Poor, poor Kellea. I feel sorry for her. Not for the fact that she was handed some mostly mild assaults for her hasty judgment of Blogcritics, but for her arriving so late into this world of nastiness to not know that the Internet is an ugly place.
I am pretty familiar with being the flinger and the flingee when it comes to hateful speech all in the name of blogging. It seems when we log on to the Internet and set to writing our thoughts, a certain bit of our humanity is lost in transition from brainwaves to pixels.
I have hurt people with my words and been hurt by the words of others. The grand conclusion I have learned is that this – and “this” being the Internet – CAN NOT AND SHOULD NOT be taken to heart.
From my own experiences I have used words to hurt, misinform, abuse and otherwise cut to the bone my intended target. Conversely, I have had some of the meanest things a human can say to or about another human said about me. There is ugliness all around. The bottom line – IT’S WRONG. I was wrong, they were wrong. But it is the price we pay for the freedom to express ourselves without mitigation and on a whim.
Most people do not engage in this sort of verbal assault. They show basic decency – and there are those, like myself who don’t have as much control over their emotions as others and blurt out things in anger and then feel remorse and wish to mend fences. Then there are others who are basically cruel monsters wishing to destroy the spirit of another.
I don’t believe in general ANYONE in this blog community does that, nor do I think Kellea received the full-on attack that some of us other bloggers have witnessed or experienced. I can most certainly assure her that Eric did not wish to reduce her to tears, he’s a relatively mild fellow.
I was told after my first flaming, a flaming that brought me to tears and made me an emotional wreck for days, that I should “toughen up” “grow a thicker skin” “take the abuse in stride.” There would be many, many, MANY other occasions when I was forced to reluctantly take that advice and eventually adopt it as a personal shield.
I think the rule of thumb should be this: express your opinion, be yourself and if what you say hurts, be prepared for the onslaught.
The Internet is like the ocean, mostly you encounter empty calm waters, but occasionally you find yourself in a shark feeding frenzy and by all means don’t ever let the blood flow or you will be eaten alive.
Hey, maybe Kellea might be interested in BECOMING a Blog Critic? Stranger things have happened.