The Internet Is Full of Mean People and Bloggers, and the Two Are One In the Same

Everyone, whether they realize it or not, reads blogs. At least everyone that reads stuff on the Internet.

A lot of times I very intentionally try to only read legitimate news articles. I scope out particular sites I know to be traditional media; and then about a quarter of the way in I realize that I’m really reading a blog post. Then somewhere in there I realize I’m a total doofus because it says in bold print at the top of the page FROM THE BLOG. Really, written blogs are just opinion pieces with a different title on them. Facebook Notes are blogs. Tweets and status updates are too; so are Instagrams – whether you people like it or not, pretty much anyone that uses the Internet and social media has in some form blogged, or read a blog of any kind and been like “OMG this person is my soulmate – I totally agree with that thing s/he said about this topic I’m so interested in.” Even if it was just a Foursquare check in with the comment “best tacos ever.”

The list of things that could qualify as blogs is unending. Opinions on best foods for dieting, opinions on best strategies to work out, opinions on sports teams, joke Tweets, hashtag parties, #TBT and #foodporn…

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I could go on. As long as it’s logged on the web, it’s a blog. The Internet is for sharing, no way around it.

Once, a long time friend told me that she hated bloggers. Then about five minutes later she posted two updates – one a blog-style Facebook note on diet tricks and tips, the other a Tweet about how she thought Portillos had the best hot dogs in the history of hot dogs. (Irony much?) At that point I couldn’t resist, I had to ask why she shared so much stuff and posted her own blog-style updates, when in fact she claimed she hated bloggers. She clarified for me that day something I wouldn’t realize until years later is quite a profound statement on blogging, and the Internet in general. Bloggers – the Internet on the whole – are mean people; people so mean that if anyone ever disagrees with something out there, they and their friends/family/colleagues launch a full-scale Internet attack.

At the time, I immediately dismissed everything she said.

I have been writing for four years now. Probably five since that friend said she hated bloggers. Shortly after I began writing, someone (or someones – I really don’t remember) suggested I start a blog. I did, and it morphed into what it is today – a place in which I rant, complain, share stories, and sell my books. Sometimes I write a lot of blog posts in a short period of time; other times weeks or months go by with not a peep from me, as far as my blog is concerned.

You learn quickly in the blog world (the world of the Internet) that there are a lot of people out there with things to say and share, and yet only a select few of them ever get to the forefront. I mean – like – the blogs that go places. As in all things in life, it is very political. It is a lot about who you know. Usually, the most untalented of people are those that are read the most. You also learn that the worst writers are some of the most popular bloggers.

This isn’t to say that all of the most popular bloggers are bad writers, but there are definitely a handful of terrible writers and worse human beings out there that have mastered the art of page views, buzz words, and using infographics as legitimate substitutes for actual, real words and ideas.

And being mean anytime anyone questions something they’ve posted.

Yet you go with the flow and keep your yap shut, because if you say anything that the in-crowd and the people that adore them (read: anyone regularly published on the Huffington Post) doesn’t like; well then you are nothing but an Internet troll. An Internet troll with time on his/her hands, and “no life.”

And then you stop reading a lot of their articles or blogs, simply because you just can’t keep it shut anymore. You don’t want to happen to you what happened to those other people. You know, the ones people think are Internet crackpots. You don’t want to be told you’re an Internet troll when you say that someone sounds like a racist, judgmental dick; even when that’s just the truth. You don’t want to be name-called by a group of people you have never met in your life, simply because you disagree.

But you also don’t want to keep silent in a forum where people are supposed to say things.

It happens all the time. Someone posts some pithy piece of shit blog, and then anyone who speaks to the contrary or makes any sort of constructive criticism or dissenting opinion is called a troll and attacked with several “you”s (you just took that personally, you obviously have limited education, and so on). I just saw it this morning on a Huffington Post blog about suburban moms. Now, after careful investigation, I came to the realization that this particular post was a pitch for a new book; and also had a lot of potential (I mean we suburban moms do deserve a lot of poking fun at). But the article really was lazy – lacking introduction, bearing no sense of humanity or connectivity to the suburban moms that were so callously being made fun of; and in the end, concluded with a “buy my BOOK!” Really?

