My thoughts about angry bloggers and why they exist

Sue Daugherty
Mar 23, 2010

I heard some constructive criticism about my blogging, and I'm going to put it to use.

The criticism was, stop being so factual (it's kind of boring) and share your thoughts and opinions. That's what blogging is — sharing your thoughts and letting people comment on them. So let me give this a try. Understand that this is more difficult for me than you realize. I'm much more in touch with the male side of my brain than I am with the female side of my brain. So here I go.

I heard some very wise words once. There is never a behavior without a cause. So I began to wonder, why are some bloggers so brutal when they post their comments not just to my blog, but to any of them? Do they even know the person they are blogging about?

I realize the negativity is because they don't agree with what was said, but why do the comments have to be degrading, mean, insulting?

Here are my thoughts on the matter, and I look forward to reading what you think about my assessment.

It is the need to feel powerful.

To degrade, bully and insult are ways of exerting power. No matter how it's done — in person or on a blog — there is a thrill and a sense of superiority to publicly criticize someone you strongly disagree with. I suspect that those who choose to blog in a bullying, offensive manner get a real rush they can't get in their personal face-to-face relationships.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

We all have a need to be needed. We need to feel our life is meaningful.  When there is lack of purpose or meaning in our lives there is a vacuum. And that can't feel good.  In fact, I suspect people fill this vacuum with pent-up negative thoughts and feelings. Anger and nasty blog remarks produce a sense of self-worth/purpose/meaning in their lives.

It is because they have too much mental energy.

It takes time and energy to write some of the offensive — and sometimes filthy — stuff that gets posted. Then to monitor it and write back something a little more insulting/offensive/harmful takes more energy. I've heard it said that "goodness" has to be taught and that "evil" already exists within us. What do you think? Is verbal bullying something that occurs with little effort? Is it our second nature?

What would happen if the same time and energy that are used to blog insults were used in a different manner?  What if blogs followed a rule of having to respectfully challenge the blogger's thinking?

I think we would get some great blogging.

Let's give it a try.

Comments

hclayman

you are correct except for one thing, in my opinion.

the people who write the worst things are also cowards and hide behind their anonymous screen identity. one was stalking my comments so i had to change the name because the person didn't like something i said. it is very scary to think that these comments might be written by someone who presents a nice public image.

the register needs to take more responsibility about monitoring the posts and you should try harder to get them to do so.

Anonymous

Sue, do you have a problem with people like me legitimately complaining about how this so called greatest generation is vacuuming cash out of my wallet to support their unplanned for lifestyles and that levy that supports our salary? Thats anger and inappropriate criticism? Social security and the SOS levy won't be around for me and I am planing my life accordingly. I am tired of the presumption and moral arrogance of people like you on behalf of this predator class that has ruined our nation and created a suffocating tax burden. Oh wait, I am being a bully or something, oh a brutal comment. Please. Why do I care that your customers cant supposedly heat their homes, they should have planned better or they should move to a place they can afford. America the whiners, being goven a forum on this website. Let's see how fast this post gets deleted as I speak a truth many SR readers accept.

Anonymous

and like the previous poster, I IMPLORE the Register to DO SOMETHING about the rampant abuse that is occuring on these comment sections. The SR is doing a great disservice to our community by allowing this to go on unchecked. I have no problem with people sharing their differing opinions or offering constructive criticism, but nastiness, filth, obscenities or hatred seem to be taking over almost every posting, no matter what the topic. Please, fix this and clean up this mess.

Anonymous

If you do not like what people say tough rockos. You only want someone like yourself to write things you like and agrees with your opinions? That is a two way street. I might not agree with your opinions but I do agree you have the right to that opinion. I have been cussed at, threatened, called names, etc. etc. It does not bother me. Why do you want the Sr to delete opinions diggerent form yours?

Anonymous

read different!

Gulliver

To Harvey, I appreciate your perspective and would like to share the other things that go into life and growing older that could not be planned for... Those who are in their late 70's & 80 + years of age today, had parents who (for the most part) died at or before the age of 65. Back then, the general public never could have anticipated the medical advances that have taken place and the sky rocketing costs that accompany these advances. A similar phenomenon would be... Just as our generation never anticipated the successful growth & development of China & India and the consequences this is having on young and middle-aged adults today.

When Medicare & Social Security was implemented, it was implemented with the factual knowledge that the majority of people died at age 65.

The money taken from your wallet to fund social security isn't caused by people who failed to plan. The greatest majority DID plan. Although I do admit that there are those who in later life have made some poor financial decsions, they are NOT the majority.

What most people fail to realize is those who were born in the 1920's believed they would be dead by the 1980's. And guess what... It isn't happening at the proportions that we are acustomed to. And this does bring with it social consequences that require advocacy/problem solving and local & responsible intervention.

