It is a bit tricky isn't it, commenting on blogs. I think the written word is so beautiful. It can conjure up the most beautiful images and help you imagine the most wonderful things. I even just like the look of text, both hand written and in type, both English and every other language (don't even get me started on some of those Japanese characters, so so poetic looking, like little miniature maps).
Sometimes though your words can fall flat, hurt or pierce without even meaning to or sometimes intentionally. Some bloggers write such personal words recounting love, sadness, happiness, loss and sometimes just a general whinge with a resolution of how they are going to deal with it. I feel privileged to read and know that I am better off for it. I cannot tell you how healing it was to read of other women's birth stories on their blogs after I had an unplanned caesarian birth. I felt a sense of connection and understood I was not alone in both my circumstances or feelings. That it was ok and actually pretty normal to feel the way I was. This was a beautiful gift that so many women gave to me. They did not know me or even know that I had read their story. In the head space I was in, I was often not able to comment or even leave thanks but I still think about them and tried to pay it back in telling my own story.
I'm thinking about this because I have seen some not so gentle responses to peoples' stories on their blogs lately. I'm not talking about the meanie rude ones, just the ones that are a little too brusque and a bit judgmental. I'm not at all Pollyanna (mr k would wholeheartedly agree here) but I do think that manners go a long way in not hurting people. If a blog post asks for advice and I think I have something to offer, I comment. I try to write with the understanding that I don't know the whole story (the background of the author that may make them particularly sensitive to what ever issue/ interaction they are writing about). If the blog author doesn't ask for advice and the post seems a bit whingy or is something I can't relate to, I don't comment.
People need to vent. I suppose I try to treat their blog like their home. I've popped by and this is their space to do what they need to do. It is bad manners to pass judgement and to tell them of your thoughts if they haven't asked. Most people just want a bit of empathy and a bit of support. Blog spaces can be wonderful to unload all your secret thoughts. Whilst I'm not comfortable enough to do that, I do admire those that can. I see it a bravery, a type of "here I am, like me or not". I am too much of a scaredy cat about those sort of things because I don't like criticism. I'm interested in what other peoples approaches are to blog comments, not the big nasty ones but in terms of trying to choose a tone for your comments. Is it something you think about? Do you write and then self-edit your comments? Are you more blunt/ brusque in commenting than you would be if you were having a cup of tea with them in real life? Has anyone responded badly to your well-intentioned comment?
Have you been surprised by peoples' blog manners?