Tuesday, June 10, 2008

1, 2, 3, 4 ... I Declare a Comment War

Okay, so this is a post I've been mulling over since Friday evening. It's not leaving my head so I feel the need to finally write it down.

I'm tired. I'm exhausted in fact. I'm tired of feeling like I constantly have to defend what I say, think or do to other people. It started ages ago with the whole Games Night fiasco ... thankfully that has died down - as one would expect when the people involved all just stop speaking to each other. Not an ideal resolution and it wouldn't have been my choice but I'm respecting other people's decisions here, so anyway. And then I wrote a post that got a fair amount of comment attention, far more than any other I've written for sure.

In fact, I even had a long conversation with JofH about this at lunch on Sunday. He writes a column expressly called Opinions that cause Trouble. Sometimes he's serious and truly believes what he's writing. A lot of the time, I think, he just knows which of society's buttons need pushing. He said he's just stopped reading the comments people leave on his posts altogether. Invariably (because of their own personal Sacred Cows), they misread something or take one of his comments completely out of context and end up lambasting him in the comments section. He feels the similar exhaustion I have at constantly commenting back, trying (in what becomes an exercise in broken-telephone) to explain that the commenter in question has missed your point entirely.

So here's what I have to say. I have never really outlined this previously on my blog anywhere, but I'm at a point where I feel it needs to be said. And please pay attention here to what I'm actually saying and not what you chose to read from these words.

This is *my* blog. My space online to say what I think and put my ideas and opinions out there. Mine. My ideas and opinions. And I have plenty of them, on restaurants I visit, movies I watch, books I read etc etc, the list goes on and on. Friday's post was no different, an opinion made up from my own experiences and thoughts on a subject. And I'm not trying to convince you one way or another with these opinions of mine. I'm merely saying what's on my mind and what I think about something.

Now, I realise I'm putting them up on a very public forum. And I am always thrilled to hear what the world out there (the ones who bother to read my insignificant little ramblings) has to say about it. If my opinion makes you try a new restaurant, that's fantastic :) If I hated the movie but you read the book and thought it was far better, by all means I want to know. And naturally if you think I'm wrong, you are equally welcome to share your views too.

But now here's the thing I want to be clear about. Share your views, positive or negative ... but don't for one second think that the comments you leave are a platform for you to convince anyone of anything. I don't want a comments section that turns into a half-hearted debate because debate, at very least, usually has a person's tone-of-voice in it's favour. Any comment (or post, for that matter) written will always be read in the tone the *reader* projects onto it.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is: Please share your views and differing opinions, but don't spend 800 lines trying to convert readers. That's not what this is about. Everyone is welcome to their opinion and a comment left on a blog somewhere is never going to change that. Hell, in some cases not even an entire afternoon's conversation with a person will convince them that they are wrong and your are right. So in future, if you miss my point entirely, I'm not going to bother trying to defend myself (or other commenters) in my comments section, it's just to exhausting emotionally for me. After all, this is my space.

Oh, and this post is not directed at any specific commenters from Friday's post, so please don't feel the need to defend yourself against this. It's more as "A Little Friendly Advice when Leaving a Comment" (and I imagine it should actually apply to any blog, not just mine) going forward :)

Last night was quiet, but Varen & I made it to gym and had a nice dinner at home. Sadly he's taking a bit of strain at work at the moment :( Other than that life continues as normal. Yesterday I did my first real work (post-training) at The New Job :)


Mr Jones said...

I'll be first to comment.. waahooo... Good point Miss PG - its your blog... Without moderation, there is always the danger that any old rubbish could be posted as comment - like this one:-) BUT then where is the fun if one could not have a chuckle at some of the rants... Keep on doing what you are doing..

Anonymous said...

Go go Philly_Girl go! :)

I suspect I may have played a part in derailing the discussion on your post on Friday - was not my intention! Apologies! :)

The Divine Miss M said...

Might I suggest moderating your comments if it really bothers you?

Otherwise in a world like blogging you're going to be open to people writing what ever they want.

Moderating might be the way to go!

phillygirl said...

@mrjones - glad you are enjoying it ... and I don't mind your rubbish at all ;)

@kosherdosa - no apologies neccessary

@missm - yes, I've thought of doing that, but I'm actually quite happy for people to comment whatever they like ... generally. I'm just asking for a little "comment etiquette" to be observed. And I just needed to vent and explain why sometimes I won't be rising to the bait to defend myself ... not because I have changed my opinion but, purely because I feel it'll be wasted keystrokes on my part.

Sweets said...

"...the commenter in question has missed your point entirely..."

that would be me :)

... personally i don't have a problem with bloggers using my comment box to discuss an issue between themselves... granted like you said you're not going to change somebody's opinion about anything with a few random words... but that's me... and this is your blog lady, so we follow your rules :)

.. there's my 2c :)

Tamara said...

Apologies if i was at fault on Friday. I do enjoy a good discussion. I must admit, I left the conversation when someone else insulted my husband - to me blogging and commenting is therapy. So when I'm not enjoying it, it's over. I guess you feel the same way about people getting out of hand on your comments section ;-)

Hope Varen's week is a bit easier and that you guys get some awesome quality time together.

AngelConradie said...

very well said.
i am lucky enough to never have had comments such as the one's that may have rubbed you up the wrong way...
clearly you are making people think!

phillygirl said...

@sweets - I really don't have a problem with people discussing things in my comments section. Healthy discussion is always good. But I sorta felt like it got a bit out of hand on Friday and instead of people saying "I disagree with you" it felt like they were saying "You are wrong and I am right", which I don't appreciate one bit.

@tamara - yep, this post on how Friday's comments were handled wasn't just about my feelings, I could tell other commenters (like yourself) might've been offended by the tone as well.

@angel - thinking is good ;) But when people start thinking their opinions are more valid than someone else's ... now that's a problem.

The Jackson Files said...

Oh my goodness. I can't believe I missed all this excitement. The ONE DAY I don't read your blog. Bah. It'll never happen again.

phillygirl said...

@tjf - jees, you have a curious concept of excitement! But ye, don't ever miss a day again ... :)

The Blonde Blogshell said...

I never took it like that...people's opinions are just that - opinions, not a case of "I'm right; you're wrong!"

You shouldn't worry what people think :-)

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