Sunday, January 31, 2010

A tip of the hat to Alice Bradley.

Today I read Alice Bradley's latest blog post about her fear of the negativity people post on her blog. Alice writes about her life, about her challenges with depression, shares funny light-hearted moments of raising her son... It is good stuff. It is her real life and I like reading about it. I don't know her but I can identify with her. She is a realistic person, better than a TV personality or a novel character. You really should check her out.

Today she talked about how she is sometimes scared to write things because of how people will react. About how mean people can sometimes be. About how intimidating it can be to click the publish button and fling your feelings into cyberspace to be met with cynicism or camaraderie or anything inbetween.

I've been writing in this little blog for almost a year now. Over 100 posts. And all of the public comments people have ever tried to make ahve been negative. I've gotten some negative comments about how I chose to deliver Oliver, about jokes I've made, about my parenting style... Different little things that really don't hurt anyone at all. I know I should have just allowed people to post those negative comments, but I just couldn't.

I clicked delete and they're gone.

Because I didn't want to look back at all of my posts someday and see the negative things that a stranger had to say about me. I know my blog is a public forum. I know everyone is free to read and think what they want, and that is OK. The publicness and nudity of the internet is what drew me to it. I want people to see me. I want to be real. It is so much harder to tell people about myself in real life. At least here I can hit "enter" and share my real self, even if I am sharing with millions of strangers. Hiding behind type is just so much easier than looking somebody in the eye and admitting that I have flaws and feelings. I feel such a release from posting on my blog that I want to purchase this space and keep it as mine forever.

I do receive encouragement from my friends and family. I receive kind emails from them when I've had a bad day, and that goes a long ways. I've received a couple of emails from people I don't know thanking me for things I've said, and that makes everything "worth it." So why do the tiny little public comments people have posted on these pages bother me so much? I don't know. They shouldn't. I won't let them bother me. Instead, I will be focusing on all of the kind things people say to me this year.

And as part of my Top Secret New Year's Resolution, I will no longer be deleting any comments I receive. I'm taking the filter off so anything people want to say about me can be said. Maybe it will also open the door for more positive comments, I don't know. It doesn't matter. All you lurkers who have been waiting in the wings to judge my every semicolon and misspelling... This is your chance.

Bring it on, internet. You don't scare me anymore.

1 comment:

  1. negative comments? what the heck?!? then maybe i should stop censoring my comments. not only are you hilarious and intelligent, you're really brave and it sounds like you're a wonderful mom. it's easy to read someone's blog and criticize him/her; how many of your critics are doing what you're doing?

    you could, of course, craft your posts to represent only your successes. but then your blog would lose its authenticity and who would it ever help then? this way, you're putting yourself out there (brave!) and you're modeling acceptance (admirable!).