Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What Draws Us To One Another? And How Did The Mean Girls From High School End Up On The Net?

I was thinking about this the other day. What, exactly, draws us to one another? I mean in the virtual world, of course. What makes you say "Hmmm, I am going to check out that blog?" Is it the title? The description? The header image? Or is it a combination of things? What keeps you reading? Have you ever gone to a new blog expecting one thing, and then been sorely disappointed once you started reading?

And then, once you start liking the blog, and in a way by default the author, do you truly feel as if you know them? As if you really are friends, even though you have never met them in person or spoken to them on the phone? I know I have some readers that I communicate with by email AND they still comment on my blog (you know who you are). I cherish that. I really do. I consider them my friends. I also cherish every comment I get here.

We, all of us bloggers, try to make our sites look good. An easy to read & navigate template is a must, in my opinion. I have gone to blogs where the colors were so bad/bright/dark that it made my eyes cross & gave me a headache. Needless to say, I didn't go back to that site again. We also, I think, try to write good posts that will keep our readers' attention in some way or another. Whether we are trying to be funny, quirky, crazy or serious & informative, I think we all try to make our content cohesive, somewhat rational & engaging. I know I do.

I want you to come in, sit down & read a while. Of course, I have always wanted to be a writer. I have written short stories & poetry since I was a girl, oh so many moons ago. We all want that "comment love". That validation of our words. I get almost giddy when I see that I have comments. They are just awesome. To me, it's like getting guilt free chocolate covered caramel candies.

This also brings me to my other point. "Blog Cliques" and 35+ year old women who act as if they are still 15 year old cheerleader/Prom Queen/Members of the "Cool Kids" who use the Internet to publicly and intentionally hurt other bloggers. This unfortunate, yet widespread, phenomena confuses me. Aren't we all adults here? Aren't we supposed to be mature and able to move on past "High School Mean"?

I'll admit there were some people in High School who I did not get along with because I wasn't in the popular clique. They also, for lack of a better
term, thought that their shit didn't stink. I can't stand people like that. Not then and certainly not now. But for the most part, I got along with almost everyone I went to school with.

I have known one of my oldest and dearest friends, Sarah, since the 9th grade when everyone would get us confused (including our then best friends) because we looked so much alike. We subsequently became known as "The Twins". My best friend, Carol, has been my best friend since 1991. We knew each other pretty well in High School, but lost touch for a couple of years after graduation. And I could not imagine my life without my friends. They are my sisters and I love them. But, I digress, again...

As I was saying, why do these women (and men, I suppose) feel the need to publicly "Blog Flog" someone else? It is the strangest, most rotten & immature thing I have ever witnessed from an adult. The Internet has essentially become a virtual High School Quad for those adults who are only mature in years, not in mind. It is sad, really. Are those people really that dissatisfied with their own adult lives that they would want to relive their teenage years in perpetuity and on a truly global scale?

I enjoyed High School, for the most part. I was even good friends with some of the "In Crowd". I met my husband in Junior High. We started dating Senior year. But I do not want to relive it all or be who I was then. Today, I am a Christian, Wife, Mother & Friend. I like myself, well almost always, anyway. High School was 20 years ago (or more, for some of you). My 20 year (HOLY CRAP!! REALLY???!!!) High School Reunion is this summer. I am not sure if I am going, but my best friend, Carol, is thinking about flying out here so that she can go with me and my Husband. If she does fly out, then I'm going. If not, then it will all depend on how much they are charging for tickets. Another tangent, sorry...

What I want to leave you with is this, do not feed into this inane bullcrap. Please. Try to remember that you are supposed to be an adult. This kind of behavior is not OK at any age. The Internet & personal blogs should not be used to hurt others. What are you teaching your children when you act like this? If your life is so terrible that you need to do these things, then you need a whole lot of God & a few years of therapy. And remember, when you write these things on your blog or in a forum of some kind, you are not just typing words on a screen, you are intentionally hurting another flesh & blood human being who has feelings & a heart.

If you have a problem with someone online, then contact that person via email, privately. Oftentimes it is something that is a complete misunderstanding and can easily be cleared up. I want you to realize this...the Internet is forever. Delete does not always remove the offending words or images. There is always someone, somewhere who has downloaded it somewhere else. Think before you type.

{This post is dedicated to my friend. You know who you are}
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LadyStyx said...

Very well said.

Kristina P. said...

I completely agree! I am always amazed what people will say about people in their lives, on their blog. Even if they think their friends, family, or boss won't find them.

I actually ended an 8 year friendship with someone, and the straw was her blog. We had been having a lot of issues, but she liked to rant on her blog, and I thought a post was about me. She says it wasn't, but the fact is, I didn't want to have to wonder if it was.

ChicagoLady said...

Very nice post, and something that needs to be said and read and understood by a lot of people. It's a shame when adults decide they need to re-live their teen years and act so immature. And it's so easy for words on a screen to be misinterpreted. I've seen it happen many times.

I would never want to go back to my high school years, they were the worst years of my life. I didn't even get invited to my 10 year reunion, and chose not to go to my 20 year reunion because there was no one I wanted to spend the evening with. They didn't like me at 17, and I have no interest in acting all friendly to them now. Yes, I'm holding a grudge, but dammit, I deserve to!

I too love seeing emails from my commenters. I always try to post something that will make the reader think, or give them a laugh, or just keep them coming back again tomorrow. Comments are addicting.

Queenie Jeannie said...

This makes me very, very sad. Once it would have made me mad too; but I see the sadness more now.

I have been a "target" of this kind of BS on sites and forums before. And it's horrible!!! It spilled over onto my blog and I actually had to change my blog address several times. But it was all the same group of nasty, horrid women and once I broke free of them, the problem was over.

I thought it was a one time thing that just happened to me. Are you saying this happens alot? To other people? On their blogs???? Ugh!

If this is happening to you, I'm sorry, or if it's a friend of yours, I'm sorry also. Some people just have altogether too much time on their hands and too much bitterness in their hearts!!

Being happy is just so much more FUN!!!

Heatherlyn said...

Hi, Queenie Jeannie had a little thing for your blog on the side of her blog and, if you are wondering, I thought the titles of your posts looked interesting.

I've not encountered these rude bloggers because I'm newer to the world of blogging. But I've heard of them. I don't know if it is like the people who feel comfortable swearing at you etc, as long as they are in their car, or what. If I ever ran across it I would turn and leave. That's the nice thing about the web, you can just shut down their pages. If they are targeting you then I hope it would be comforting to know that decent, civilized people would NOT buy into it. I agree that it is disgusting behavior. When we lampoon others that way we are just taking the ulgy on the inside and showing it off for the world to see. Yuck.

I think that certain types of people are really moved and inspired and touched by the written word. When people are being honest, you really can get to know a little part of who they are. In fact, sometimes, people can express themselves better in written word than in real life and so you can get to know people, even people you know, a little bit better. And we all learn a lot from each other and are inspired by each other's strengths. Blogging can be very uplifting. (so I hope the haters just kind of really do stick together in their own clicks and leave the rest of us happy bloggers alone.)

Julia said...

I always think that no one is forcing you to read someones blog. By that rational the people who have questionable comments need to move on. Easily said. But I think people feel a kind of amnesty within the confines of their home hiding behind their computers... They feel they can say whatever they like. Too bad for them! What comes around goes around. It may not be in exactly the same shape or size but Karma has a way of catching up with people.


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