Thank you for allowing me to share this perspective. I hope you feel as though it was done respectfully, as that was my intention.

Would anyone else care to lend any respectful insights to Harvey's position statement? -- Sue

Anonymous

Your blogs stink. I can't believe I just wasted 3 minutes of my life reading this garbage. That's 3 minutes that I will never get back. Thanks a lot Sue.

Anonymous

But you are kinda hot though.

hclayman

Since you're more in touch with the male side of your brain, have you ever thought about becoming a lesbian. I'll give you my number sweetheart!

Anonymous

I think your psychoanalysis of hate bloggers is on the money. It is the anonymity the SR allows these hate bloggers, however, that enables them. The SR should take responsibility and require some sort of accountability and identifiers on bloggers. I think you will continue to see differences of opinion, but the hatred would be toned down.

Anonymous

Hi Sue,

You certainly brought out some great points. Those points have been made for years, since blogging began. No matter if it’s blogging or writing anonymous letters, when people are cloaked they can be anyone they want to be.

But, Sue, keep in mind, you are the owner of this blog we are contributors. Your words will cause reaction. When you say that you are more in touch with the male side of your brain, how do you think some of us should react to that? As a highly educated and experienced individual, I can assure this could be offensive to some people (not all, but some). I’m sure you realize that there is no such thing – evidentiary material concluding that there indeed is a male and female side of the brain. There may be theory, and much joking, but no empirical evidence.

What YOU say Sue, has much to do with our reactions to your post. That is true in verbal communication too.

What I read is that when women communicate they aren’t factual and would rather share their opinions and thoughts. {How many jokes have we heard about that? Hey, I’ve laughed at them too!} While you can find some research on that topic, you will find research to the contrary as well. Words aren’t just words. For many of us, words have meaning and they are powerful. Perhaps having someone (who is not a close colleague, friend or even editor read your blog prior to posting may help with this. You want to scrutinize before we do). It’s difficult for those of us who write often to analyze our own words like others can. I am already acutely aware of the subject matter of your blog, as most technically savvy people are. I am very pleased you posted this in the SR blog. I think it’s very appropriate that someone has decided to do this because I don’t know if people in this area have been blogging for years (on professional blogs) like others have been. Yet, your introduction put me off. I rarely post anything in the SR blog, but, because of what you are trying to do (a very positive thing), does not correlate to how you opened your blog. Every word matters.

This is not a feminist comment by any means Sue. (Fellow Bloggers…please note that too…I’m just trying to prove a point about owners of blogs taking some responsibility for our reactions – this is not a feminist comment in any way). Sue, I am merely making you aware that everything you place in a blog will undergo scrutiny, abysmal or positive comments. When you throw a line out like you did in your intro…you may not “catch” all positive comments. I would posit that people who believe women are only opinionated and not factual would be complementary. If you are in-tune with our current presidential race, I think you would agree that both genders are opinionated and only use facts when those facts support their efforts. Funny how politics never change…smile.

This information you brought forth to help people in this area with blogging etiquette is much needed. Thank-you for that. I am simply trying to help you see that the owner of the blog needs to take some responsibility of the reactions when they put pen to paper. Thank-you for your time.

Anonymous

Most people like the give the agenda of their opinion. If you speak truthfully with others it will cause problems. Try it. Try it in the workplace. Try it in the home. Try in the church. Get ready for reactions.

Gulliver

TO: RESPONSIBILITY OF THE BLOG= EVERY WORD MATTERS. Your comments were EXCELLENT!! Thank you!! Now let me tell you why I think so...
1. I learned from you! When you contributed your comment - "When you say that you are more in touch with the male side of your brain, how do you think some of us should react to that? As a highly educated and experienced individual, I can assure this could be offensive to some people (not all, but some)." -- When you shared this, I learned from you. I now see that I need to write so I am sensative to ALL who might read and interpret this blog.
2. You didn't agree with me. That's a good thing!
3. Because you were willing to give criticism in a constructive -- and respectful -- manner, you challenged my thinking. (I suspect you challenged all the readers thinking.) I can now learn from that... and change how I blog in the future.

Compare what you said to what was said by RE SUES BLOG - " Your blogs stink. I can't believe I just wasted 3 minutes of my life reading this garbage. That's 3 minutes that I will never get back. Thanks a lot Sue. "

How can improvement be made with feed back like that? It was all anger and offered nothing substitive the I could use to improve the blog.

I've always beleived that people can and should say whatever they beleive needs to be said (One exception - HATE MESSAGEs should not be tolerated.) as long as it is communicated with courtesy & respect. You just proved that point.

I hope we see more of your type of blogging! Thanks again for your mindful critque. You caused me to broaden my perspective and elevate my thinking.

My significant other shared this truism with me once... "We tend to only do what we know. Only when we know better, can we do better."-- Sue

Anonymous

I'm not angry, I just think your blogs stink.

