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

Anonymous

The negative comments you have gotten from some of these bloggers means you are doing your job well. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous

I don't blog that very often but once I was accused by one of the bloggers of being Kim Nuesse. I think I was also accused of being YOU. It was intended to be an insult but I took it as a compliment.

Gulliver

This will conclude my comments on this topic. Thanks for the excellent participation!! I think we might have hit on something, here. My next blog is on a similar topic. I hope you are join in on that one, too!

In the meantime let me say this...
TO SAM: In the newspaper 8/3/08, in Matt Westerhold's editorial, he has invited other people to have a blog. I don't know why I was invited. But it appears that you are invited, too.

TO FAITHFUL FEW: I really liked what you said!!(edited version due to space) *Out of the heart the mouth speaks"...so if your heart is full of vulgarities and filth that's pretty much what's going to come out of it
*...we are born with the on switch for evil and goodness has to be purposefully taught.
*It doesn't take enormous intellect to communicate effectively and even less intellect to spew a lot of expletives and vulgarities, but it does take extraordinary effort to promote civil discourse. I am ever aware that there is a name and face and feelings behind each pseudonym. I'm taught that I should try and be at peace with all men.

My hope is over time we can all be mindful of the third point that you made above. We really could have some great debate packed with meaning on these blogs if we adopted that principle!

TO GET OVER IT. Thanks for your feedback. You said something I found very interesting, and that I was not aware of - "Many have commented that you know everything about every issue on earth.I guess that is annoying. You do not need to keep defending yourself and critizing others".

I wasn't aware that some people see me as knowing everything about every issue. HHHMMMM... I suspect that might be caused by the advantage of discussing the issues I get to work in the newspaper -- and now the blog. That comment gives me more credit than I am due. It is based only on perception. It's not a reality.

The other thing you pointed out is that I criticize others. HHHMMMMM, again. You would be doing me a favor in my future blogs if you would bring to my attention when I negatively criticized others. I'm not aware of it. (I'm assuming you mean criticize the person. I don't believe in crticizing people. I do belive in criticizing behavior, but not the person. (There is a difference.)
I do appreciate your comments, though. Keep'em coming! -- Sue

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