July 25, 2007

Maybe a Spoonful of Sugar Would Help

It is so difficult to voluntarily take a dose of STFU. In general, my feeling is that if I don't like what I'm reading on a blog, I should stop reading the blog rather than repeatedly venting my dislike in the comment section. I'm not chained to my computer, eyelids pried open while someone else chooses my reading matter: if I don't like it, I should go away. But oh, sometimes it is so difficult.

There are so many hot issues (religion! politics! parenting!), so many things that make me feel like fighting. I can tell they make other people feel like fighting, too, because of all the comment sections that boil up and over the edge. What's amazing is that any of us get along at all.

I read awhile back that humans are naturally contentious--that if peace were handed to us on a platter, we wouldn't be able to accept it even if we wanted to. Our natural state is to live together in communities, and to fight constantly within that community and also with other communities. My experience with human nature backs this up so far.

This is discouraging. I think I'll take another dose.

41 comments:

Devan said...

Interesting. what is this of which you speak?
I agree that human nature is to disagree, some people just seem to do it more than others.

Swistle said...

Devan-- And some people seem to LIKE it or THRIVE on it, that's what blows my mind! I disagree with things, but I find the sensation unpleasant, and would rather feel the more pleasant sensation of Getting Along Nicely.

Jana said...

Your post is so timely for me. I read a blog just this morning that I do not agree with in the slightest and have spent the past several hours mentally composing a comment. But now, after reading your post, I think I'll take my dose of STFU, keep the comment to myself and file it under the "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" section of my mind.

Mona said...

I used to frequent the comments section of a particular well-known blog until she started moderating her comments and deleted many of mine. And for a while I wanted to whine about why she hadn't chosen my gems of comedy and rebuffed I felt until I just got over it and stopped reading her blog altogether.

It's discouraging but also inevitable that there will be other communities/blogs doling out the haterade (i.e. VA or the defunct Trainwrecks).

I might not have a huge readership, but those people who do stop by know how to play nice.

Erica said...

Again, with the timeliness. You always seem to know exactly what to post. I hate that about you, you know.

I, too, happened to read a post today that I THOROUGHLY DISAGREED WITH. (Caps shows exactly how large of a dose of STFU I had to take.) But, I figure there are lots of people out there who vehemently disagree with just about every word I write, so turn about is fair play. And since those people are nice enough to stay the hell out of my comments section, I do the same for those with whom I disagree.

Penny said...

I don't know what STFU is, but I'd like to read the controversial post. Where is it?

Shelly said...

How sad am I that I had to look up what STFU meant?

Tessie said...

I have heard tell of this "humans are naturally contentious" theory, but to me it just BOGGLES b/c the mere THOUGHT of being contentious gives me the nervous tummy.

I even feel awkward and fidgety when I read mean comments on OTHER PEOPLE's blogs.

Tessie said...

Hey, what happened to your word verification dealie bopper?

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

I understand. STFU has never failed me. I tend to quit reading when I feel the nervous, oh my goodness there's an argument here. I'm not so much into confrontation.

Pickles & Dimes said...

I DISAGREE WITH THIS!!! Also, you are WRONG.

(This is totally in jest, by the way...)

It is amazing how people will fight just for the hell of it.

Sara said...

I agree with you here.

And with Tessie--the thought of contention kind of makes me want to throw up.

Shannon said...

While I try not too, I will admit to poking the fire with a stick a few times. Not many but there are a couple of people that it is is just too much fun to rile up.

I will go and STFU now. I'm sure I've just pissed off many.

Anonymous said...

Why is it we all just want everyone to agree with us and give us compliments? The world is a big place, and we all wouldn't want to be the same would we? For thousands and thousands of years we've been throwing rocks at each other :-). It isn't about to change today or tomorrow. So buy yourself a shield and get ready for the rocks!

LoriD said...

I haate it when someone leaves a mean comment for a blogger who usually just has nice comments. If it's a political blog or one that is controversial by nature, I don't have a problem with it at all, although I probably wouldn't comment.

Marie Green said...

