Let me first say this: I LOVE COMMENTS! One of my goals this year is to visit blogs more often and comment when I have something to contribute and share. Even if I have nothing relevant. Maybe just to say “hi” and “I like your post and your blog and you”. A simple “like” on a post makes me smile.
I have been told more times than I can count that “You are too nice“. So in my younger, impressionable years I tried to be more snarky, more controversial, more un-nice. But that’s not my knee-jerk normal reaction. I can’t fake it. Yes, I sure can be tough and challenging when it’s something I am passionate about-just ask my kids, family and friends. And I do have a wicked sense of humor, have dark thoughts at times, practice daily being less-judgmental and gossipy. But usually I am guilty of the “too nice” attitude.
When I was told it again recently, my demeanor completely changed. I rallied back with “What’s wrong with being too nice? That’s actually a ridiculous thing to say.” I’ve also heard “You think too much” and my favorite, “You’re too thoughtful“.
So it got me thinking about blog comments. What do YOU do when someone shows up on your blog and blasts you, your post, your opinions, your book review, the way you write? Do you publish them and voice your opinion back or simply send them to spam and trash?
I spam/trash mine.
At this stage in my life, I have no time for, as they call it, “internet trolls”. People who make absurd and negative comments on MY blog. I am not the be-all, end-all in all things books nor life for that matter. I simply enjoy talking about books and sharing my thoughts. I don’t delete comments that disagree with me. I enjoy input, others’ opinions and bookish discussions but I do delete the same few who keep showing up spewing rude and ridiculous thoughts. Because guess what guys, it stings, and my overactive thoughts sometimes can’t let it go. I don’t want to get into an online debate sticking up for myself, especially with someone who doesn’t put themselves out there and hides behind anonymity. I’ve better things to do and to focus on.
I LOVED this post and response from Savidge Reads when he was attacked on Twitter. I don’t think I would be as smooth and if I did engage, I would be exhausted.
I’ve seen other online blogs/sites give warning that inappropriate comments will be deleted. It happened again recently when I posted that I thought The Girl on the Train wasn’t this years Gone Girl...in my opinion. I don’t think they really read my review…I LIKED both books, in different ways, for what they were, but I didn’t see the comparison between the two. Such venom and anger. Jeesh! Maybe it was the author. 😉 But seriously, I have had a few repeat offenders on different posts and I just gave up trying to justify their thoughts. So in the trash they went. Maybe they’ll get the hint when they see their comments never showing up.
Honestly, I’ve sat on this post for weeks, again not sure of how it would be received and then something wonderful happened. Actually two things. Two podcasts. I love TED Radio Hour in which each podcast focuses on one topic and compiles several different TED talks into one. Guess which one gave me a little nudge to publish this post? It’s titled “Just A Little Nicer” with Sally Kohn, Krista Tippett, Robert Wright, Karen Armstrong and Daniel Goleman about compassion and empathy. The podcast should be listened to by everyone in the human race. And then this one from Dear Sugar titled “How Do I Survive The Critics” with an appearance by George Saunders. After I listened to it a little voice in my head screamed “POST IT!”. There are so many wonderful points, humor and insight in both podcasts but my overall takeaway is (paraphrased of course):
- It’s easier to be more compassionate and kind. It’s necessary for our health.
- We have to validate and appreciate someone else’s experience even if it isn’t our own.
- Karma, Karma, Karma.
- Emotional Correctness vs. Political Correctness: It’s not what you say but how you say it.
- Having a sense of humor and being able to laugh at yourself helps on all levels.
- Constructive criticism can hurt but open yourself up to the meaning behind it. “Everyone doesn’t have to love you” – Cheryl Strayed
- Consider the source. Don’t sweat it if it comes from someone you don’t value.
- This is supposed to be enjoyable and fun. “Don’t let them get your sense of play”-George Saunders
- Show up, put it out there…but be prepared because the world now owns it.
And so I’m not changing this blog or how I do reviews. I am going to continue to be kind and supportive to my fellow bloggers and engage in healthy debates over books and issues. If I really didn’t like a book it most likely won’t show up here, I just find that a waste of my time. I might still acknowledge it and point out why it didn’t work for me but there will be no “blasting of books” on this blog. If you’re looking for that or what to avoid, go to Goodreads and just read the 1 star reviews. If you have a negative comment about this blog, a post, how I write or about me, go ahead and leave it, but you’re wasting your time. Just because I’m nice, doesn’t mean I’m a pushover!
(photo credits: Google Search)