This is literally my domain. I paid a whole $24 for it. In my house, I set the rules.
I admit I’m new to the experience of entertaining many comments on my own blog. But it’s good news/bad news.
I have 207 views in one day, but probably 180 of them are from two…persons who have all day to reach critical rant-hood at me about their pet grudges. So here are my rules:
If you take the trouble to come to my house, and I welcome you in, (that is what I do when I approve your comment), with honest high hopes that you will participate in a fruitful discussion…you must be civil and considerate.
Alternate as well as likeminded views to mine are welcome, as these are the components needed to discuss at all. You are welcome to present the belief that the sky is bright at 2 a.m. or that the Bible was written by little green men, and if you want to discuss civilly, in an adult manner, you are welcome.
But please respect all commenters as though they have something valuable to say. Listen carefully to what has been said, and respond to what has actually been said and not what Jerry Falwell said 30 years ago. If your heavy baggage is full of useless, moldy old junk, leave it outside.
Always respond with consideration and respect. If you are rude, aggressive, angry, offensive, insulting, demeaning, condescending, etc, to my other guests or to me, you will be called on it. You will be reminded of my law and asked to change your demeanor.
If you continue, you will be ignored. I will leave your past comments on the blog so that the world can see how hard you worked to make an ass of yourself, but you will get no further play from me. This is also what I would do if you were a rude visitor in my house: I would stop giving you opportunities to abuse me, and I would stop talking, hoping you would get bored and leave of your own accord.
If you yet still continued your abuse, you would be shown the door, and your future knocks would no longer be answered. You would not be welcome, just as your comments will not be admitted.
Writing does not come easily to me. I work very hard to be coherent because I believe I have a few things to say which, I flatter myself, are uniquely mine; or that I share with relatively few others. I strain my little brain to the max to present my cases.
I want my blog to be a place for visitors to come to discuss, to share insights, to enjoy kind fellowship. By all means differ with me but act like a grown-up. My house is not a place for us-versus-them and neither is my blog. It will not be a battleground or a resting place for bitter agendas, nor a megaphone for your off-topic conspiracy grudge. I won’t be inviting anyone to dump garbage in my home.
Patrolling the internet for thoughts which are in opposition to yours and finding them (surprise!) outrageous does not seem like a productive use of time, but that’s just my .02.
Translate blog activity to the interpersonal context. Some commenters are like a person who gets in his car, drives to your house, asks to come in, and then expresses outrage at your personal opinions. He stays for four days, sniping at every word you say to anyone, interrupting your conversations with your friends, getting in your face at the end of every paragraph to rant at you that you don’t know the name of the Hebrew god in Batswanan, hah! That proves you’re an idiot! Then he follows you to other people’s houses and repeats the same arguments and tries to interrogate you on the finer points of his pet theories while alternately yelling that you’re a Neanderthal who can’t think. So you go home to bed and you think he’s doing the same. You sleep all night and wake up to find that he was sitting on your porch all night writing you long insulting notes and waiting to get back in to argue with you some more. If some of these bloggers were physically in my life I’d have to get a restraining order.
But it’s me who’s forcing my ugly beliefs on innocent bystanders.
That said, my blog does have an agenda. Everyone who blogs has an agenda, even though it may be sharing recipes, chronicling personal journeys, or simply the joy of writing. My agenda is to express my thoughts. I hope my opinions are well-informed and well-expressed; I try. If I have opinions at all, those opinions are likely to conflict with the opinions of some other people.
You may find my view on some issue outrageous or offensive; that’s the reality of living on a planet occupied by free beings and not automatons. I expect that I and others may differ in a free society on a free internet while still respecting one another’s humanity. Express your counter view strongly; use sarcasm; argue all day. But do it with respect, please.