It is true that humans NEED conflict. I have to admit, I do love a good debate, but only if everyone is playing nice, and no one is hitting below the belt. Conflict is what helps us to grow our minds: our opinions and views of the world change as we hear different arguements for things.

In one of my communications classes in college we learned that no only do people LOVE conflict, but if there is not enough conflict, people will CREATE it. This is why to most cohesive groups are ones where the conflict is on the outside of the group. An example would be: I once had a job where my coworkers and I were SO close. We all got along so well and treated each other so lovingly. However, we all hated our boss and daily struggled w/ him. So since we had our boss as our conflict, we didn't need any between us.

Great topic!

Misty said...

I am wondering if anyone, anyone at all, is having this going through their head:

"Ohmygod. Is she talking about me? Is it something I said last time I posted? I hope not. I didn't meant to say anything offensive. What if she hates me now? What if everyone thinks that I am the one who needs the dose of STFU? *Explictive*, I KNEW I should have read that more carefully. Now I am hated witch of blogosphere."

Then feel the need to dissolve into tears. THEN think that everyone would hate you even more if you said you were sorry for your meant-to-be-benign-but-actually-evil comment because you *obviously* think it is all about you.

Any takers? Or am I the only one who is nuts?

Misguided Mommy said...

MISTY!!! I'm actually sitting here right now going I know this is all about me and that last post I just wrote...How funny

Erica said...

Misty, I'm pretty sure it's just you.
None of us has EVER felt like that.

*insert evil cackle here*

jen said...

I guess I prove the "humans crave conflict" right because I'm drooling here trying to figure out what you're talking about or if you posted something that didn't go over well and I missed the party.

And I also know I'm annoying sometimes, and sometimes I read stuff on blogs I otherwise love that surprise me because I thought I and this person had thought alike.

Misguided Mommy said...

actually i'm about 90% sure this is about me..and all I can think is yay swistle reads my blog...so if your allll wondering what this is about head to my page and scroll down to the post called coming clean

MrsGrumpy said...

I find myself lots of times wanting to post a disclaimer, so as not to upset someone. Sometimes I am just talking about something, not meaning to be political, and it comes off on my blog as sounding political. Luckily, the last time I made that disclaimer I only got one comment so... I guess I should worry less, eh?

Black Sheeped said...

I used to be scared of conflict, but sometimes now I can't shut my mouth when I should. I do more than my fair share of railing and disagreeing. Fortunately, most of my online railing is done aloud, to the unhearing screen, or inside my head, and I think that counts as keeping my 'mouth' shut. It's important to have healthy conflict, I agree with Marie, but I think most of the time (online, in comments sections and message boards, especially)a conflicting point of view will be completely ignored. I think people aren't very easily persuaded/changed about most things they get riled up about on the internets.

I was obviously going nowhere with this comment.

Hooray!

Swistle said...

Oh, I would TOTALLY be wondering if it was about me! I ALWAYS think it's about me. A blogger will write about how word verification drives her nuts, and I take my word verification RIGHT OFF--because WHAT IF SHE MEANT MINE?? What if it was MY word verification that pushed her over the edge?? (Points to Tessie, by the way, for noticing immediately that it was gone! I'm trying it, and if I get a lot of spamments I'll put it back on.)

Penny: STFU is Shut The F*** Up.

LoriD: I totally agree. When the blog is ABOUT argument (or discussion of controversial topics), that's different.

Swistle said...

Oh, also: I was going to say that no, it's not Misguided Mommy who got me all cranky, but then I'd have to say "and it's not ___" about every single person who was worried, and then what if the person it WAS came to my blog and left a worried comment, and then I'd be all conspicuously silent and everyone would know?

Misguided Mommy said...

thats funny swistle....you posted just in time for me to stir up a world of shit on my blog...nothing new though, im a world of controvesy

AndreAnna said...

Either I am so very uncool or I am just a big fat chickenshit and stay away from things that would cause controversy on my blog. I tend to write funny, lighthearted things, and when the moment moves me and I want to write something serious that matters, I get scared that people will argue and fight. I'm not so much worried that they'll disagree with me, because people have opinions and if I didn't want to hear them, I wouldn't be writing in a public forum. However, confrontation scares me, and I tend to run and hide at the first sign of it.

