This week I found myself tangled in a little blogger brouhaha, something I normally try to avoid. Because really, getting in heated debates with people you don’t know on the internet and whose values you will never share, is pretty much up there on my Continuum of Time Wasted on Stupid Things along with making your own pie crust and watching The Bachelor.
(Although don’t be dissing my Rock of Love, now – you hear?)
But this week, a friend of mine was feeling hurt by a post written about her, I didn’t like the situation, and I tend to see myself–rather unfortunately at times–as Mom-101, Righter of Wrongs and Combatter of Injustice.
and Imaginer of Taught Abs
[via The Hero Factory, courtesy Alexis. Again.]
So I jumped in on the original post and sprung to my friend’s defense trying to be as diplomatic and level-headed as possible along the way.
Somewhere in one of the comment threads, long after I had bowed out, I returned to find myself called all sorts of fun names by that beloved ubiquitous commenter, Anonymous and her best friend, Anonymous. Mostly about how I am soooo mean, and soooo horrible and (once more for emphasis) soooo mean and part of a group of bloggers who goes around being soooo mean to everyone because we’re just big meany-faced poopy heads.
It stung. Not because it’s true, but because it’s the very thing I hate most in the world.
The blog space is funny sometimes, and I forget that by only sharing aspects of our lives online, it can lead people to draw all sorts of conclusions when they attempt to fill in the blanks.
I’ve learned that just because someone writes about a spectacular anniversary dinner does not mean she has a perfect marriage. Because someone doesn’t have the time to friend 600,466 people on Facebook does not mean she’s snotty. Because someone doesn’t return my email doesn’t necessarily mean she’s rude. Because someone uses apostrophe’s (heh) wrong every single time doesn’t mean she’s stupid. Because two bloggers are friendly doesn’t mean they think with one mind.
And yet, I’ve thought those things myself. So, I guess – touché, Anonymous.
I’m going to use whatever hurt I’m feeling as a lesson to try, best I can, to jump to conclusions less. To assume the best instead of the worst. To remember that the people I see online aren’t complete people – they are sides of themselves that they choose to share, limited by time, personal boundaries, and ability to express themselves to varying degrees.
Of course, some people in the world are just plain asshats. But they’ll have to prove it first.
I’m also going to continue living by Katherine Hepburn’s awesome quote that I don’t care what people say about me as long as it isn’t true.