07 August 2011

The Mom Pledge Blog Prompt - Taking a Stand

I may eventually catch up with blog prompts, but I'm not going to stress about it right now.  However, I am going to write about the next prompt right now.

"I stand up against online bullying. My blog is my space. I will not tolerate comments that are rude, condescending or disrespectful." Have you experienced this on your blog? If so did you follow the principles of The Pledge? What was the result? If you have not experienced it personally, have you seen it on other blogs? How was it handled, and what was the result?
As I've mentioned before, I've been lucky enough to not have to deal with bullies, either on this blog or anywhere that I've visited.  I hope it never happens.  But I'm not quite so idealistic to know that will be the case.

I think we all have plans regarding how we'll react in a certain situation. "If someone puts down me or my child, I'm just going to walk away.", "If my child has a problem with another student in school, I'm going to try to let them resolve it first."  But, as the old saying goes, no plan survives contact with the enemy.  That applies militarily and socially.

But I think being online gives me an advantage in how I deal with things.  In face to face situations, I have a tendency to freeze up.  The witty come-backs that I know are in there somewhere leave my head, only to return when the situation is long gone.  The tears start to well in my eyes, and the need for acceptance plows past reason.  In short, I'm not good with negativity when I have to deal with it immediately.

Online gives me the chance to step back and deal with things more rationally. My gut reaction usually involves either abject apology or extreme anger.  And I end up saying things that I regret.  So I've tried to get into the habit of stepping back until I can be calm enough to reply.  Sometimes on a reread, I find that an outside influence has colored how I read things and the writer wasn't trying for snark.  But that's not always the case.  Sometimes people are just being mean.  And that's when I need to step in.

I don't want to immediately delete or ban someone (though I will agree that there are no absolutes - if someone is spilling vitriol with every word, all bets are off).  I hope that, should this time ever come, I'll be able to clarify that I'm reading correctly.  I'll give them a warning that I will delete further vicious comments.  Only then will I delete comments and ban the person from my blog.

As I've said before, my blog is my home.  It's a place that is solely mine, somewhere that I invite people into in order to visit for a little while, have a conversation with and get to know a little better.  And, just like in my own home, if you're going to be rude, I have the right to call you on it and to eject you from my home.  I do what is necessary to keep harmony in my home.