Monday, November 18, 2013

Musing on .... Comments and discussions

Posted by Lisa Laree to Beer Lahai Roi

Not what you're thinking. ;-)

I had two different experiences reading comments on other blog posts today...or, rather, I had a variation on the same experience reading comments on two other blogs today.

The first was this morning; I happened to check Face book, mostly to see if there were any posts about storm damage in Indiana, but someone had linked a blog post they liked and I clicked through and read it.

It was a piece about character, basically, and it was well written and I agreed with it.

Then I read the comments.

Most were favorable, but there was one commenter (there's always one) that felt compelled to argue against the points made by the author.  Then there were comments arguing with the one who disagreed.  Then there were defensive comments on both sides.  The one who disagreed expanded his argument to include his opinions about faith and morality, making blanket statements that both were without value.

I quit reading there.  Grieved.  He has a right to his opinion, obviously, but what was the point of telling people of faith that their faith is worthless?  How could he possibly have a clue of the value of another person's faith?  But I was also grieved at some of the harsh things that were said to/about him by folks who defended the original article.

Then, later today I read one of the blogs in my subscription list.  The author had done a (very fair, actually) assessment of a product, but the product developer had an issue with the constructive criticism and emailed some rather condescending correction to the reviewer.

Who posted the communication on her blog.

Comments ensued, ranging from supportive to indignantly supportive of the reviewer until the product developer joined the fray and began defending her position.  She seemed utterly clueless as to why her position and the way she stated it had upset people.  Three or four responses later, I quit reading.

Again, I wondered why folks would take such tones with each other.

I learned a long time ago that mere writing does not convince anyone of anything if they don't want to be convinced.

I once carried on an email conversation with someone whose views of God and spirituality were quite different from mine.  However, when the discussion would reach a critical point, the other person would just say something to the effect of 'you write better than me' and drop the discussion, rather than see the point I was trying to make. 

Nothing I wrote changed anything.

Without relationship, without credibility, the best discussion, most complete apologetics, loftiest truths are seen as just a way with words.

And, you know, there is really very little credibility on the internet.  I know I have no credibility; so why write things that could be offensive?

On the other hand,  how can I share the convictions of my heart and not offend someone who doesn't share them?  Or, more to the point, how can I share the convictions of my heart and at least get that person to not have a knee-jerk reaction to them, but consider the possibility that I have those convictions for plausible reasons?

That, I believe, is the fine line a faith blogger has to tread.  I don't know if I actually walk that line or if I maintain too much of a safe, non-threatening, virtually useless distance away from that line.  If Beer Lahai Roi is boring,  it doesn't matter what I one will read it.

But, you know, I think I'm ok with that.  Maybe nobody will read it.

Maybe I just needed to write it.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that a blog isn't for the's for the author. 

And if there IS an audience, that's fine.  But if there isn't...that's fine, too.

Because I've really just about decided that no comments at all is better than comments that are a war of words.

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