Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 11, 2010
It’s hard to get mad at people who take the safe route and withhold their true feelings, in their own names, online. After all, sometimes people will say something that others don’t agree with, and no one wants to be derided for their feelings. Often, it seems the people who fear this the least are those with true hate in their hearts, those who could care less about everyone, only themselves and those like them. Those are the folks who believe it’s always better to be your ugliest self up front, then apologize later and say people took what you had to say out of context.
I believe one can have an opinion and give an opinion without being too brusque or hateful. Sure, every once in awhile we all get a little heated in our passion, but that’s to be expected if you have a point of view. It’s how you express your point of view that determines the outcome of responses. For instance, if I boldly say I hate Rush Limbaugh (by the way, I do hate Rush Limbaugh), it opens me up to that bunch of wild eyed hooligans who believe every piece of trash that comes out of his mouth without question to write something here supporting him or castigating me.
If I feared that, I’d be inclined to keep my opinion to myself and never utter another statement; lucky for me, when these folks come out of the woodwork, the rest of us know where they are and how to deal with them, especially since, at least here, I don’t allow hidden or anonymous comments. Anyone who comments here has to give a legitimate email address, otherwise their comments are bounced. That’s one of the best reasons to have a comment policy, so no one can say they didn’t understand the rules of coming into space I’ve paid for.
However, if were to try to be a bit more genial in my description of Rush, and I were writing something other than this post, I might state instead “I totally disagree with every single point of view Rush Limbaugh has” and leave it at that. In that manner, I’ve expressed the same thing as hating him, but only in a nicer way. In that way, it’s less about him and more about my beliefs and thoughts.
And really, if you’re blogging, that’s what it’s supposed to be about, your beliefs and thoughts. There are two folks who frequent here that I see putting themselves out there all the time. Rose has taken on some subjects that others might find controversial, and has put her opinion out there on some things that not everyone agrees with, but at least she’s got the guts to do it, and I applaud her for it. Sire also does it on one of his blogs that most of you probably don’t know about, which I won’t write in full because, where we differ on the subject, is that I believe one of his terms is easily considered as controversial in America, a word I’ve never used and still won’t use, but where he’s from probably doesn’t connote the same feelings or meanings, that being his Load of BS blog.
Playing it safe has its places. My business blog is a lot less controversial at all times than this one, but I will take on racism on that blog because part of my business is talking about diversity issues. I also give a lot of opinions on that blog as it relates to business relationships, but my language is such that it’s more of an educational thing than a ‘fussing at someone’ thing.
I remember meeting a guy maybe 2 or 3 years ago in another city. I went down with a friend of mine who was part of a small panel on blogging. I was talking to him afterwards and asked him if the discussion was going to lead to him writing his own blog. He said no, because he didn’t want to hate people hate him if he said something wrong. To me, unless your opinion is a direct condemnation of others based on factors they can’t change, there’s no such thing as a wrong opinion. I thought it was too bad because this was a guy who seemed to have a lot of knowledge, and I think if he’d felt more free to write about things his blog would have done well.
One final thing. If you’re writing your blog now and continue to do it, great for you; keep on doing it. But if you’re writing about, well, nothing, get out of the water and take a stand on something, at least once. Yeah, controversy sells, but it’s more important to break out of your shell and actually show who you are every once in awhile, even if you know one or some of your readers might have a different point of view. It makes you imminently more interesting, and I think you’ll start to see your visitors and subscribers increase as well.
At least it’s worked so far for me. 🙂 By the way, did you remember that Valentines Day is Sunday?