Before Blogging 101, I used to comment on blogs without any worries, just as the spirit moved me. I never thought much about what to say or how to say it.
But in Blogging 101 we were given guidelines on how to make valuable comments, and I’m still thinking about those. One tip:
“Mind your manners. If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it in their comment thread.”
But you know, the opposite can be true. When you say something to a person’s face, you provide many extra clues for interpretation. Your tone of voice and facial expression can soften an otherwise abrupt remark. That’s why emojis are so popular. Maybe we should be a bit more cautious when commenting online for this reason.
Even so, at what point does my involvement seem like interference to you? Can I ever be sure that you won’t take my friendly disagreement as an insult or attack?
Who have I offended today?
Today I completed the assigned task by commenting at some length on four blog posts or pages. I did five. And I’m almost sure I have been too bossy or presumptuous or even rude at times.
Do you agree? I’ve provided links to the pages where I commented.
- BasantS writes about her experience as a socially anxious extravert. My comment was purely supportive, I hope.
- Phantasmagoria wrote that her ideal audience was just like herself. The post amused me, and therefore I disagreed with her — because I am not just like her, not by a very long chalk! I think I disagreed politely?
- Jen Todd in “My Paint Splattered Life” gives excellent advice on How Not to Quit when Blogging 101 is a struggle. But she attributes her own tussles with Blogging 101 to her age (56), and this I strongly disagreed with. Was I rude? Now I’m wondering.
- Mashedjam introduced herself and her reasons for blogging. My main feeling about this page is one of admiration. But I think my comment is rather patronising. Why did I presume to give advice out of nowhere to someone I have never met? Beats me.
- Kiwinana gave her perfectly reasonable opinion about swearing on WordPress blogs. Not satisfied with dishing out unsolicited advice to one person, I proceeded to do it again — even though I am a Kiwi Nana myself! Even as I commented, I wondered whether I was phrasing my thoughts safely.
Update: Courteously, the lovely Kiwinana thanks me for the comment and link: just what I hoped for. But look, now another person joins in the debate rather more robustly.
The photo was taken at the Taylor family reunion last week.