Sunday, July 06, 2008

Freedom of opinion

The Pied Piper - statue in Bremmen, Germany.

I just stumbled on a blog that horrified me. All right - not actually horrified. But bothered me. I won't say why or what is was, because everyone has the right to his or her own opinion.

The internet makes it easy to find information, and it connects many different people. And people are different - they have different values, beliefs, moral codes, ideas, political leanings, and even have different views on reality - after all, reality is in the eye of the beholder.

So who am I to leave a comment on a blog saying 'You're wrong', or 'You're full of crap'?

Of course, that doesn't stop me from going to the CIF column at the Guardian and commenting on articles there. Why? Because there is a difference between a blog and a newspaper. A blog is like someone's house. Yes, they're all out there for everyone to see. But most blogs are the reflections of their creators, and to go in, read it, and comment upon it is akin to going into someone's house. Polite manners dictate that we respect others. We respect them especially in their own environments, which is what we create when we make a blog. We recreate our own environment. Some blogs thrive on contreversy, while others are reflections of an artist's work, a poet's thoughts, a mother's pride, or just a sort of diary for the prolific writer. Whereas a newspaper is information tossed out by journalists, and the CIF is a column where anyone can write in and state their opinions as strongly as they like. (Very therapeutic, believe me, lol.)

But I stumbled on a blog that bothered me, and someone else had obviously been bothered as well, and the comment had started a 'flamewar' (actually I love that expression) and it probably ended with hurt feelings on both sides. So I felt sorry for both sides, and came back here and rambled a bit. Because, honestly, there is nothing wrong with expression your opinions on your blog, but there will always be someone 'out there' who feels it's his/her civic/moral duty to tell you how you should run your life, and what you should think, feel, or believe in.

I won't do that. (Except with my kids, lol.)


Travis Erwin said...

I think if you blog for very long eventually you will say something that other find offensive. I try not to but I know I have on occasion. I like your take about a blog being like that persons house.

Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, very nice analogy about a blog being like your house. I always try to be polite, and typically say nothing rather than comment negatively on something I disagree with. I have gotten to know some bloggers well enough to disagree with them, though, and that's when you've become friends.

Sam said...

Travis - I agree. I've been aggressed for my opinions on my blog before - probably why I stick to neutral topics now. I don't thrive on contreversy!

Charles - that's a good point! I think you do have to know someone well to be able to speak frankly and disagree. But when you do it on a blog, your words are up there for all to see, and they can be taken out of context and misinterpretated. (Hard to do tone with typing, lol).



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