Sunday, December 23, 2007

Good Tactics Make Good Bloggers

Occasionally I think we bloggers need to take the time to focus our attention inward towards the blogging community at large. Since most of our time we comment on the outside world and the problems of said outside world, I understand how we might overlook the same sorts of issues when they exist amongst us. Worse yet, we might feel as though these situations only pertain to the outside events that serve as our impetus to blog in the first place. For example, some of us talk about how we ought to extend kindness, compassion, and fairness to the poor and disenfranchised then act in hypocritical fashion towards our brethren. If anything, we ought to be more kind, more benevolent, more understanding towards all people and along with our regard for needed societal change, make sure that we nurture individual relationships with those whom we interact.

I'd like to address a trend I find more than slightly disturbing. Perhaps it's not so much a trend as it is an unfortunate reality. Trends sound finite and fickle. The behavior to which I'm referring appears deeply ingrained in the consciousness of many folks. I'm not sure why the curmudgeon setting some of us seem to be stuck on is so prevalent these days. In particular, I'm speaking about the way some of us love to devour our own. No, I'm not speaking to EVERYONE, but I think it would do us well to contemplate how we ought to avoid this kind of behavior. Especially as this is the Christmas season, where our ultimate stated purpose is, lest we forget, to extend goodwill and peace towards all, and this includes people with whom we might disagree.

Let it be known that there's absolutely nothing wrong with a well-placed snarky remark. Indeed, an off-the-cuff clever remark is well appreciated. Gems like those are what make blogging worthwhile and rewarding.

There's absolutely everything wrong with snark that is destructive in nature and serves no purpose. How did we get so callous over the years? Not only callous, but so convinced in the indisputable rightness of our own personal message that we deem anyone who deviates from it even a fraction is somehow worthy of scorn? I find this a kind of inexcusable idolatry of sanctimony that needs to be addressed.

Some of us love to pick fights and split hairs. Some of us want to be right at all costs. May I suggest that there's much to be said for diplomacy. Anger and negative salvos do have a kind of seductive immediacy to them, but their ultimate impact wins few friends and more often than not backfires. Repeatedly nasty assaults often lead to certain people being referred to as blowhards, trolls, loose cannons, or worse.

I'm twenty-seven years old, and I once assumed that once I became an adult that the kind of pettiness so prevalent in adolescence would subside. This knowledge served as great solace in those often painful times. Yet, I find example after after of people clearly old enough to know better ripping into their fellows. Are we that insecure? Should I add a qualifying statement that says a person can act stupidly at any age?

As Robert Frost mentioned in "Mending Wall"

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know/
What I was walling in or walling out.

1 comment:

Dragon said...

everyone is a kid inside, and the anonymity of the internet just allows them to express it more easily.