I really need to grow a pair, huh?

Sigh.

Devan said...

Misty - I hate to admit it, but I have been thinking about this post all afternoon, wondering if it were me. *insert nervous laugh* But maybe it's not. right? Right?

heh

MrsGrumpy said...

Oh mannnn... I knew I shouldn't have dissed on "Frigidaire". Apologies...

bubandpie said...

This is so funny - especially Misty's comment. Not that I'm paranoid or anything.

I am a chronic avoider of conflict, but I do have a certain attraction to a kind of passive participation - I felt that same urge to check out the inflammatory post, wherever it was.

But my appetite for conflict is pretty easily sated, I think - I might check in for awhile to read things that get me all energized and enraged, but after a little while I tire of it and go back to my friendly corner of the blogosphere where everybody plays nice.

Shannon said...

I just have to add how much I LOVE the STFU.

I'd rather the spoonful of sugar than a spoonful of aspartame.

jen said...

comment, v2.

I have a mug.. though mine isn't so elaborate... you should too.

http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/mugs/8dc2/

:)

Feel free to disagree with me in my own blog.. sometimes I need to be brought back down to planet earth.

Mrs. Incredible said...

my pet peeve? anonymous comments. I don't allow anon. posts on my blog anymore, b/c they were always the cranky ones. It's ok to be cranky, just show up and be yourself, don't hide behind the anonymous thing!

Cari said...

The reason I (recently) joined the blogosphere is to be more engaged in the support of other people and the issues they are facing and writing about. And, hoping that I could learn some things from others to help myself too.

Sometimes sugar and STFU are the best options. Sometimes - if I have a comment that I think might stir things up even when that is NOT my intent, I email the blogger and discuss it one on one. I think the "mob mentality" can sometimes be the cause of things raging out of control.

Shannon said...

This post had a very timely arrival for me. I'm part of a email list for micropreemie parents and there was a bunch of emails that were basically centered on how your not REALLY a preemie parent unless your child was born extremely early (like 26 weeks or less gestation) and your child has extreme problems. I REALLy wanted to voice a STFU to the emails but I kept my mouth shut. I know I would have just pissed a bunch of people off. I would have written a flamer if I hadn't read your post.

D is crying because Elmo died or something...off to save the world!

So, thanks. :) From a reformed pot-stirrer.

Stephanie said...

I think that it is pretty much human nature to think, "is it me?" It is hard to steer away from. I understand what you are saying and I think there are more times I need to STFU myself! Thanks for a little inspiration!

Michele said...

I dont think it was me, since you wrote this before my "cant stand the news" post, and after I posted pictures of my kids. Unless you are vehemently opposed to Costco or my purple bathroom.

I employ STFU, but rarely on any mom blogs. Then I just tend to stay away for a while. But interesting comment someone had about another blog who deleted her comments. I have had that happen to me too and my comments were totally benign. Perhaps she didnt like my screen name ;)..?

breckgirl said...

Well, I just think (and I know I am late in the game here) that if a blogger is going to post about controversial topics and ask for input on things, they should expect to get varied input. If a blogger just wants "nice" comments,they should keep their blog community open to only their "nice" friends. Me, I like a little debate and difference of opinion.

Swistle said...

Agreed, Breckgirl. I'm talking more about those times when my comment would be mean or pointless.

CakeHead said...

*raises hand*. I dislike word verification. Not because I think it's dumb or annoying, but because half the time I can't read those stinkers. I get all sweaty and stuff and feel like I'm taking a test. It doesn't stop me from commenting though.

So would you call those people who don't take their STFU pill, trolls? I mean, debate is one thing; but being mean and pointless is another.

Swistle said...

Hm. Definitely trolls fall into the mean and pointless category, although I think of them as doing it on purpose for the satisfaction of being awful: rubbing their horrible troll palms together and showing their horrible troll teeth as they think, "THIS'll really piss people off!" Whereas the kind I'm thinking of are more like the little remarks that still retain a semblance of politeness--but still shouldn't have been said.