September 14, 2009


I view most of the blogs I read as potential conversations and I like to comment on blogs that I delight in reading. However, simply because I enjoy a blog, it does not mean that I always agree with what is being written. It is a small part of the appreciation and thrill I get in reading posts that make me think and question and ponder.

And that includes discourse with which I disagree.

We often talk about wasting time on the Internet. We wax eloquent on attempting to achieve that magical balance of Real Life with this odd little life composed mostly inside a box containing circuitry and a connection to a veritable labyrinth of relationships. An Abstract Life that does bleed into Real Life.

An Abstract Life that is semi-anonymous. Sometimes. Sort of. Who is this Kelly character? Which Amy is it? Where is Kristen? How many are there of you out there -- Jen, Jenn, Jenny and Jennifer???

I chose the name "cagey" for very specific reasons. It was a word play on my initials KG and it also connoted something anonymous for me, as if I were being secretive. In a silly way, it was my attempt to poke at myself. It is a bit unusual of a name and if I want, I can often get it as a username on its own merits, with no numbers. I was very careful in this choice of "blogger" name because I wanted it to identify me. When I created Rancid Raves (another desperate lunge for a witty bon mot), I knew that I would be commenting frequently on other blogs in connection with this new Abstract Life I had just created for myself. Previously, I had commented under my own name "Kelli". However, I wanted my comments directly connected to this new life.

I do take commenting seriously - too seriously, perhaps? On some days, I spend just as much time commenting as I do reading. I see commenting as my way of interacting in this community. And I am careful when I write - I am conscientious of grammar, typos and the way I present my ideas. I try to be considerate of others when commenting. I do not always succeed. Sometimes, my comments convey the wrong point. Or, I am rushed and do not take the time to proofread. Or, I just completely miss the mark and simply bypass the point of the conversation or the tone of the other commenters. It happens.

Yes, silence can be golden. But let us get real, folks. Who expounds upon the virtues of the cricket chirping??


In the past few months, I have been smacked around three times for comments I have left on other sites. I take responsibility for part of each slap. Responsibility for the poor word choices that I made. But with each spanking, I am left speculating whether it is worth all of this wasted emotion. Is it worth getting distressed because someone chooses to take my own words and purposefully twist them?

It is worth it?

I dwell, all the while knowing the answer.


Melanie said...

I am definitely a commenter...Since I don't have my own blog, its my ONLY way to communicate in this community. I have had a couple of comments be misconstrued but for the most part, I haven't had much of an issue. I say don't waste too much thought to people who take exception to you.... If the comments themselves were not mean-spirited then I would just try and let it go. I am convinced that some people just are looking and hoping for conflict!

kristen said...

Kristen is here she's just BUSY at work. Very little time for comments lately but I always find time to read your blog and I have to echo Melanie's thoughts. My problem is that I sometimes find it hard to express what I'm thinking in the form of a comment and sometimes my comments get misconstrued. That's when I wish I could just pick up the phone and straighten it all out.

In the unpaid blogger world I feel like my comments are my "payment" to the blogger that is so generous as to take the time so share his or her thoughts and ideas with me. For the paid bloggers and ones who have hundreds of comments I feel no such obligation. So I am not one to throw my comment out into a sea of others. I choose carefully when and where to leave my comments.

Now I'm getting rambly and thus will shut up and get back to work.

Anonymous said...

I think you have hit the nail on the proverbial head as to why I don't comment on the blogs of folks I don't know. My comments are for the blogger, and not the other commenters and my comments related directly to my thoughts based on the post.

I trust that were I to disagree with you you would take it in stride as my right to have a difference of an opinion and instead of assuming that I HATE YOU FOREVER FOR HAVING A DIFFERENT THOUGHT you would instead take it in stride as part of what makes me me.

I also don't except to be called out on your blog. "Brit says this yesterday and she is full of horseshit because........"

I think we all blog for different reasons and we all blog differently. I like to connect with you, I like to see what you have to say on issues and I like to interact with you either in the comments or in email. ( I would meet with you in person but you never comb your hair....or wait maybe its the 3000 miles...)

I don't know. I'm sorry you have been spanked on the blogs...I don't understand why people do that, why some people like to do that.

I admire your bravery in commenting on complex topics, I choose not to do it because I don't think I have the skin that it requires.

Kudos to you, I hope they don't beat you down....and that you will still be my friend when you find out that tarantulas freak me right out.

Cwybrow said...

Nope. Not when there's pretzeling going on.

aibee said...

No, not worth the emotion, babe, especially not when, in your entire history of commenting, you've ONLY been smacked up three times.

That's not a lot, and honestly? I think the smackeruppers are the kind of commenters who look to be offended/affronted/insulted/shocked/horrified/whatever and will find what they need regardless of what or who writes what.


Don't ever give up commenting, okay? Or I'll come smack you up anyway ;)

jodifur said...

I try to leave comments, although lately it's been harder because I have been crazy busy. But I think leaving comments is almost as important as blogging. It's how you make "Friends."

Brandy Wilcoxen said...

I promise not to slap you if you ever comment on my blog. As long as its not one of those long chinese ones that change all my ads into chinese ads,...had someone do that, but then I did find it quite clever of them...anyway Hi.

jessicabold said...

I was going to say something witty about my not berating you for commenting on my blog...but I think everyone beat me to it.

So, I'll just leave it at this: comment or not, at least you're not afraid to speak your mind. Which I LOVE. And I do it...all too often...