I like comments. I like comments that challenge my point of view and stimulate debate. But, unless within a ribald joke or with a cheeky smile, I don't like swearing ... and I don't like to see a snide rant within comment threads. Especially, especially when the ranter hasn't read the rantee's post fully. It's not only rude, it's ignorant.
I am fairly lucky that my blog hovers between the sphere's of lifestyle, thrift, vintage and beauty. I get a wide range of readers 'dipping in' and have had so many fantastic experiences which my blog has either facilitated or given me the confidence to go for. Being a jack of all trades, I tend not to be the target of any. What do I mean by target? Like, Mastercard coming to slap me upside the head because I'm telling you all how to do things on the cheap? Well, no. It's often people from within a community, who seem to assume that they know more, do more and indeed 'own' that genre as if it were a brand name.
Those of who blog in the same circles might recognise that I am incensed by the responses to a post (linked here) on Fashion Pearls Of Wisdom. Her riposte (here) is phrased with far more grace than I would have, were I in her Pirate boots.
Numerous misreadings in that comment thread, I am sure you'll agree. 0 marks for reading-for-meaning and fact-finding. Not to mention some unkind assumptions - such as her knowledge of vintage fashions - and sheer factual inaccuracies. For example, in spite of what some say, I have shopped, do shop, and will shop vintage in London on a thrifty budget. Perhaps because, gasp, I have been doing it for such a long time that I know where to find bargains (such as 6am at a boot sale rather than in a boutique), know what I'm prepared to pay and have the confidence to balance key items with 80s/modern strategically. I am a wheeler dealer. Do not be fooled by my mixed look (which some take to mean 'less confident'- no, it's just my style). And in this, I feel great empathy for Pearl -who has a related PHD, and is thus about as qualified as you can get. If I, the greedy Greg Wallace to her technically supreme Michael Roux Jnr, am insulted, I can only imagine how she feels. It seems to affect those of us who mix styles the most, as people see one picture and assume we're not 'familiar enough' with the scene - although, actually, you do get idiots who have commented on 100% Vintage blogs rudely because the (very well respected) blogger prefers modern knickers.
Why? One thing I do know is that for most people of average intelligence, being taught to 'read between the lines' and make reasonable judgements on how their writing sounds happens when they are between 7-11 years old. Perhaps these people have forgotten that and need to go back and take some classes. Certainly the fits of pique I have seen in some comment-rant-pile-ups would befit a primary schoolyard well. Or perhaps it's more to do with cliques and lashing back at those who excluded them by forming a cool-girl-club of their own. 'You can't play with us, you don't dress the same so you're weird'. Nice- for my vintage and indie mates, this is the antithesis of what dressing differently is all about. But check out the comments on some very reasonable and rational posts (such as this one) comparing vintage to modern, and a hard core of cliquey types will chip in -in and amongst supportive comments- with cliquey stuff. And it's not just 'isn't it a shame so many people don't enjoy clothes, we're so lucky to have the freedom and finance to do so' - the tone is far more judgemental, and I find that disappointing.
But as I say- I think all reasonable bloggers invite constructive disagreement in their comments - rudeness, especially if the reader hasn't read the post- is something else.
Disclaimer: I used examples from fashion, vintage and thrift here but only because these genres have thrown up recent examples. I follow many food blogs and boards and this behaviour, for example, happens on them too from time to time.