Negative Feedback

Every once in a while I get a negative comment to my posts. There are three kinds.

1. Well thought out, critical and fair commentary, worthy of a response.
2. “Flash” commentary, where the person was button-pushed by something I said, and is venting. I let these through if they are relatively coherent and don’t say anything obviously inflammatory.
3. Semi or non-coherent responses or blurty “all homeschoolers suck and so do you!” comments. I just delete those. I believe in free speech, but I don’t have to let people into my blog that are drunk or insane. “I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”

So, today, I let a comment through, but decided not to respond to it. It’s at my Real Cons of Homeschooling post if you’re curious.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who gets these kind of responses. What happened to Annette is why I don’t engage in conversation with authors of negative comments who are venting. She let it get to her (which I have let happen to me many times, I must admit). If the person is really interested in what I have to say, there is a blog full of posts available to them. I’m 99.9% sure that whatever their critique is, it’s on my blog somewhere.

I seriously don’t mind engaging in true back and forth conversation. And I love a debate. But there’s a point where it’s not a discussion at all. And I’m simply the most convenient punching bag. No thanks.

That said, I do believe that people have the right to have their opinion. And I also think of these kinds of comments as a good impetus for critical thought – “If this person were to actually listen, what would I say?” and, “Have I written a post about this topic yet?”

Do you get negative feedback on your blog? What do you do with it?

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5 Responses to “Negative Feedback”

  1. Sheri Says:

    I can see why you don’t engage authors of such comments, what a drain on your energy that would be.

    And I agree, there is a difference between stating your position, even passionately, and just being downright rude.

    Why do some people prefer to stand accusingly about something they don’t understand instead of just asking a few intelligent and respectful questions?

    I’m fortunate in that, though I don’t get a lot of them, the comments I do get are always supportive and kind.

  2. Tammy Says:

    Sheri – Considering how many comments I get here, I rarely get negative ones. (I get lots of spam, but that’s a different story). I love getting comments. I check my email several times a day to see if I got a comment.

    One downside of putting ourselves out there, is the possibility that it might irk someone. And on the internet, there are sure a lot of random “someone”s out there.

    Fortunately, JE is a Tammiocracy, so I can ignore dissenters.

  3. sunniemom Says:

    I haven’t blogged long enough to have experienced nasty comments, but having been very active on a couple of forums, I have received the business end of a flamethrower once or twice….. or more….

    I do one of two things-
    Proverbs 26:4 “Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.”
    OR
    Proverbs 26:5 “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.”

    It takes discernment to know which way is best, but most of the time you can tell if someone is responding out of ignorance and would be glad to converse and reach an understanding, or if someone is willfully ignorant and unrepentently hostile, in which case you ignore them and hit [Delete]. The worst possible thing to do is descend into the pit from which they have sprung and begin to hurl mindless insults back and forth like a demented Pee Wee Herman- “I know you are but what am I?”

    BTW, I don’t suppose any here remembers reading Stephen King’s “Word Processor of the Gods”…. 😀

  4. Stephanie Says:

    I don’t get comments on my blogs; just not that popular a gal :)). I have been on the wrong end of a posting, however. Most of the time I think of the old adage, ” ‘Tis better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” (Lincoln, I believe.) Or the ancient and venerable “I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is only half-armed.” If someone really riles me up I employ the 24-hour method: open a word processor, write exactly what I think, and sit on it for 24 hours. That gives me time to do my deep breathing exercises until I pass out and wake up with better sense. Sometimes there’s the germ of a good bit of writing, sometimes I just sigh and feed it to the trash bin. Don’t Feed the Trolls is the best advice I’ve seen about comment sections ;).

    Ooooh, someone else has read Word Processor of the Gods! It’s one of my favorites and it has one of my favorite memories attached to it: I was telling a friend about this short story while in line at the Haunted Mansion. By the time I got done two teenage boys who were standing behind us were hanging on every word. They wanted to know the name of the movie, LOL! My sneaking little wish is that maybe I turned someone into a reader that day :).

  5. Anna Says:

    I am not as prolific as you, and I tend to stick more to what we are doing and no delve into ed. theory as much as you do. What can one say that is negative about the fact that I am using X approach in my home or that LEGO club is going well or that Will likes to teach things to Meara? Not a lot of controversey at Open Path.

    If I do get negative comments, I usually just think, “Oh suck it. I don’t have anything to prove to you, stranger” and move on.


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