“Is Internet Civility an Oxymoron?” by L. Gordon Crovitz discusses the comment mine field. Granted, he is talking about newspaper columns, but his discussion is very pertinent to the comment sections of blogs, too” “The Web is a great liberator, giving millions of people the ability to offer opinions with the ease once reserved for newspaper columnists. . . .comment areas becoming wastelands of attacks and insults.”
Do you find yourself in a quandary, stressing out over unfriendly comments? I have had a few comment attacks, and I’ve read a few posts about other bloggers being attacked and insulted, too. The attacks mainly occur because of a lack of tolerance and civility for differing viewpoints. Differing views should not surprise anyone – sadly, how people respond to those differing blogger’s views leaves comment surprises that hurt . . . and a little befuddled about how to handle it.
Civility is about courtesy, politeness and the dreaded M-word – Manners or E-word – Etiquette. Other words for Manners or Etiquette are protocol, respect, thoughtfulness and self-control – making another person comfortable either in their home or yours – always involving a sense of fair play, nice play.
Truth delivered with cutting attitude sometimes costs more than what it is worth. Sometimes one person’s truth needs to be compassionate. Sometimes one person’s truth needs to allow another’s persons truth the opportunity to express itself. Sometimes one person needs to walk away from another person’s truth. I think that is called respecting truth diversity.
Our area in the blogahood is lined with Etsy Shops, Craft Stores and How-tos and Yummy Window restaurants! In the middle of this blogahood is a place where mothers gather, to well, talk about the multi-tasking and multi-dimensional roles that is Motherhood. With a Coffee Clutch (not the gossipy Klatsch approach), women visit with one another, share ideas, recipes, teething remedies, teen angst (not ours our kids) and . . . can I say it? Politics and Faith.
Mika from Not Really Homeschooling accepted my invitation to team together on a project about comment etiquette or manners designed to help bloggers feel more comfortable when the inevitable sticky-wicket comment occurs. Mika was one of my first friends in the blogahood. She encouraged me, befriended me, and disagreed with me – most eloquently and with a ton of material to back up her point.
But she never belittled my intellectual ability or my ideas.
However, some come into the blogahood and misbehave. They enter the comment clutch, not as a friend or encourager, but to belittle and discourage. The dilemma is how to handle comments in an even-handed way that does not discredit the discussion being promoted.