UnknownNaturally, when I returned to read the comments, anyone that dissented – that said it wasn’t that funny (it wasn’t), or that it was a little stereotypical (as I said, no connectivity) – anyone that said anything like that kind of a response was attacked with 66 or 89 (or some other absurd number of) other comments full of “you”s (you took it too personally, get an education and a sense of humor was my favorite).

Huh? Had I commented, I would have said it was unfunny and stereotypical too.

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely Internet trolls out there who pick fights for no reason at all. You can smell them from a mile away, and they reek of a comment or reply that has absolutely nothing to do with what you are talking about. But somehow – somewhere along the line – any form of dissent or disagreement, or even comments in opposition or of slight criticism – are seen as Internet troll behavior. Negativity. Not PC.

Now I understand my friend and her harsh feelings about bloggers all those years ago. The Internet is like one, big bag of dicks – there’s so many mean people on it.

The mean people aren’t in the people that write blogs with jokes or satire, though. The mean people aren’t those that post about their beliefs about vaccines or breastfeeding or home births or about how judgmental everyone seems to become after they hit 30. The mean people aren’t those who have political interests or are overly zealous football fandom either.

The mean people are the ones who can’t take a little bit of opposition. The mean people are the ones who have forgotten that the Internet has a lot of potential to be a really fun place for people to share and communicate, about whatever they want really. The mean people are taking this potentially awesome place and turning it into a pile of shit with all their PC terms and delicate sensibilities. And this incessant need for everyone to always agree – no matter what.

What a terrible and boring place this is becoming as a result.

There’s an old saying I’m sure we’ve all heard: if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Well come on, Internet bloggers. Get out of the fucking kitchen if you can’t handle the rising temps. Maybe if you do, things around here will be cool again.

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The Top 5 Bloggie Blog Blunders

Lately I’ve been thinking about why my blog (life) is so devoid of readers (people that like me). I researched a little about “why people don’t read my blog” (“why people don’t want to be my friend”) and even bitched about it in a previous post. In this quest to make my blog more successful, this last few weeks I looked at other blogs that seem to be terribly successful so that maybe I could see what I’m doing wrong that they are doing right.

So far, I have yet to find much wrong with my page. In fact, I’m starting to think my site is too nice. I don’t boozehound (I mean, not really…) and post pictures of baby shit enough, so it would seem. Maybe that’s my problem.

Nonetheless, I found a lot of blogs that are extremely popular, and there is no reason in my mind why they should be. Obviously I won’t name them by name. Some of them I think are run by really nice people; chances are if you are reading this you are not one of them. But I did learn a few things from these horrors of the Internet:

Bloggie Blog Blunder #1: The Wedding/Baby/Marathon Blog

I’m not one to disparage people for wanting to share the tales of their major life events. But people that start a blog for the sole purpose of documenting either: (a) their engagement and wedding, (b) the pregnancy and birth of their baby, or (c) the marathon they decided to run, are – in one word – annoying.

For one, once their wedding is over or the kid has popped out, the blogging comes to a halt either immediately or shortly thereafter and becomes just another website out there that is taking up space and slowing down the Internet.

For two, why the fuck do complete strangers want to know about this shit?

Today I saw this wedding blog-type thing for these two unbelievably hipsterish morons that basically documented in blog-format the timeline of their douchey, hipster relationship; and then at the end of this 9 mile webpage (which apparently served as a wedding website or wedding announcement or whatever hipster crap you want to call it), people had the option to enter their wedding invitation RSVP at the end. So basically, it was a private event made public. For the duration of their blogging at least, blogs of this type are fine, but should be kept private. Most sites that host blogs give you the option of privating the page; and this gives the world much less nonsense to weed through when looking for something good.

Even more insulting are the number of temporary wedding/baby/marathon blogs that have been Freshly Pressed. Really WordPress? Freshly Pressed should be reserved for veterans.

