One of my favorite bloggers is Andrea Scher of Superhero Journal. And not just because we have the same first name. Recently she announced that she would be allowing artists and writers and whoever to contact her to sponsor her blog (see Blog Redesign and Sponsors*). When I read it I thought, cool, she's changing her design. I'm sure it will be bright and colorful. I didn't think twice about ads or the impact on her blog. Apparently, some of her readers disapproved of her sudden "corporatism" and went on the attack. Some of the criticism was insightful and others were downright nasty and mean without consideration for the person who shares her life with the world. Anyone who has read her blog for some time knows that she is an insightful and positive individual. She thinks things through but makes decisions with her heart. She surrounds herself with beauty and shares it on her blog.
After an inordinate number of comments, she wrote another thoughtful post (see Empathy) about her reasons for blogging and her struggle with parenting. She tied the two aspects together to help those questioning her understand her choices. For the most part the comments held together as supportive, inspired, and loving with the exception of one nasty commenter. I commented, before this unhappy individual spat her anger and frustration, and I told her how meaningful her blog was to me. Certainly I was not sucking up (as I am not now) and genuinely feel her writing enlightens and inspires me like no other person has on the Internet. After all, I believe it is important to give praise when it is due.
There is a larger problem here. Why do "anonymous" individuals feel that they can attack so viciously over the Internet. Would they say those venomous words in person? I think not. I've had other friends who blog been the target of some pretty nasty attacks and applaud them for standing up for themselves while still being the bigger person. I'm sure Andrea will do the same by spreading her love and concern for those with such hate in their souls.
My blog has a small readership and as of yet, I have not received criticism. I suppose as I talk more about our parenting choices and my pregnancy, I'll open myself to attack. On my other blog and more specifically on Youtube, a video I had put up of my three legged dog received some nasty comments. Rather than respond, I had a knee jerk reaction and deleted the comments. After all the love, sweat and tears, I did not want a video of Finny to be associated with haters. His life is short on this earth and I would rather have him surrounded by love than hate, even if the hate is toward The Prof and me and our very personal decision to amputate his leg after a cancer diagnosis.
Blogs are full of disclosing personal decisions, hard ones. They are filled with tears and laughter that are shared with the world to read. Hopefully, those who open themselves to this world are received with kindness and praise when one shares her ideas. If those decide to disagree, perhaps constructive criticism without ad hominem attacks would serve us all better. After all, life is short. Let's have it be sweet.