Friday, December 21, 2007

On comments

Lately I have seen several blog posts on the subject of comments. While I have never received any comments as virulent as the one recently posted on Cafe Leone, yesterday afternoon I received my first negative comment, on the post titled Talking about others. The comment, and my response, are reproduced below:

Anonymous said...

I'm impress by the maturity of your 9 years old. Also, I put my self in her shoes and wonder how devastating it is for a 9 years old to hear you talking like that about her. If you refer to her behavior, perhaps you need to make that clear. For example, if you do somethig neurotic, I will not say that you are neurotic, that is labeling you.

Children internalize what we say about them in a deeper way. Also, she should have NO ACCESS to your blog. That is personal and perhaps you need to look at the boundaries in your relationship.

Concerning, very concerning.

Ingrid said...

Anonymous, I would have appreciated it if you had identified yourself. If you really want to get a dialogue going, don't do it anonymously. It strikes me as cowardly.

I was only venting in my post, after an extremely overwhelming week, and I don't think anything in my post was out of line.

I also completely disagree with your dictum that she should have "NO ACCESS" to what I write. My daughter already has very limited Internet access, and hardly ever sees my page. But if my browser is open, and she happens to take a peek into a faily innocuous page, it doesn't send me into a tailspin. In my house we talk a lot and are very open when it comes to expressing our feelings. Paula told me how she felt, we talked about it and she asked me if she could comment on the blog. I helped her do it.

I don't subscribe to a "repress your feelings mentality." Of course, some things are private and not shared with the children, and others are phrased in a way that is age-appropriate. But I definitely do not believe that children need to be kept completely in the dark about what grown-ups are going through. If I am exhausted and stretched too thin, they will know about it. To hide it is just plain stupid, and the denial of something that is obviously going on may confuse and affect them even more.

So, anonymous, while I can't change your mentality that it is "concerning, very concerning" (nice alliteration, did you come up with that all by yourself?), I can disagree with you, and I do.

To a certain extent, I can't help but think that there is a cultural issue at sake here. In my culture, this would not be seen as concerning at all. I did not see an issue with boundaries here. I just posted about being overwhelmed and being challenged by my kids, as kids tend to do.

While the comment is not that terrible, it has made me wonder if I should share anything at all about my family in the blog. I don't need random idiots from the web telling me how concerned they are about my child rearing. Yes, you read right, random, cowardly idiots.


  1. ingrid,, please don't let this be a thorn in your side... look around you... there are actually people you see face to face every day that are offended by being wished a merry christmas..

    there are people that feel adamantly enough about the girth of santa's mid-section to publicly proclaim him a bad influence on the youth of today,, and there is some one that thought santa's age old proclamation "ho ho ho!!!" is in fact demeaning to women...

    this world is full of nut jobs,, and most of them we come into physical contact with ever single day,, and never even know it....

    this is your blog.. paula is your daughter,, and anony-"mouse",,, needs to get a name.....

  2. Hello Ingrid....You have nothing to defend and I understand the feeling that this was a personal attack. In the big picture, just know that you are surrounded by a ton of fans that get it. Ignore the self-righteousness of the ignorant. EVEN if this person had a genuine concern, the approach was no appropriate and ultimately irrelevant. You handled it well.

  3. I think that if you realize that this person just didn't have all the information, and made a quick and rash judgement based on not enough information, it might help you feel less bad about it! Try to remember that this person doesn't know you or your family. This person chose comment without the facts which isn't fair or kind.

    I know it is hard to not let it bother you, but I hope that you find some peace with it.

    I struggled when I got my first neg comment, but focusing on the fact that the person just didn't know enough to truly understand helped me a lot.

  4. Ingrid, este es tu blog y tú tienes derecho a expresar lo que quieras en él. Por supuesto, siempre habrá alguien que esté en desacuerdo con tus opiniones... so what? Tranquila. La mayoría de los que venimos aquí disfrutamos de tus escritos y te admiramos. Siempre adelante!

    Un abrazo,


  5. Yes dont let it get to you. Esp as you was anonymous... they just felt they wanted to rant back at you as well and remained anonymous because they didnt werent brave enough to get into any dialog with you. I dont know if it is a cultural thing or not. We are the same with Coffee Bean...she knows how we feel...often we dont even have to tell her..but she is welcome to my blog she gets older... Dont worry... try not to let one meaningless comment get to ya... it is bothersome, but not worth the stress... keep the people who are close to you valuable...not some nut job off the net!

