I am a firm believer that when a person takes to the Interwebs to express her opinions, she makes a transition from completely private person to blogger. This is especially true for bloggers who are not anonymous and for those who post the most intimate details of their lives on the Web. If you take that step willingly, you need to accept that not everyone will agree with you or like you. This is also true in real life, but people express their opinions much more freely on the Interwebs, so the dislike/hatred is magnified.
Over the past two years, I have learned that what matters on the Internet is not the disagreement itself but the form that the disagreement takes. Several months ago, after some especially disturbing e-mails, I took to the blog to call a truce to some of the nasty feedback that I was receiving. The threats of physical violence and vulgar, curse word-filled screeds went far beyond anything that I had ever experienced before. Since that post, the number of frightening and exasperating interactions with upset readers have decreased dramatically.
For example, a few weeks back, I wrote a post about the use of name prefixes like Miss, Ms. and Mrs. Almost every one of my commenters disagreed with my perspective, but all of the comments were fair opinions and criticisms, and not one made me feel bad about myself. So I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for that. I like the Friday Discussion posts, but I was initially hesitant to post them because I didn’t want to create a negative commenter free-for-all.
I’m incredibly grateful that my fears did not materialize.
It never ceases to amaze me how some commenters on other sites talk about the blog editors. The comments on one blog post range from “You are so beautiful, I want to be you,” to “Bitch. You are a self-centered, retail whore. I can’t believe someone gave you a book deal.” It’s amazing to me that anyone could feel that passionately about blog content, but I guess some people do.
I don’t really experience any of the fawning adoration or retina-searing hatred that I’ve seen other bloggers take. And I am extremely grateful for this. I neither want to praised to the rafters nor kicked like a dog on my site. So I want to thank all of you for keeping the praise and the criticism well within the realm of reasonable content.
When I think about how this blog has grown and prospered, I couldn’t be prouder. But the thing that brings me the most joy is interacting with all of you in the comments section, on the Facebook page and via Twitter. Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!