Friday, November 6, 2009

Two-Way Communication

I'm thinking I need to change the name of my blog. I've been focusing so much on communication lately - because it is my work, and my school focus...and well communication is everywhere right? Anyway...that's just a sideline to today's topic: Two-Way Communication.


I've been reading more blogs these days. The Women's Colony has some great writers and great readers with blogs of their own, so I've been linking in here and there to check people out who comment on the WC and also to scan through their blog rolls. A little fresh content to read, I guess. And in the way of good blogging, I'm trying to connect with people with a little two - way communication by posting a comment here or there.

One of these forays took me to a great site - Swistle's - and some insights on voting: namely, what should and should not be fodder for our politicians. It thought her post was excellent and not just because I agree with her position. It was clean, concise and unemotional. It was logical and respectful. And let's face it when it comes to issues like voting on gay marriage, people's emotions typically take over. I decided her post deserved some positive feedback and so I moved to the comment link.

And. Then. I. Paused.

She had over 100 comments. Hmmmm. Is this typical traffic for Swistle I wondered or had the controversial topic, even so respectfully handled, driven the crazies out for a ride?

Still, I thought, I'd like to connect with this person. This post was worth my attention and my effort to comment. I scrolled all the way down to the bottom and typed a polite and insightful comment (if I do say so myself). Then I glanced at the comment above and my jaw dropped open. Leaving my draft comment in place, I continued scrolling and realized there was a bit of a knock-down-drag-out happening in the comment section of Swistle's blog. All of the emotion she had managed to keep out of the post was spilling over in the comment section and I could almost see in my mind's eye the rabid hordes of protesters standing on either side of her home screaming at one another.

My blood began to boil as I felt the emotion that too often clouds our judgment in these matters rise to the level of her other commenters. I called on specific names to rebut their arguments and positions, I wrote and re-wrote the response which was growing longer and more emotional by the minute. Any of you who read my blog normally know my rather rigid stance against organized religion and that OR thing was all over this blog. Then, by some happenstance, my computer blue-screened and all of my vitriol was wiped out in one moment.

Today, I went back to Swistle's site and checked on the status. The comments were up to nearly 150 at this point and most of them were a continuing argument between a few rabid players. I was happy, I determined, that my computer had saved me from engaging in the battle as my peaceful little blog has thus far escaped too much controversy and poison from readers somehow offended by my lonely little opinions.

However, I wonder if this very relief is indicative of how the moderates in the world end up allowing the extremists on either side to do their speaking for them. Is this how, on election day, the rights of our fellow humans are trampled upon? Because there are more voices raised in hate than in acceptance? Is it a lesson to learn that quiet acceptance of differences cannot be the norm until LOUD PROPONENTS of differences prevail?

So, from here, I'm heading back to Swistle's blog and put my two cents out there. But I'm going to try and moderate my comments with respect and logic and quiet fortitude and leave the vitriol to others.


Suburban Correspondent said...

Exactly. Our country has been held hostage by extremists on both sides for too long.

And, I beg you, get rid of the comment verification function. You don't need it unless you're getting spammed by automated comments. It slows down your commenters and discourages others from bothering to comment.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Aaack - this is the only way to get hold of you. If you notice, when my comment shows up in your email inbox, you're able to hit Reply and send me a message (or you should be able to - let me know if I'm wrong). I can't do that with your comments to me because you haven't enabled public access to your email address on your Blogger profile page (there's a box to check). If you like the "conversation" aspect of blogging, that makes it really easy for bloggers to answer your comments.

What do you mean by "profile settings" in my comments? I'm guessing it is asking you to pick a profile before it processes the comment? Is that right? That happens to me sometimes, too, on other people's blogs - but I think it is only when I am not already logged in to Blogger. Does that make sense? If you are already logged in to your own Blogger blog on your computer, that option shouldn't come up. Let me know if that fixes the problem.

Just to elaborate, the comment veri doesn't prevent mean or nasty commenters (some people think it does). Putting your comments on moderated status addresses that particular problem. The comment verification prevents your comments section being spammed by automated comments, which are you usually trying to sell something. That generally only happens to the bigger, more popular blogs that draw tons of traffic.

Nice to meet you!

Kate Hanley said...

Very interesting post. I'm off to check out that blog.

JeannetteLS said...

Interesting entry. I stopped trying to use political forums because of the vitriolic outbursts. I think civility has become a foreign concept. While my blog is unabashedly emotional and such, I love going to blogs that make me think about other subjects. Whenever subjects about gay marriage and socialized medicine appear, the crazies seem to come out to scream. I have to visit that blog now, though.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Wow. I thought I'd make a quick visit to your blog as a break from working on something else.

Down the rabbit hole I went!