I recently shared a post that turned out to be somewhat controversial. Some seemed to think I was targeting their blogs specifically and for that I apologize. When I wrote the post I didn’t have certain blog in mind but rather was referring to the atmosphere of the blogosphere as a whole. That being said I’m not upset about receiving comments with differing opinions. To read comments with ideas other than my own is always exciting.
I like to talk about topics that not everyone agrees on so to me comments that challenge my beliefs mean I’m doing something right.
I think most people choose to start a blog to write about things that matter to them. When I can write freely about topics that cause me to react passionately blogging is a really liberating hobby. I certainly don’t expect everyone to care about the same things I care about, likewise even if you do I don’t expect your opinion to mirror my own. I don’t necessarily blog for shares or to go viral (there is nothing wrong with those things but they’re not the end goal for me). I blog to have a space for all of the thoughts swirling around in my head-to get them on paper so they’re real, so that I can understand them better.
Hands down one of my favorite parts about blogging is the exposure to beliefs, opinions and experiences that differ from my own. I know a lot of my friends grew up with similar socioeconomic backgrounds as me, and though we all like to think our opinions are our own outside factors shape our perceptions and values. I love that I can meet women with different religions, different careers and different values. One of the best conversations I’ve ever had was with a blog friend whom I highly respect just after the election. I was heated and had one extreme view while she had another view. We both respected each other though and were able to have a really open and enlightening conversation about why we think the way we think. Even if my opinions aren’t changed my view of the world expands and that is pretty freaking cool.
I don’t believe in living in an echo chamber where all I hear and read are my own beliefs.
Of course I get that surge of excitement when I read a post that makes me go “OH MY GOSH YOU THINK THAT WAY TOO? Girl, I thought I was the only one”, but I feel a different type of excitement (dare I say intellectual stimulation) when someone thoughtfully constructs a post that challenges my own mindset.
I know not everyone wants their blog to be a place of controversy and that’s okay. Personally I try to balance deeper posts with light hearted posts. I have a little formula in my head I do my best to stick to so things don’t get too heated over here. One day I might write about cute shoes and the next day I share something more complex. That’s my way of keeping it real with you (because honestly I like vulnerability and honest conversation and a good debate but I also love Taylor Swift and a great pair of boots).
When I write a post that is a little more passionate I want you guys to know I do my best not to come across as overly aggressive or mean. Truth be told I’m not a mean girl, I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings or make anyone feel attacked. I write and reread and edit. I do my best to share my opinions without being overly harsh or aggressive. I enjoy complex issues though and complex issues are usually swimming in a sea of differing opinions. But I have to confess I’m not perfect! Just ask my family and friends, there have been plenty of times I’ve gotten into heated debates at the dinner table and there have occasionally been times I’ve had to sit down later and say “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings, that wasn’t my intent”.
My blog will never be a space that is free from controversy. I don’t want it to be.
I enjoy the honest discussion that comes from multidimensional topics. It is never my goal to offend or personally attack anyone so if you feel like you’re personally victimized by Regina George (er…me), please speak up. I promise to thoughtfully engage with you and do my best to clear the air. I like a healthy debate (hey! Maybe that’s why I want to be a lawyer) but I’m not heartless. I value all of the relationships I’ve built through blogging and I SO want to hear your perspective should you wish to share it. I’m not too proud to eat my words or too stubborn to apologize.
What’s the moral of the story here? Nothing makes me feel more fulfilled by blogging than cultivating a space for respectful debate. So speak up! As my old pal Evelyn Beatrice Hall says “I might not agree with a word you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it“.