Monday, 24 July 2006

keeping it nice

Generally speaking I'm not the most restrained and polite of people. I swear, I voice my opinions, I'm loud. I believe honesty is best, even where honesty is hard and requires some working in. I let it all hang out. People come to my house and I expect them to serve themselves, ask for what they need and overlook the mess. And there's a lot of that here.

But there's a few things I'm learning as I get older. About the true nature of diversity and what tolerance really means. About human frailty. About our limitations and weaknesses. I don't always get things right, but I've realised the point is less about getting it right all the time than it is about not expecting others to either.

I've also learned that there are times to not say what you mean if you can't point to good reason for doing so, if you can't point to the benefit there probably isn't a need. There are still many many times when there is a need, and I'm happy to stand my ground for something that's worthwhile and risk offending others. When I think the debate is needed.

But when I read this and then this I wanted to join up. I really value that the blog world I visit is a place where I feel safe and encouraged and free to document my little life. I get endless joy from seeing people do their thing, and other people liking seeing them do it. I love that people share and that everyone seems so focused on the positive. I look forward to my unconflicted time here.

It distresses me enormously that bloggers I admire feel hurt by the things commenters feel compelled to say. That some people think their role in the blog world (and perhaps elsewhere) is to provide 'constructive criticsm' to those whose goal is simply to share their world. Like telling someone they need a facial (can that really be so? Why oh why would someone do that? What was going through their mind? I simply can't comprehend...)

I don't love every creation I see, I wouldn't make the same choices as many of the bloggers I read, I don't share the taste of a good many people out there. But unless I'm expressely asked for an opinion, who cares what I think?

I don't think we all need to strive to be the same, if we all agreed on the right shade or perfect fabric or best pattern how incredibly dull the world would be. And how hard for me to get the materials I wanted because everyone else was after them too. An enormous part of the attraction of the blog world is coming upon the unexpected, the I would never have thought of that moment.

So when I see things I'm not crazy about, I move on, lips shut. I know the rest of the world isn't like this, and there are times when you need to challenge and confront people for growth and development. But not here, not uninvited, and never ever anonymously. I don't care if it's a fools paradise. This is one little corner of the world I don't ever want to change.


Turning Japanese said...

I read those two entries too. I love getting comments and sometimes I check over and over to see if there is a new one. Sometimes I call my Mum and TELL her to read and comment (she is now blogger and flickr trained)... Did you also read Loobylu this month. Someone emailed her some comment about not posting... SHE JUST HAD A BABY!
I really don't understand these people. Like you said, if you ask for help, advice or constructive critisism that is okay but other wise...

"If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!"

Rachael said...

hear hear!

Kate said...

Great post Soozs - I also tend to think the world would be very boring if we were all the same - diversity is a great thing - and I learn so much from people who are different to me and like different things to me.

Tania Ho said...

I was going to comment on your post last week (to congratulate you on your thesis) but then I forgot and suddenly another week passed by. So, first, congratulations for last week:) And second, I couldn't agree with you more. I love the diversity of this crafty community precisely because it's so diverse. Like you there are things I don't connect with, things that are not to my personal taste, but which end up inspiring me nonetheless, and which I'd never dream of criticizing when I'm not asked.

Lazy cow said...

Well said! I love this crafty blog community (of which I am *not* a member of!) You are all inspiring me to begin - in a very small way - to start making with my own hands. Everyone is so encouraging and positive. I hope it continues.
BTW I love *your* stuff :-)

Alison said...

I think one of the key things is encouraging within a community - and there is a time and a place for constructive comment, but usually it's asked for or suoght via the medium it is presented in. A personal blog is just that - a little slice of someone's very real, very private life which they are hoping to share with other like minded people. For someone to make assumptions that their values are more important than the authors, is quite sad. And when the comments become personal beyond the craft side - like with Loobylu, and the facial comment, there's something wrong with how we're viewing the community, and I think it's so wonderful that Jane has opened up an avenue to discuss that, and perhaps calm some of it down a little.
I want to encourage people, inspire, and let people into my world, and I want them to come to my blog because they want to. And I want to know that the people I consider my friends, and my peers, are treated fairly too.

Thanks for supporting this.

bugheart said...

i couldn't agree
with you more.
i am so glad
you brought it
to my (and others)
let's band together
and not let
negative people
hurt the
craft blog community!

molly said...

i came to your blog after reading your excellent comment on alison's blog! so well said! thank you.

kate said...

rah rah.

I've been on the receiving end of some not wonderful comments, though most don't get nasty in a personal way. I don't expect everyone to love me or what I make and do. I do expect people to be polite, especially when they are writing to ask me for something.

I think it's just awful when people go to the trouble of leaving insulting comments on someone's blog. I'm not sure it's that much better when they make the insults on their own blog. There's snark and then there is just plain nastiness. Ex. a designer friend of mine was saddened to find a knitter not only insulting her intelligence, but saying that she hoped the designer would die. And besides that, the bad result was because of the knitter's carelessness, rather than the designer's error. I understand being frustrated, but even if the designer had made an error (god forbid anyone make a mistake!) what's the point of that sort of comment? What does it achieve besides hurt feelings?

Thanks for your thoughtful post.

sooz said...

Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment in support of this post and this precious community.

Yes, I meant to make comment on the Loobylu thing too. I was utterly OUTRAGED. In the first months after a child is born I consider it a miracle if everyone gets dressed, eats and manages to wash dishes. Sleeping generally takes priority over blogging and a good many other things, and for anyone to express disappointment about this is out of line. I've missed Loobylu too, but hey there's plenty of time to get back on the horse. We'll wait for you Claire!

twobears said...

Well said. Totally agree.

Irene said...

As I said here
We have to be nice to each other if you need anything, a helping hand, a kind word I will be there.
I'm going to comment every post that you write.