Humor by Diane Farr
There is nothing more exciting than creating a pretty new blog as a forum for discussion about something you've worked hard on and seeing strangers leave comments for you. It feels flattering that people you don't know have taken the time to read your thoughts and now want to have a dialogue about it.
Right up until you read these comments.
Because they can be left anonymously, blog comments have become a vehicle for all those devoid of social skills -- probably because they have no friends to discuss their opinion of art, law or blue jeans with -- to say torturous things that are generally reserved for people engaging in armed combat.
"I hope the actress Diane Farr dies" was the note I got from one keen follower of "Grey's Anatomy" because she didn't like my character's story line in a particular episode.
I, too, yearn for a little eye-for-an-eye retaliation when I feel truly incensed by something. But leaving my children motherless because Meredith didn't get enough screen time with Derek might be a little much, no?
Spreading hatred can't really be justified simply because you can say it in 140 characters or less. Like the commentator on the blog for my newest book who admits he never read my book -- but still took the time to write: "It's clear your husband married you because as a white woman you are a status symbol for him and he needs this."
Of course it would be fun to write back about what gross disfigurement I imagine this person suffers from that left him home with nothing to do but read psychology books and become an expert in me, my husband and our marriage, sight unseen. But I'm lucky enough to have girlfriends for that ugly conversation. Which quenched my need to publish my own hurt feelings, dressed as hate and anger toward someone I've never met, that would live forever over the World Wide Web.
Maybe this seems prudish, following the Golden Rule at home alone with only my computer to know otherwise. But have we not learned from the murderous teenage cyberbullies and the overexposed and now unemployable members of
Blogs are not diaries! Other people read them -- which makes them public records.
Plus, if you really have an insatiable need to broadcast your most unkind, and often-baseless thoughts, you don't have to hide behind a fake name on someone else's website. You can head right over to Seaside Heights, N.J., and hook up with Snooki or The Situation -- and be brave enough to show your face while you behave inappropriately and let reality TV show prove just how dangerous an unedited platform can really be.
Like the creator of Thepsychoexwife.com who was recently ordered to take down his website, after a judge had to tell him that posting every negative detail of his divorce and custody battle might be a bad thing for his children. Dad swore he never identified his wife by name on his blog, but then appeared in person on the "Today" show to explain why he was going back to court to appeal his right to talk trash about the woman he once vowed to honor.
Sadly, the First Amendment might just allow this "father of the year" to further destroy his family -- leaving me to wonder if it's time to step out that section of the Bill of Rights detailing the exceptions like "defamation" and "using fighting words" that oh-so-many web-users seem to forget when they quote their right to hurt others.
Thankfully, my kids are too young to read ghost-blogger comments -- although someday they, too, may be the victim of ignorant posits made behind the anonymity of an avatar. But I will surely teach them to only say things in print they would be man or woman enough to say to another person's face, because humanity is the thing "civil rights" were created to protect. Not the legal right to behave like a jackass.
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Humor & Funny Stories - The Etiquette of Blogging | Humor - Diane Farr
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