This morning, I woke up to do what I always do. Brew a cup of mi gasolina (strong coffee) and open up my computer to read over comments on my blog. I’ve been blogging now for over a year and a half and have found it to be a wonderful experience that has not only brought on new friendships but has opened many doors. But every once in a blue moon, there is that one comment that bursts your bubble and makes you remember the risk you took in starting a blog, in opening up your heart, soul and mind.
That one comment, always from a complete stranger who most likely has not read a single thing on your blog except that one fateful post. That one comment that hurts, wounds, burns like salt poured into an open wound. Then flushing you with anger. For how could a complete stranger be able to make these kinds of cruel, rude accusations without ever having met someone before?
I’ve had three such comments in all my blogging history of 482 posts and 4,700 comments. Each time it had been by someone who isn’t a WordPress blogger (as they don’t have a gravator and only an email address to respond to) who has somehow happened to fall upon my blog and read one post. I’ve been utterly amazed by the level of hatred, rudeness and cruelty of these comments by complete strangers. I have responded to each one. The first two offenders actually ending up apologizing and on my end I actually did change things on the posts that offended them. Should I have done that when it is my blog and my freedom of speech to say what I want? I’m not sure. But I did anyway as I’m not a person who likes conflict. I’m a middle child and grew up always trying to make peace.
Yet I’ve realized over time that if I’m going to blog and make it my voice there will be times when people don’t agree with me or don’t like what I have to say. Recently I wrote a piece called “Are we becoming complacent with freedom“. It was a subject I felt very strongly about was a little scared to publish it since it was really speaking my beliefs. I was taking a risk. But I did it anyway and received a tremendous amount of positive feedback about it.
Writing a blog is all about using your voice. It is about taking risks and letting your heart, soul and most inner beliefs be shared with the world, many of them strangers. It is a frightening risk we take as bloggers exposing ourselves. But overall it has been a risk I’ve been willing to take as I’ve met so many wonderful blogging friends whose comments, advice, encouragement and support have kept me going down this path.
So I leave this post with a copy of my comment I received this morning, with a question to you all. How do you handle negative, rude comments? Why do people write this kind of stuff?
My opinion is that if you don’t like what your reading. Don’t read it.
Thanks everyone who has been there to help me, encourage me, inspire me and keep me going with this blog! I truly appreciate it all and you are always welcome to comment, good or bad. Just please not hurtful, rude or offensive. That’s all I ask.
Comment about my post “The Notority of being blonde in China“.
P.S. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know I’m a 40 year old mom of two. Yes I’m American and I guess perhaps I’m “an old hag”. But if you’ve followed me you hopefully know I’m not at all like this description! I am the most humble, loving, giving mom out there. Maybe I’ll take it as a complement that she thinks I think I’m lovely?
Comment from “Jean”:
Oh please (eyeroll). Italy has its fair share of native blondes, probably more than the U.S.– certainly enough to where a blonde american wouldn’t be seen as some exotic creature. You’re probably imagining you’re the center of attention. Trust me, you’re not. Italy, France and Europe in general is teeming with young stylish svelte gorgeous blondes that make you look their divorced grandmammy. Same goes with contemporary China. And any extra attention (esp. in Italy) is not because of your appearance, but likely because you advertize you’re an American with a huge red, white & blue neon sign. American women are notorious for being sexually crass and easy, esp. when plied with alcohol. The European & Chinese girls just have more class.
Here is the brash American woman she is referring to….me with my son at school wearing my “Shot@Life” t-shirt during global immunization week.
How do you deal with rude comments by strangers on your blog? Do you get angry, laugh it off or hurt? Or do you just let it go?