When was the last time you felt like this?
I feel like this quite a lot. (Tell me this is normal!) But since I have no intention of either (a) getting into constant fights online, or (b) never sleeping, I do my best to self-censor the internet.
To that end, I generally try not to read things that I know I’m going to vehemently disagree with (unless it’s written by someone I already know who will respect my right to have a different opinion). And when I do read something that sets my teeth grinding and my spine tingling and my fingers aching to rain down an almighty correction, I self-censor. That is, I don’t comment. I don’t argue. I rarely say anything at all.
I’ve learned the hard way not to read:
- Comments on news stories.
- Bad reviews of books I love.
- Articles and blogs that make light of abuse or abusive situations.
- Articles and blogs advocating any religion or religious belief at the expense of all other opinions.
- Anything that has my teeth grinding within the first two sentences.
Let me be clear: I would never try to tell you what you should and shouldn’t write on your own blog. You have every right to express your own views on their own website. That’s your personal space. And I have every right not to read what you write on your blog. I also have every right to respectfully disagree with you, or politely share my own opinion on your blog.
But that’s not enough for some people. Some people seem to feel the need to leave angry comments and start arguments everywhere they go. Some people feel the need to personally attack another person’s opinion, life, and right to a different point of view. And that’s not cool.
Complaining about what someone has on their personal blog is like visiting someone’s home and bitching about the carpet. It’s rude. It’s wrong. And it’s likely to get you thrown out on your ear. If they ask you what they think of their carpet, tell them it’s not your style. That’s fine. But don’t start ripping up their carpet and laying your own, expecting that they’ll thank you for it. (Especially when your carpet seriously clashes with their curtains.)
If a few more people self-censored their desire to be right at all costs, or at the very least tried to be as polite online as they are in the meat-world, perhaps the internet would be a less confrontational place.
Do you self-censor the internet? Have you run across people who should self-censor before they comment?