I recently read a Post which I suspect was written during a very emotional time. The Post was generally criticizing peoples reactions to a variety of circumstances, and I found it quite offensive simply because I felt that I was being attacked.
Posts lose my interest extremely fast if they include phrases that fall into the following categories:
1. False generalizations: I have noticed this in a number of Posts where the author makes a statement that cannot possibly be supported with any data.
Example: “When a Pit Bull and another breed get involved in a fight, people always blame the Pit Bull”.
I would tend to agree that many times, people will blame the Pit Bull… but “many times” is not the same as “always”.
Example: “Why is it when………………… we always have to ………………………….?”
Without defining who “we” are, it will be interpreted as we being a generalization for all humans. This cannot be substantiated.
Example: “If we do …………….. then they will do………………!”
This is nonsense because I do not know who “we” are, any more than I know who “they” are. Again, it cannot be substantiated.
2. Bad use of “you”: Writing any Post which includes “you” will, by my understanding as a reader mean me!
Example: “You have no idea what it feels like when…………………………..”
If this is a negative statement, then I will be offended and, again, it cannot be substantiated. I probably don’t know how it feels but then, I may totally understand. The Post author has no knowledge of my history and therefore should not make such a statement.
3. Poorly thought through argument: It is relatively easy to point out what is wrong and conclude a cause and solution, but was it really thought through carefully. Could there have been other factors involved? Were other solutions considered? In my life experiences, very few (if any?) people issues are simple to resolve because of the numerous parameters influencing the issue.
4. Delusional statements: Some people seem to slip into this area so easily, which is unfortunate because it turns me off, and presumably a number of other readers.
Example: “I knew exactly what they were thinking”.
It is not possible to know exactly unless the “thinker” expresses his/her thoughts, and then the author would surely quote what was said!
Example: “I have a problem when you make me feel…………………………….!”
The author certainly does have a problem, but it is not accepting responsibility for their own feelings. We all have choices as to how to react to circumstances, and with those choices come ramifications. With those ramifications comes the responsibility which should be accepted. As somebody once said “The only power you have over me, is what I allow you to have.”
5. Condescending questions: How to turn me off your Post (and Blog) really fast? Describe an issue that you have, and invite solutions… and then ignore them!. The scenario I have in mind (and for which I discontinued following the blog) was one in which the author had only one solution to a problem. My response was to negate that solution and offer an alternative. A number of other readers made generally the same comments as I did. Not one comment supported the author’s solution … but that is what was decided anyway. Asking for input and then ignoring it, especially when consistency was evident, simply displayed a total lack of respect for the readers time. The blog closed down shortly after that incident.
I wrote this Post because Blogging is, to me, a wonderful way of meeting people around the world. I can learn so much from the varied perspectives offered, and I like to think that my writings have prompted thoughts by my readers. Writing about Ray has proved extremely rewarding in the resulting dialogues via various Comments, and even my Dear Diary and Just Thinking Posts have received some favorable and interesting responses!
The point of all this is that without readers, I would have to question what I am doing here. Writing to a silent world is nothing more than literary masturbation. The few moments of pleasure (after publishing) are soon lost in the deafening silence that follows.
Why would anybody deliberately write a Post which is going to offend its readers? Food for thought.