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Due to what happened to Helen today, I'm wondering aloud about the "Comments" we leave one another on our blogs.
I'm sure most of us pay close attention to what's said there, as it's a reaction to what we've written. Usually, when a comment is left, we feel flattered and appreciated, however slightly, and complimented that someone would bother to leave an opinion about something we've written. It's encouraging and invigorating.
However, and this hasn't happened to me yet, there are visitors who come to criticize. We're a fair mark for criticism and disagreeing points of view, those things are within the rules. But personal attacks are not. Spiteful challenges to our characters are not.
Some people tend to "cross the bounds of civility," to quote our good friend The Random Penseur, without asking for an invitation. Overstepping those boundaries is unforgivable but, due to the nature of the internet, entirely probable. It is also something we willingly expose ourselves to, by posting -what amounts to- personal diaries online, full of private disclosures that many of us wouldn't dream of discussing even with close friends.
But we can't expect for it to be all chocolates and roses, all the time. There are a lot of people out there who are just plain mean; who would jump at an opportunity to step on our published weaknesses and ridicule us before our blogbuddies. We musn't let them get to us. It is imperative that we stay above it, delete or ignore discourteous words, and ban the culprits when possible.
Someday I plan to write "The Blogger's Social Contract," where I'll get a chance to discourse and bore you further with my preaching on the subject.
I would hope that nobody in our blogging community would allow somebody's hurtful or inconsiderate comments to cause them to shut down their blog. That would be granting them far too much power over all of us. And it would deprive the rest of us from a beautiful voice.