“You’re DOING It Wrong!”

This is my daughter’s favorite thing to say to me, and it is often apt.

I make missteps socially, I always have. I’ve made technological mistakes that have hurt others: some of which I cannot talk about here, but an example:

I didn’t understand until last night that I had a Twitter spam application stuck to my account, and it was sending auto-emails basically calling out people who unfollowed me.

I mean, how obnoxious! And embarrassing. Doh.

So that’s technology getting in the way. (Sometimes I send texts to the wrong person, too.)

But here’s where we get to the disturbing truth: technology isn’t always behind my fuck-ups. Sometimes I leave horrid comments. I’m sort of a blunt contrarian and I don’t read people very well. Often when bloggers have positioned themselves as an authority on something or as an expert about a topic, I have questioned them about it. I’m not talking about writers who are professionals in their fields, like a nutritionist or a professional chef or a psychologist. I’m talking about bloggers sharing advice. Sometimes, I’ve disagreed. Harshly.

I’ve been regretting this the more I read about the MckMama scandal. I think blogging has lead to an extreme emphasis on the “authentic” and a disturbing movement toward readers thinking they “know” a person just because they have read some of their innermost thoughts and feelings.

We don’t know bloggers, not truly.

Advice I’m going to try to follow from now on: if I don’t agree, I’ll click away.

But there’s something even worse than my comments of critical dissent. I’ve consoled or supported people in the wrong way, those suffering from loss or pain. This post is a must-read from Mommy Odyssey.

I am so sorry that I have hurt you when you were just trying to put forth something of your own into the world or seek support. I know I have done this. I own that.

My daughter’s right: sometimes, I just do it wrong.

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14 Comments

Filed under Blogging

14 responses to ““You’re DOING It Wrong!”

  1. Ugh, me too. Sometimes I just want so badly to give someone what they need when they are hurting. But its impossible to know what someone needs because we’re all so different in the way we deal with the hardest of times. We just all do the best we can….

  2. I definitely just do it wrong. ALL THE DAMN TIME. And most of the time it’s because I’m weak and I feel attacked or insecure about something and I lash out, even if the post has nothing to do with me, at least not really. Or sometimes I want to say the right thing and support someone and I don’t know how and my ignorance makes me say the wrong thing and sometimes I don’t even realize I’ve done it. Life is hard. Making meaningful connections with people is hard. Saying the right thing is hard. That’s why a lot of us, a lot of the time, are doing it wrong.

  3. Mo

    You know why I love you so much?
    Because you’ve never – not once – been “wrong” in my eyes. You are such a huge support and an amazing friend.
    And yet with that you take every opportunity to look back and see whether you can be better. That is both awesome and infuriating, because you are already so amazing and I wish you could see that more in yourself.

  4. I believe we all are doing the best we can, and leave comments of support in the way we are able to. Nothing is wrong with that in my opinion. And I don’t agree that you must agree with what’s written to leave your thoughts on the subject. As long as you do it respectfully. 🙂

  5. Jem

    Your comments haven’t been off to me! Btw what scandal? What did I miss?

  6. I was so surprised to read this because you always come across as thoughtful, sincere and insightful. Yours is a voice I value. Please don’t click away if you don’t agree. There is value in thoughtful, considerate disagreement. If we lose that, blogging becomes nothing more than validation of our narcissism.

  7. Mel

    And sometimes you do it right — more often than doing it wrong, nu?

    Here’s another thing to chew on — has someone named themselves an expert, or have you made them the expert? Are they stating they’re correct and their way is the only correct way or are they stating their point-of-view or starting a conversation? I think there are two very different things that happen on the Internet, and sometimes it’s more what we bring into reading their post than what they’re saying. There is almost no one I read on the Internet that I would consider an expert on all things, though most people seem to have an expertise in some things.

    I think most people who truly need to be hard on themselves would never write a post like this. Which is a long way of saying that you are most likely too hard on yourself because I often think you are doing it completely right.

  8. I say don’t click away — the world needs more thoughtful and careful critical conversations. Blogs are a great way to get those started.

    Thanks for this post though — it makes me remember to think so, so carefully about what I’m saying and how that will sound to people reading it.

  9. R

    As I emailed you the other day, you and Esperanza are the most eloquent commenters. Of all time.

    Often times, when I am commenting, I am on my iPhone (which I HATE typing on). Or I am running out the door. Or (until recently) I had to make sure bosses/clients weren’t looking over my shoulder.

    And yet, I want someone to know I’m there. So I leave a small phrase instead of expounding on why or what they wrote affects me. And I’m beyond guilty of reading and running in general. Which is not nice. 🙂

    I will work on my commenting issues, but you? You have no worries. You are beyond thoughtful and helpful. Just so you know!

  10. Oh, I’m so sorry that happened with your Twitter account! That sounds like a post in itself.

    I think the more we experience, the less we judge because we have more likely been where the other was. So this post means you’ve passed another milestone.

    That’s my judgment, anyway 🙂

  11. P.S Remember to be as compassionate with yourself as you wish to be to others.

  12. I hear you. I do it wrong quite a bit too.

    Having said that, I agree with everyone that your humility and sincerity are remarkable. It is so obvious that you really REALLY try to do it right, and that counts for a lot. I have always really admired you.

  13. Don’t know how I missed this one before. But I think that Sara is right … you seem to me to be as sincere and compassionate as they come in the blogging world. There are people who are not, for sure. And we can’t judge people by what they say; we can only judge what they say. Or rather, *consider* what they say, and *respond* to what they say. But for me, blogging is an invitation to respond. Otherwise, why hit “publish”?

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