I’ve seen it happen on message boards but not to the extent as on blog comments. Fortunately, I’ve generally been spared but I saw such a flagrant example of it today on Ree’s Blog that I decided to do a little ranting. After all, it is why I have this silly thing. It’s a place for me to spout my opinons for my own amusement and if others enjoy it, so be it.
Today Ree mentioned aspertame and as often happens on her blog, a commenter had to sieze upon their pet topic and chose to sermonize about it in the comments. Now honestly, I don’t think Ree cares one way or another. She is a lot like I am in that regard. If you want to be annoying and self-righteous, go for it. However, I tend to get frustrated when it happens to others.
Why do we feel obliged to take something that someone has shared with us and use it as a springboard for their own soapboxes. It’s rude. The scenario usually follows thus:
Jane tells the story of how she bought her daughter a new dress for a party and isn’t it hysterical, three other little girls at the same party wore the same dress. She jokes that you can’t avoid a peer following no matter what you try! She tells about the cake, the ice cream, the games, and how the mothers enjoyed their fellowhip while the girls had their tea party. Then… the commenters come.
One remarks that their daughter owns the same dress. Another asks if more cake or ice cream was eaten… she finds it interesting. And so on… but invariably someone will comment. It might be an attack on feeding children sugar or perhaps a tirade against children’s games and the competition involved. Or, perhaps the person finds the short sleeves on the dress sinful. Whatever the notion, the comment comes. An attack on a choice made by one person, innocently mentioned in passing like the color of a flower or the breeze through the room being discussed.
Why is it? Why is it that a blog poster cannot share a cute picture of their child without one or more persons attacking the presence of dirt on a chin as if the child never has a clean face? Why, in a picture of my new kitchen, should someone feel free to make disparaging remarks because I have a 12 pack of coke on my counter. Whether or not I drink Coke isn’t the point of the post and frankly, if I wanted to discuss the merits and demerits of it, I’d either make a post about it or start a thread on HK.
(For the record, that hasn’t happened- the coke thing. I just used it as an example.)
Has common courtesy gone so far out of the common sphere that we can’t simply stick to a topic? Why is it that we do this? Why do we feel compelled to attack another’s choice of car seat brand, lack of wrist guards on the kids when climbing stairs, and the like. If the author brought up the topic as the topic, I could see it. However, finding something obscure in someone’s blog post to pick on and turn into a national case is just bad manners. It would be like if everytime a mother posted about a problem with her child’s teacher, the homeschoolers rallied on the blog with comments like, “well if you homeschooled him that couldn’t happen.” Unfortunately this has probably happened more than I care to know now that I think of it.
Oh I don’t know! I guess I’m just very very sick of bad manners in this area. On a message board, tangents seem to be more acceptable especially in forums where controversial topics are allowed or even encouraged but a blog post is more like a single topic article (or in my case, tirade) rather than a discussion venue that has a natural progression to other aspects of the topic or related topics.
Anyway, I was annoyed today and so I chose to vent. We all do that from time to time.