|Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?||June 16, 2005|
I’ll start by admitting I’m extremely uncomfortable with conflict. I will go to great lengths to avoid it, and usually I will work hard to get any feuding parties known to me to make up with each other. I enjoy blogging and reading blogs because it’s relaxing and helps me feel like I’m part of a great community of Saints. But lately in the Bloggernacle, I’ve been so overwhelmed by just how nasty things have become that I can’t even bring myself to comment.
Let’s look at some recent posts. At Millennial Star, a nice post welcoming Naomi Frandson. I remember her guest-blogging stint at Times & Seasons. I’m excited to read more of her posts, and I’m glad she’s going to be blogging over there for a while. I post a comment offering my congratulations, only to find a couple of hours later that the whole thread has turned into an ugly back-and-forth between a certain individual and his detractors. Naomi’s welcome has been tossed aside quickly to make room for an ongoing blog feud; clearly these folks think it’s not about her, it’s all about themselves. I usually reserve judgement when people aren’t getting along with each other, but this time I won’t. For all of you who contributed to the ugly atmosphere in a thread that started out giving praise to someone praiseworthy, shame on you.
At Times & Seasons, a really thought-provoking post from Rosalynde about the nature of personal revelation, with some very thoughtful comments, and then suddenly she’s accused of fictionalizing her own experience by a commenter who appeared out of nowhere.
A post about why books by and about women are worthwhile from Feminine Mormon Housewives gets slammed immediately by an anonymous individual whose goal seems to be to disparage all women writers, anyone who likes to read them, and pretty much everyone who goes to FMH for a safe place to discuss women’s issues. Foul language ensues, and in this case it’s probably called for.
And at our own little blog, a heartfelt post from Septimus about passionate kissing, posted in part because the commenters on a post at Millenial Star had become toxic. Some good discussion, and then suddenly, an influx of bickering, complete with inappropriate suggestions for older but faithful, single Latter-Day Saints and some name-calling. It all makes my heart sick.
Where is our compassion? What happened to tolerance? Why must every post or comment thread contain these childish swipes at each other (Utah Mormons, women who shop at Old Navy, women with highlights, DKL, single adults, Republicans, people who enjoy housework) ? Are you feeling the spirit when reading these posts and comments? Does it make any of you feel grateful to be part of a thriving online community of Saints? Is anyone else feeling uplifted by any of this? Because I’m not.