it!! Peace!!

girlonwheels said...

I'm a new reader on both your blogs and wanted to stop by and let you know how much I enjoy reading them.

Khourt said...

I put my blog on comment moderation for a reason similar to this. The girl didnt even know me in real life yet would post mean things to my blog about me.. Some people are just going to be mean no matter what. But just think.. if somebody is feeling that down about themselves that they have to come and bash others to feel better.. well they just suck period :)

Hope this stalker of yours goes away because it seems she has a mighty interest in you despite not wanting to be your friend.

Anonymous said...

Lisa, Mike's family reads your blog because it's the only way to find out how he's doing. He rarely tells them anything and they are concerned. How is it that you two don't understand that??

Anonymous said...

A little clarification to the comment above:

I tell my family what I choose to tell my family, and that's my right. In some ways I'm private, even if they are concerned. They know I'm generally ok, and that some days are rougher than others.

It's not true that Lisa's blog is the only way for my family to find out what's going on with me. I talk to my father probably every week. My sister, not lately, but that's solely mine and my family's (immediate, nuclear, extended, whatever) issue to deal with (sorry, that's OT).

He generally knows how I'm doing even if I don't give him every detail.


Anonymous said...

Does Audrey have a family of her own? A husband? All things point to........NO!!