Is Peace in the Blogosphere Possible?

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I do not know why I continue to visit Journal Times blogs. They are hate filled and venom spewed words which have the simple and only intention to hurt others. And regardless of the topic, it will ALWAYS – and I do mean always – come down to Liberals vs. Conservatives or Dems vs. Reps. I mean, the post could be about the weather and 4 different commenters will go into sermon about how the liberals caused the rain. It is like visiting an asylum…and YOU begin to feel a little crazy yourself. And since those blogs are pretty much dominated by religious conservatives – you will find the word “liberal” in a not so nice context in every post. I defy you to find one without it LOL. It is insane.

Yesterday on a particular BLOG, my personal blog (this one) was referred to as “perverted” and I was referred to as a “weirdo” among other things. On this post, I did know I would not be met with friendly views. But by this point, I could give a shit what any of those extremists think anymore. I cannot even waste my time or energy in defending myself. It is pointless.

But it makes me think about how politics is constantly in the forefront of everyone’s mind. It is all so many want to discuss. It is the only thought residing in so many brains. This, to me, is scary and unfortunate. I think it is wonderful for people to be aware and involved and to genuinely care. But it is becoming an obsession. It is ruining relationships, personalities, family functions. friendships…it is affecting so much of each part of our lives.

Believe it or not, there are other things to speak about…think about…consider…care about. Is it not possible for two people of opposing political views to become unified for ANY purpose? Is it not possible to see good in another human being even if they do not vote the same way as another?

America’s conversation has become a civil war of words. We are more divided than ever and many do not think of the consequences of their dagger filled dialog. So many do not consider that their anonymity does not secure anyone from the words they choose. I am not saying I have no guilt in this. I get angry. I say things without a filter A LOT of the time. But I can say that I do not unprovoked go around trying to hurt other people. Some of the things I say…some of the views I have may be offensive to some. But it is never my intent to hurt a person without cause. Yes, if someone attacks me personally…claws will come out. Hell, I’m Italian. And yes, with Kathy Griffin and Chelsea Handler being two of my idols – I have quite the potty mouth and I easily say exactly what I think…but I am okay with that. But I use my real identity. I do not hide behind a wall of anonymity so that I can spew hate without consequence. I do not unprovoked start attacking people based on their views. Are there things I can and probably should do a little differently, perhaps. I am not free of fault and will never claim to be. But I am not a monster as some of these people represent themselves to be and all the while trying to adopt that title to others.

Let me give you an example of how words from a stranger can greatly effect one’s life. When I was charged with Child Abuse (falsely accused I have to add) there was a blurb in TJT about it – online. The commenters went NUTS with lynch mob mentality. Thankfully, no names were used. However, the commenters sure wanted to know who this horrible stepmother was. I was to be burned at the stake. They wanted my head due to a paragraph which had not one true statement in it. There must have been over 30 comments to this effect, if not more. I broke down. I couldn’t handle reading those words – which were about ME – and having no control over what was being said, reported or happening in any way. I cannot tell you the pain it caused. It is the first real time I truly considered suicide. Being a mother was all I cared about. It was who I was and I took great pride in that. I knew I was a good mom and certainly no child abuser. But what I knew didn’t matter at that moment. I could only hear the words being typed behind avatars and usernames.

When I started my EMDR treatment for PTSD, this is the moment where my therapist wanted to begin. It affected me more than even I knew. I could have ended my life that day. And ultimately it would have been somewhat due to the slashes these commenters on The Journal Times site left in my mind. Because of this, I will always be careful not to jump to judgment when reading an article. I will be very careful to never join in a witch hunt with my words.

As Jon Stewart has taglined his upcoming Rally to Restore Sanity – Let’s take it down a notch, people. Today, being Peace Day, I would like to free myself from conflict for at least these 24 hours. I think that we should all give it a try. Let us put aside our differences and disagreements for one day and see if maybe it causes a desire within to maintain a level of civility, restraint, serenity in our discussions. Who knows…perhaps this is a futile, childlike idea…but for the rest of this day, I shall give it a go.

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About Heather Rayne

I am a mom, wife, writer, volunteer, eater of food, lover of animals and avid TV enthusiast. I am opinionated, honest, compassionate and sensitive. I can also be difficult, hard headed and emotional. I consider myself to have a great sense of humor and am very attracted to that in others. I am striving to live an authentic life. I am attempting to learn how to find happiness in the now. I always have hope to be a better person. That being said - I can be vulgar, negative and even a little bitchy at times. I say what I mean and my filter is often dysfunctional. With me, what you see is what you get. I have strong opinions and am quick to speak my mind. This can cause problems from time to time but I do not ever intend to hurt or offend anyone. With that - be warned. I do hope you enjoy my site. Thanks for visiting and have a swell day.

4 responses »

  1. One of the main problems at the Journal Times site (and many other newspaper sites) is that there is very little editorial control exercised over the comments. Flame wars add to page views, and page views theoretically drive ad revenue.

    If you ever read Roger Ebert’s Journal, you’ll find posts with hundreds of interesting comments from opposing views and no insulting flame wars among them. This is because Roger Ebert cares about editing — and understands that pulling the weeds only makes his property all the more attractive and valuable.

  2. I lean right but even I have trouble with many commentors on the JT site. There is no open debate, no respect for differing opinions. I worked with youth for 22 years, middle and high school kids. I never heard the name calling like I see on the JT blogs. I don’t go there much any more, it was turning me negative. Yes, I do believe people need to be more involved in politics, but accept that people are different. Accept them for who they are and move on. We are such a country that wants instant gratification and yet take no responsibility on how we may have contributed to the mess we find ourselves in now. There is no accountability. Every one blames someone else.

    • It is worse than my kids behave – it truly is. And it does also make me negative (well, more negative) as well. I seriously need to stay away. I just have to remember it is only a few…I tend to think of those commenters as a microcosm of what Racine truly is and it makes me depressed. I have to keep reminding myself that the others simply have more important things to do. I also agree with you about the accountability and the blame game. Just like when people sit and cry blaming the banks for giving them the loan they KNEW they couldn’t afford. It is kinda maddening.

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