keep in mind...on bloggers.
This post has been swirling in my head for some time.
I think, and hope, it will be a friendly reminder or heads up for everyone, myself included. It is not meant to sound arrogant or self-righteous in any way...because I need to remember these things as much as the next person.
I realize that I am not the author of THE most popular blog out there, I know there are tons out there that are way better than me in millions of different ways. In a way, I am thankful for each day I am spared the ugly side of the web because the more people who see your blog, the more chances there are for ugliness to show up...it's just a matter of statistics.
This is my experience, as I have had growth and changes in unexpected ways and have been basically learning as I go over the last five years with this whole blogging thing. I am beyond THRILLED with where I am. Amazed and humbled at what God has allowed me to accomplish with what little skill I possess.
Even with my small window of expertise, I have learned a lot and thought I would share a little view into the inside, just a little "just so you know" kinda stuff and generally address some issues that many, many bloggers face.
Let's start with email and comments.
I get oodles and oodles of emails and comments daily. Just stating, not bragging. I love them all (usually). I do my best to reply to as many as I can because I DO want my readers to feel loved and appreciated (because you ARE!!). My goal is to keep my inbox under 200 things that need my attention in some way. Yes, 200. Six months out of the year, that is not TOO hard to do, the other six months, forget about it. If you email me (or ANY blogger) please keep in mind that we are busy people just like you. If I don't reply to your comment or email, it means nothing other than, you may be in line behind maybe 200 people. Blogging does not give us any more time in the day than anyone else.
I do not hate you. I am not ignoring you. I don't dislike you. None of those things are true. Please don't send an email asking why any of the above are true.
There are some emails or comments that I delete or weed out if you will and I know that other bloggers do the same.
These emails include:
--Weird questions about my kids and family....um, no.
--Demanding emails. "I need you to DO THIS RIGHT NOW!!!". Yes, it happens. It's usually a rude request for a how-to or where did I get such and such. No please or thank you in sight. Happens regularly.
--Things I KNOW Google can answer. Sorry.
--Comments with NO email address attached to them. I cannot answer them without an email.
Another common issue is...people assuming that having ads = selling out. Yeah, no again. I take great care in choosing which ads have the honor of appearing next to stories about my kids and family. Those ads to the right allow me a way to stay at home with my kids in a way that is not obtrusive to my kids or my life. If ANY blogger has ads and they annoy you...please take into account why you visit that blog in the first place. Is it because you love that blogger and what they have to say or share? Then don't you think they deserve a little compensation for that if they can get it? Do you strongly dislike that blogger? Then you shouldn't be there in the first place, ad or no ad. A blogger who proudly shows off their "ad free" badge is just as much a "sell out" as a blogger with an ad. Let's all just assume that we each seek what is best for our blog and family sake.
Another issue...people think that the 10% they see on a blog is equal to 100% real life. I will speak for every blogger out there...the sunny happy ones, the gloomy ones, the ones that tell a mix of things and all the ones in between...you are ONLY getting a tiny fraction of our lives. Please don't fill in the rest for us with impossible standards and heights of achievement. Rarely blogged are the temper tantrums, the yelling at the kids, the losing of the patience, the arguments with a spouse, the rashness of a tired mom, the cereal for dinner, the disagreements with a friend, the spilling of coffee on a rug, the messed up projects, the disrobed poopy diaper or the baking flops that we all have. No one has a perfect life. I know that for me, I do my best to share the happy parts and the struggles because for me, it provides a nice measuring stick to see how far I've come but even then there is a lot you don't see or get to read. If it makes me really happy, I blog it. If it makes me really sad, I blog it. If it's meh...well, you won't hear about that. Bloggers ARE people JUST like everyone else. Just like you.
If you see us in public, it's OK to say hello. :) It might actually help with the above issue.
Along with the whole "we are people too thing"...please keep in mind that we have the same ability to be hurt and happy, just like everyone. Please keep that in mind when you email or comment or mention us on your blog. You would be AMAZED and stunned at the things people say because they figure it will never get back to the person...guess what? It always does and even virtual "sticks and stones" hurt. Gossip travels. The end. Be nice.
A lot of the time, the internet does a fabulous job of dehumanizing us to others and others to us. It's easy to look at a pretty blog and just imagine how easy someone elses life may be because you only see photos of flowers, perfect meals and impeccable parties. You could slice any life into frames and choose the ones that would make it look glamorous. True statement.
I don't know. Maybe this seems like a huge long ramble. I just know that lately, I have seen more ugly directed at me and other "popular" bloggers that is just downright nasty and it's getting to me. I wanted to stand a little in their defense and beckon others to stand in the gap of grace. If you see ugly small talk, squash it. Spread loving words. Talk about others like you would sitting across the table having coffee with them. The internet is capable of such lovely things...if we can only make the dark underbelly tiny and hard to find.
Anything you care to add bloggers and readers alike?