Bloggie Blog Blunder #2: The Credit Stealers

Maybe it’s in the form of photographs that are stolen from someone else’s website. (I can’t tell you how many amateur pornography sites have hit up my website to copy and use a picture I have of a donkey’s dick…although I don’t want credit for that really.) Or possibly it is an idea that one blogger blogged about that then 7,000 other bloggers decided to take and make their own. The point is that if it originated somewhere else, just add in a little sentence or phrase or even just a word that they get the credit.

This has happened to me quite a few times. Now, I know I can be insightful and witty and shit (once or twice a year), but stealing my ideas without giving credit where credit is due is just atrocious. I’m also not saying that I am the only one with X, Y, or Z ideas, but if a blog is posted with something pretty random and then the same day the same random topic is posted on a bunch of other sites, that just happen to follow the original blog – well, come on now.

While seeking out blogs to compare my own to this last week or so, I saw one in particular that seemed to be pretty bad with the plagarism, whilst terribly protective of her own shit. She’s a mom blogger and even has a trademark symbol behind everything she believes she owns patent to (including her terminology for her overindulgent pig-hogging). For someone that is so protective, you’d think she wouldn’t be stealing other people’s stuff without at least saying where she got it.

Bloggie Blog Blunder #3: The Opportunist Commenter

These people really piss me off. I’m talking fire shooting out my ass, I am just that mad. Here is a great example from one of my posts in the last few days:

Douchesausage left a comment awaiting moderation: Nice post. Follow my blog please IAmADickFaceAssHat.wordpress.com

Fuck you, Douchesausage. I refuse to follow these types of people, especially when few of them actually have followed me. It’s one thing to say “hey, this reminds me of a post I wrote a while ago …” but to make it clear you didn’t even read my post… Well that, sir, makes you a wart on the foot of the Blogosphere.

Bloggie Blog Blunder #4: The Rambler

And then I was on TopMommyBlogs.com. I’m a registered blog on there, trying to solicit votes all the time (see #5). Today I clicked through some of the blogs with higher votes and – while most of them were awesome – a few of them were full of ramblers.

You know who I’m talking about: the people that post 16,000 words about the snausages and eggs they had for breakfast. The people that start a blog off about how their kid is officially potty trained, but before we learn that little Joey tinkled in the toilet, we also read that the dog had a bowel movement resembling the state of New York this morning, the mom-blogger is only 15 pounds away from her pre-baby weight, and that little Joey had a rash on his hoo-hoo a few nights ago which the doctor said would go away with some cream. We also heard about the trip to the pharmacy to get the cream before actually learning that little Joey finally tinkled.

Fucking kill me, right? Stick to topic, people!

Bloggie Blog Blunder #5: Not Paying It Forward

You always support another blogger (or person). You click on their links. You vote for their blog. You share their stuff when they ask you to. And then they can’t even do the simplest thing for you in return – even when you ask.

I think this happens in regular life too. Today I posted on my Facebook, asking my friends if they could vote for me on TopMommyBlogs.com. All it required them to do was click my website and then click the TopMommyBlogs picture or link. I prefaced it with something only mildly snarky, mainly because it was true:

It wasn’t nasty, was it? I was just being honest and possibly (definitely) trying to coax (guilt) them into doing it. I mean, I do vote for a lot of bands, attend a lot of Facebook events for Adorable Dog Contests, and just generally act supportive of my friends on Facebook. I mean, that is the friendly thing to do, right?

I got 8 votes of my 365 friends. I’ll be remembering this next time they want me to vote daily for their kid in the Gap Baby Cute Kid contest.

So what are the lessons we have learned? A good blogger commits to a blog for the long haul. A good blogger cuts to the chase and pays it forward – every time. A good blogger gives credit where credit is due. And a good blogger does not ever – never ever – posts a “Nice post, follow me…” comment. Otherwise you are a douchesausage. And your blog resembles that thing in the shape of the state of New York from little Joey’s dog this morning.