  6. It's a comment. Respond to it if you like and move on. I've only gotten one Anonymous comment that I recall, and I responded to it in full. I don't remember it as being bad or good. I just respond.

    I can see the point about the kid getting pissed about reading a rant about her. But I also think parents should be able to slap their kids in public if they mouth off.

    Ranting on her isn't any different than anyone else getting pissed about something you might say. As long as you are willing to deal with the consequences, have at it.

    Getting beyond the Dr. Phil dime-store psychology, your daughter is most affected by how you spend time with her. Letting her read your blog opens communication, even if you have some negative things to say. I tell my sons that it's ok if they get angry with me, and that sometimes I'll get angry with them. But I still love them.

    The main issue your daughter will have (or anyone else you write about) is that writing about her or someone else takes control away from that person. We all establish specific relationships with each person we meet. So when two of those people share information, the target of that information feels out of control and uneasy.

    As an example we all put up a specific persona in our business dealings that is different than our personal life. If someone I've had sex with tells my business partners how I like to get my freak on, that could make me uncomfortable (but most likely they already know). So her concern isn't what you say, it is most likely that others will have access to what you say. In her world prior to this, that information was just between you and her.

    Personally I don't write directly about people who have seen me naked, whose ass I've had to wipe, or who've paid me large sums of money. Not because of them, but because it makes my life a hell of a lot easier.

  7. ...and "ho ho ho" is a lot better than "wuzzzzuuuuup, bitches!"

    Nevermind, I take that back.

  8. My daughter's 9 as well, and I can't see anything "concerning" in your situation.

    You can always ignore or delete stuff that you really don't want to have to deal with. This is your space after all.

  9. Seriously, peeps, leave your name. It sort of discredits you when you zap soomeone while hiding. Like a sucker punch.

  10. Hello Ingrid! I wouldn't change anything you've said or done thus far about the blog or comments. You and your family understand that you have a good, strong and healthy relationship and it shouldn't matter what some anonymous person says. Speaking from a mother's point of view, I think you are handling Paula's comment the correct way by sitting down and talking with her. Communication is key. Everything else will fall into place after that.

    Personally, I am pleased Paula came to you and asked you not to write things like that about her because it tells me that she's comfortable enough to ask you the important questions that need to be asked at times. When she's a teenager with a big problem she won't hesitate to come to you first. Kudos to you and your parenting.

    If I ever get a really bad comment I hope I can handle it as nicely as you did. Have a nice day.

  11. Obviously my comment was taken out of proportion. I did not pass judgement about your relationship with your daughter at all. What I was trying to rely to you was that she should have NO ACCESS to the blog. I agree with you that communication and expression of feelings should be open. My concern was that she read something you said about her that even if she knew, she did not hear from you so directly.

    One thing is to tell her that her behaviors are atressing you out than calling her defiant or what ever. When I talk to my friend about my children, I might say things that if they listen can be hurtful, but they are said privately. That's what I was referring to. Sorry you and your friends took it the wrong way.

    You also omited to say that you and your daughter decided to write her response together. I was under the impression that she wrote and you found it later. This is a blog and the information does not get first hand.

    You obviously passed a judgement about me calling me names and I did not disrespected you like that. I am not an idiot, nor stupid, or Dr. Phil. I just took some of my busy time to answer this blog, but definetely wasted my time.

  12. Blogging is a tough medium. I have had my problems with comments that hurt or angered me too. It seems unavoidable; eventually, it seems to happen to all of us.

    You are putting a small slice of yourself out there and people are seeing that small slice and making inferences about the whole. And of course, we don't know our commenters or where they are coming from either.

    I have been struggling a lot with all of this myself.

  13. ah yes, welcome to the big time Ingrid.

    You have met your first of MANY "internet trolls".

    Asshats and fucktarts is what they are.

    After 2 years of blogging, I delete and ignore. delete and ignore.

    never reply to the trolls. NEVER.


  14. Is that like a poptart?

  15. One thing is to tell her that her behaviors are atressing you out than calling her defiant or what ever. When I talk to my friend about my children, I might say things that if they listen can be hurtful, but they are said privately. That's what I was referring to. Sorry you and your friends took it the wrong way.

    You also omited to say that you and your daughter decided to write her response together. I was under the impression that she wrote and you found it later. This is a blog and the information does not get first hand.

    Fair enough, Anonymous. I can see your point in the comments I just quoted above. I do like two-way conversations an seeing varied opinions, and I can always learn from what others have to say. But what bothered me greatly about your initial comment was how judgment was passed so swiftly, categorically and with so little background context.