I had an interesting experience the other day. I commented on someone’s blog and got a scathing email from them explaining why it wasn’t going to be included with the other comments. I was also threatened – yes, you read that correctly – I was threatened with being labelled as a spammer in WordPress.
It’s true that I was critical of something on this person’s website. Among other things, there was a clip that, to me, purported to show me how to do something with this blogging program. Instead, it turned out to be a series of still photographs of people having fun. Now, I have no objection to people creating clips like this; but I don’t want to be lured into watching something only to find out that I’ve wasted my time.
The background music was by Mozart, whose music is now in the public domain. But, the recordings of those who perform it is not. YouTube is full of public domain music whose performances are copyrighted. It seems to me that even if you purchase a clip, you should still include a statement to the effect that it has been used with permission from whoever gave it to you. Seems like common sense, don’t you think?
Anyway, I emailed the young lady offering my apologies and asking her forgiveness. It wasn’t my intention to offend her; rather, I only wanted to draw her attention to my perceptions. Granted, I did it in my typical rapier-like fashion, but, it still made me wonder why we’re so afraid of criticism.
Obviously, there is much spam that masquerades as comments. I’ve had to delete comments to this blog because the people who left them included all manner of links for products that neither my readers nor I wanted to buy.
Let’s return to the subject. Why are we afraid of criticism? It’s probably because we don’t want to be made to feel bad about ourselves, which is understandable. On the other hand, it seems to me, that it would be better to allow the comment to post, and then to justify your actions on the blog itself. After all, isn’t that what a blog is for? To engage readers in a discussion?
If all we ever did was post comments we agreed with, we’d be guilty of contributing to a mutual admiration society. Is that what we want? To surround ourselves with hundreds of people who not only overlook the fact that the emperor has no clothes, but are naked themselves?
That’s not why I blog, nor is it why I leave comments on the blogs of others. I want to stimulate discussion. I want people to think about what they see going on around them, rather than sleepwalking through their jobs and through life.
I hope you will comment on this post and others. For those of you who are reading it via Facebook or some other channel, I invite you to come back to the original page to leave your feedback.