By far my favourite kind of posts are those where the discussion in the comments sparks the idea for another post – and that’s just what happened after my recent post. Like I mentioned I wasn’t sure if I should post it assuming everybody else would have a different opinion and not understand mine about not sharing. Then again, disagreement and seeing topics from another perspective is what enlivens conversations and is the beauty of blogging. Respectful, comprehensive commentary, that is. And then there are anonymus comments with the sole intention of letting you know “wrong/mean/stupid!”. It was one of that kind that inspired me to think about an issue that I’d only read about on other blogs but never delved into deeper myself before: comment policies. Just like last time I’m curious and can’t wait to hear your approach. Let’s [dis]agree and think out loud!
Among the many things I didn’t know when I started blogging was that it’d attract not only kind but snarky or even hurtful comments, too – and that it might be wise to set up a comment policy for yourself. When I started blogging I approved of every comment – spam aside – and tried to answer them, too. Numerous times getting defensive when a commenter made some snarky notes on what I’d written [or in most cases eaten but more on that below]. Honestly, I absolutely dislike not approving a comment. It feels like I didn’t pay attention to a reader and I want everyone who stops by to know I read and – even if I respond with a major delay or not at all [<- sorry! Trying to stop being that forgetful about it!] – every single one makes me happy.
I’m appreciative of every comment – anonymus or not. In fact, some of the anonymus comments I received early on when I’d just started blogging – and at that recovering – were helpful. Hidden by the cloak of anonymity these people didn’t hesitate to point out when they thought I was cheating myself and still restricting while in denial [I was]. Reading and thinking about their comments that way helped me move on, change and while probably a little hurtful or harsh at first I’m thankful for them in hindsight.
It’d be naive to think you could blog and live in a bubble of ignorance where yours is the only acceptable opinion. Blogging thrives off of exchange with alike andnon-alike minds. If a comment allows for any kind of further conversation I’ll approve it and see where it leads. “You’re mean/ dumb/ ugly/ can’t spell/ …” doesn’t lead anywhere. It’s an irrelevant personal accusation and if you feel the need to say it – again: mail me. Like the above examples of helpful anonymus comments show I don’t think I’m perfect in every – or any – aspect of life. In fact, I feel like for many of us the feedback of an outsider can help us realize truths we didn’t see before. Criticism – of the constructive kind – is welcome.
Rude and accusing comments – in real life just like in the blog world – often come from a place of … I’ll be honest: if your only intention is to bring others down: don’t waste your time. It’s cowardly to attack others from the depths of anonymity in the online community. Try to say only what you’d openly confront people with if you met them on the street. And even if you choose to post anonymically using a pseudonym – which I absolutely understand and respect – you should have the courage to leave a valid e-mail adress only visible to me. If you’re genuinely interested in me responding to you, that is. If not: why comment in anyway?
I’m genuinely interested in the exchange with readers – bloggers and non-bloggers alike – and most definitely not just if you agree with what I’m writing. What I like a lot about blogging is the large spectrum of different people and their views and opinions on all kinds of topics. Even if I have a certain attitude towards an issue I’m not opposed to changing it if I hear convincing arguments in favour of a different standpoint. In fact, I’d be disappointed and bored if everybody agreed with me all of the time. side note: Yes, dad, I enjoy our arguments where two stubborn heads collide.
What all of this means for the comment policy I didn’t realize I’d started practicing somewhere along the way? I will allow negative comments if they have a fundament and allow for further discussion or add to the conversation. Comments that are clearly just meant to hurt or non-sensical ones distract and dillute any serious interaction going on.
On that note I invite you to disagree with me in the comments. Prove me wrong. Tell me why your comment policy is better or what it entails. I’m looking forward to the exchange and you might convince me to change my mind here.
Happiness-inducing today: Overhearing a litttle boy [maybe around 3 years old?] at the grocery telling his mum he loved here in the middle of the freezer aisle. Kids’ spontaneity and honestly warms my heart.
Stay in touch!