If you’ve been with me for a few years, you know I’m in good company on Thursdays. Check out this fantastic group of ladies, giving insight on various topics. Click on:
Froggie (Tracey): One frog’s distinct voice on the world around her.
Merry Land Girl (Melissa): Tales of a suburban mom who likes to talk about pop culture, books, Judaism, family, friendship and anything else that comes to mind.
Darwin Shrugged (Denise): Civilized Observations in an Uncivilized World
I recently received my first ever, bonafide negative comment on this blog. Considering how long I’ve been blogging, I guess I shouldn’t really complain, but up to this point, anything negative has been constructive, and I’m able to see a lot of merit in what the other person has said to me, because it’s constructive, and delivered with respect for me, and for my blog.
My first response to the negative comment was laughter. I was a little shocked, considering the reply was on a post I’d written nearly 2.5 years back. It was when I’d first adopted our guinea pig, Timmy. That was the other thing that made me laugh. Not only was the post super old, but it was regarding my pig.
Here’s the comment:
This led me to today’s topic for the week: Respect.
To be fair, I’d written the post satirically. That was my intent. I complained about the work I’d put into taking care of Timmy, and how he had quickly become my most needy pet. In writing that way, I also emphasized just how much effort went into making sure I did the very best I could for him. I tried to showcase that, but I guess I missed the mark.
I also didn’t provide the backstory into Timmy’s life. He’d been returned to Petco twice. The first time, a military man had been sent overseas, and he couldn’t bring Timmy with him. The second time, a family had returned him, citing unruly behavior. Timmy was all alone in a cage when I’d adopted him. An employee told me they’d tried to put him in a cage with other pigs, but he didn’t get along with them, which is unusual behavior. Most pigs prefer to be with other pigs, in fact, when you adopt them, it’s recommended you do so in pairs.
That made me want him all the more. I’m all about the underdog, and hey, I don’t sugarcoat. He really was a big pain in the butt, initially. He never wanted to be held, or touched. He bit us. He was a frightened, terrified little guy, which is probably why he’d been returned.
He never morphed into a super friendly pet. Sure, he stopped the biting, and he stopped running from us when we’d try to hold him, but he was still cantankerous and merely tolerated us, at best. We accepted the little guy, as is, and recognized just how far he’d come from his first initial days with us.
Maybe if I’d went into all of that, the person who’d replied in that manner would have thought twice about her comment. Or, if she’d looked at other posts I’d written regarding our pig, she’d understand it was all in satire. Or, maybe not.
The comment itself didn’t bother me, not really. My guess is, she wouldn’t have said that to me, face to face, and certainly not if she knew me, personally. I know I’m not at all as she described me to be, so I never took it personally.
What bothered me, and what still bothers me, is how so many of us have lost our manners. Most of us were taught to show respect for others. When did it become so commonplace for people to say whatever they want from the safety of a keyboard and a monitor?
Just the other day, a friend on Facebook posted something I felt was very disrespectful to anyone who doesn’t see life in the same way, or chooses to live life differently. I’ll admit, I was pretty fired up. I couldn’t help but feel as though I was being persecuted for who I am. I had the choice to comment and get into an argument, to say my peace and start a war, but I know it’s not worth it. When you’ve got two people who don’t see eye to eye, sometimes the better option is to block the negativity. So, that’s what I did. I won’t see any of those negative posts, ever again. I did that out of respect, not only for my friend, but also for myself.
I know negative comments come with the territory, when you’re a blogger. I’m sure this won’t be my last one, either. I’m going to struggle with my responses because I’m human, and I know the commenter is, too. Which is why my response was honest, and real, and respectful. Maybe she’ll choose to be a little nicer towards the next blogger. You never know.