Rick Studer

Interesting blog today, lot’s of good points. One point that needs to be made is that blogs are an exchange of ideas using words. I think one can make a mistake applying the rules of social etiquette to exchanges on the Internet.

We’re not really debating people but instead debating ideas. If one says “this blog stinks” don’t take it personal, perhaps that is the only idea that blogger is capable of generating. In the future that blogger may grow as a thinker and contribute something profound like “this blog really stinks badly”, it could happen. That is the beauty of blogging,

When someone is full of pomposity yet vacant of original thought, Mark Norman comes to mind, we are free to respond appropriately. In a public setting we would be relegated to rolling our eyes or mumbling under our breath. With a blog or comment section we are free to respond in the way we feel that is justified. I suggest instead of getting upset enjoy the freedom of speech we all are awash in. Happy blogging!

Anonymous

Get over yourself Sue. Take care of the old people like you are supposed to do. You are not all that, hanging with Foam House clowns.

Anonymous

It's funny when the "intellect" group around here doesn't like someone's opinion they try to degrade someone intellectually. For example, Rick. How's this? Rick might actually make sense in the near future, but for now he is a pompous a$$.

Anonymous

That was about the only idea that popped into my head while reading your garbage Rick.

Anonymous

Thanks for the response Sue. This is how blogging should be conducted. We learn from each other share our ideas. You are right in your response to the person who provides that the blog “stinks” and other ignominious verbiage. Well, if it really does “stink”…then why even bother commenting? (Rhetorical question).

This proves your point that those type of responses make people feel powerful. Unfortunately for them, Sue, adding words and thoughts like that to these types of blogs is disempowering – they just don’t know it. There are plenty of blogs on the Web that actually encourage that type of behavior. But, typically the person who owns the blog wants the drama and it works out nicely for all of them. It can be fun (and enlightening) to ‘banter’ back and forth…intelligently and respectfully. The power of dishonorable words is just too great for people to handle. They must use them to feel self-worth. Albert Einstein once said, “The attempt to combine wisdom and power has only rarely been successful and then only for a short while.”

Anonymous

Blogging in the SR should be done away with. I have noticed that it is most of the pro Nuesse people that get so nasty and vulgar in those stories. If you are not Pro Nuesse you get told off here in these blogs. Another point I would like to bring up is when there are stories such as "Sweet Pea" or "Woman falls over board" or the one about the one motorcycle rider that got killed, people say some HORRIBLE things about the people that the stories pertain to and their families and friends. I know for certain that one of the stories there was a family member reading the blogs and had to see all of the bad things bloggers were saying about their loved ones. SR should be ashamed of themselves for letting this go on! No, they did not delete a single one of them. Let me type something about Westerhold or Nuesse that is not what they want to hear and my blog is GONE! Do away with these blogs. On second thought, might not have to because if the SR and Westerhold keep being so biased and heartless, there might not be a SR to worry about.

Anonymous

Sue, how did you get involved with this blogging thing and the SR? Need I ask??

Rick Studer

To “Re Sues Blog”

I offer this as proof of my point that you would grow as a thinker. First you were able to ascertain that I was speaking of you even though I didn’t use your name. Secondly, you offered up not one but two new thoughts. I suggest when an idea “pops” in to your head again to save them. You can use these ideas as a group in one of your next post.

I would also like to say I take offense to two things, first I recent being listed as part of any group, especially and “intellectual” group. And secondly, I don’t like being called a pompous a$$, I prefer to be known as an a$$ hole.

Are you by chance a bitter divorced woman or an effete young boy?

Anonymous

Your thoughts about.... My thoughts about dumb people - God made them.

Anonymous

I'm surprised that you get so many negative comments when you are clearly one of the better bloggers on the Register. Everyone knows who the worst is, even though the "powers that be" try to delete anything negative about her posts. I really have a problem with that esppecially since many of them are not the least bit offensive or personal attacks but are merely people's opinions about the blog. What is the point of having a comment section? If you don't want criticism, then call it the compliment section. Otherwise, leave the posts up.

Anonymous

The thing that gets me is some of these slams against others anonymously could be against your own friends &/or relatives. At least your blog is worth looking at & not something that looks like an 'energy drink swiggin' kid' who gets way too much air time.

Anonymous

Sue,
You do a great job. You comments are both educational and interesting. Keep up the good work. I have been following your advise and comments for years. You are the best.

Anonymous

Perhaps you are the Va-JJ Bitter divorced. Have no fear. You will not be placed in an intellectual group. Despite the attempt to impress with your falsely "intellectual" comments. We won't recent you, errr... resent you. Promise. And I will give you the A$$Hole with a capital H.

Anonymous

Actually us "angry bloggers" are planted here by Matt Westerhold to make the hit counter rise.

Anonymous

B-I-N-G-O

Anonymous

Hey baby.

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