A Tale Of Two Blog Posts

I spent four hours awake in bed today. I was still except for the movement of my thumb on my phone and occasional rolling of my eyes at the inevitable on Twitter. After an hour I had caught up on everything ever written by anyone I’ve ever heard of, and then the really wild reading began.

Something truly astounding happened: I found a decent writer and after 1,500 or so words I thought I knew her deal. But. Suddenly I was reading words I’d never encountered outside of my head. She shared a truth I’ve never been able to explain and then she raised her eyebrow at me as if to ask whether I was going to make her same mistake.

There was no way to thank her, so I simply continued reading, wondering what else I might encounter in this miraculous world of posts that contained actual thoughts.

Soon I was back to a familiar blog with a guest post from another stranger. It was so another lengthy person essay intended to convey a very specific message. I almost held my breath waiting for more truth to seep out. It never came. Instead, after the writer glided over her clouded memories of past obsessions, she finally tossed out a few lines completely undercutting any value in the supposed purpose in sharing her story. Dear God, please don’t let this be me in another ten years.

I don’t think I actually finished the last paragraph, though I somehow think that my eyes must have seen it all.

This is, of course, the way it is with blogging. You have know way of knowing which writer you are to me. I have no way of knowing whether my heartfelt thoughts will pour over your wounded soul like so much salt and vinegar. And yet I post because I know that “hurters gonna hurt” regardless of what I do or don’t say. Both of the women behind the posts that struck me today ultimately wrote for themselves. It is somewhat shocking that the first post helped me so much, but it is not at all surprising that the second post served simply to remind me that people are usually too selfish to really love when writing about how others should live. The truth is that if the last post hadn’t slightly offended me I simply would have kept reading until something else filled that space.

Be honest, how often do you see posts that bother you? How often would you guess that your posts hurt others?

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7 thoughts on “A Tale Of Two Blog Posts

  1. Michelle

    This is a fascinating question. I honestly don’t know how to answer. Honestly, I try not to get hurt by things I read on the internet. However, I have been known to feel a bit miffed or offended if I read something I don’t expect out of someone. Isn’t that the way? We think we know a person…and then it seems they come out of left field with something.

    As for whether I hurt anyone with the words I write, I would imagine there’s been times people might roll their eyes at me. I try to write from a personal-positive side of things — meaning, I write FOR whatever I love instead of AGAINST what I do not. I don’t always keep to this (political posts being the thing I remember the most) but for the most part…I write to explain how I feel about something and to support others who might be in my same boat. People who aren’t in my boat — well, they are probably not reading me anyway (I think?)

  2. alison

    You know, there are many blog posts I stop reading halfway through, or just skim. I find I do less random blog reading now and more intentional Google searches for specific information lately. I haven’t gotten lost in a new blog in a while. But I am trying to remember the last time I just got upset at a post…OK it was in reading the matt Walsh blog today…which i did after learning that a friend ia related to him. While reading some posts I often think “Boy, this post is short sighted” more than anything, which definitely relates to my own hesitancy for posting about certain subjects until I am ABSOLUTELY SURE of my view, rather than put out a half baked idea to later want to recount.

    1. alison

      I will also say that there are blogs that I wont read because I HAVE gotten too angry at ssomething in the past. I think that’s a smart move. Very few but they exist.

  3. Nayhee

    This is sort of off-topic but I recently went over to read a post by someone who had I resolved never to read before (yes, Alison, because I became exceedingly annoyed every time I did read them) because their mission in blogging was so completely foreign to me (and also seemed absurd and kinda sorta hateful), and whaddaya know. It was a post about how they had a complete turnaround and realized that they needed to change the entirety of their blog mission and reevaluate why and how they were writing what they were writing. (They didn’t fully realize the “kinda sorta hateful” part, but they did wonder if their style was ineffective)
    Well knock me over with a featha’…

  4. Sarah

    eh, I just skimmed your post.. mostly I came back because I was pondering how catholics such as yourself feel about your church now that it has been appropriately bitch-slapped by the United Nations (I doubt that the story is over just yet) ?? Do you still defend it?

  5. Sarah

    had to add… ” And since your history of silence/ Won’t do you any good/ Did you think it would?/ Let your words be anything but empty/ Why don’t you tell them the truth?” courtesy of Sara Bareilles. :o )

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