4.05.2006

Un-Pleasantville

Most weeks, I barely have time to post on my own blog and catch up on yours. However, recently I had a rare opportunity to venture out in the blogsphere. Sitting outside a trendy little Vietnamese cafe with my wireless iPAQ, I sipped a martini and enjoyed the beautiful 80-degree temperature--all the while looking at your blogrolls and recommended reads, enjoying both the writing and the diversity of thought of those not familiar to me.

I must admit that I am always humbled when I venture out into your worlds--your blogs--because so often I am impressed, enlightened, humored or touched. With some of the posts, I am wowed by your knowledge and the depths at which you can discuss a variety of topics. With others, I am grateful to get even a glimpse of your life, which differs in one way or another from my own. There are still other occasions when it is your writing that captures my fancy. During those times, especially, I am left wishing it had been me smart enough or clever enough to write with such clarity of word or thought. In other words, for whatever reason I come lurking, I am almost never sorry that I visited a blog.

Until recently...

As I sat outside my favorite Asian bistro, venturing outside my virtual neighborhood, I stumbled across a post, which flew in the face of all that I enjoy about this medium and why I turned to blogging as both source of self-expression and as a way to connect with people. It said in part:

"...[T]here are a handful of blogs I read just to mock, and I have to tell you, I read them and I instantly feel better about myself, because obviously I am so much cooler..."

The post went on to criticize other bloggers' writing, lack of humor, blog subject matter, and on and on and on. As I read this post, I couldn't help but feel judged myself--a feeling new to me in this virtual world because I have yet to experience outright judgment by my small, but supportive, community of bloggers. And although I doubt this author was directing her comments at me (as I have never visited her blog before), I felt slighted all the same.

I also felt angered by the post and its sense of superiority. What if I, her reader, didn't find this author all that funny or clever? What about her or her life makes this author think she is better or "cooler" than me or anyone else for that matter? Who spends their time reading a blog simply for the sake of judging its author? And, why would anyone need that sort of validation anyway? I could go on and on, but it is sufficient to say that the post got under my skin.

However, unlike this author, who would continue to visit and mock the source of her derision, I choose never to visit her blog again--yet another reason I love this medium. I never have to listen to unwanted, frivolous, or tactless chatter. I don't need a V-chip to ward off offensive material. With a simple click of the mouse, the rancor of it all vanishes, replaced by my virtual Pleasantville once again.

And, I breathe a heavy sigh of relief.

6 comments:

David said...

Well in my opinion, people that are that "cool" don't need to go to other peoples blogs and belittle or mock them. That doesn't show that you are cool, it shows that you have issues with self confidence. Luckily I have only gotten 2 comments the entire time I have been blogging that I was like WTF?

The first was an anon post that just said "Write about something interesting". It shocked me because to be honest I had no idea others were even reading my blog. I had sent my wife and parents the link and was using it to communicate with them what I did at work. I remember going WOW, someone else read my stuff! LOL The other was a comment directed at one of my other commenters that I deleted right away, because I just don't like that. I am just way too Cool for stuff like that to happen on my blog! HaHa

3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

Diane,

I have a hard time with hateful, negative people who need to derive their self esteem by putting down others. I completely relate to what you're saying!

But as there are many like this in day to day life, it doesn't shock me much anymore to run across it on occasion in blogland. (Occassionally I have been hurt by it) But the beauty of blogland, is that we are indeed in control of keeping our involvement in such negativity to a minimum with a simple click of the mouse. Resulting in our blogland world remaining well within the realm of Pleasantville.

Well written post Diane.

:-)3T

TamWill said...

Because of bloggers, such as the one you mentioned, many people get hurt and delete their blogs. I know..I did it as well.
I don't blog to impress or compete, I like the connection to others. I use to worry about
my grammar or lack of proper pronounciation...I let it go because I know that the ones who visit me accept me as I am and for that I am blessed.

Great Post Diane! p.s. Where is Queenie?

utenzi said...

I'm not surprised, Diane. Blogs reflect the people that write them. No surprise there. We all know people just like the one you described--that derive their self worth by feeling superior to others. We're judged every day by what we say, what we wear, what we look like etc. It's no surprise that we're judged by our blogs as well, Diane.

queenofsass said...

Half the fun of being a blogger is cruising around, checking other people's blogs. While I have encountered a few that I would not read again, I don't feel the need to dis the blogger.

TamWill--I'm still around...working on a new site...more to come on that.

utenzi said...

It's great to see that you're still aroud, Chris. I've been wondering about you ever since your blog disappeared. Hope to see you have something up on the Net soon.