A good response

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I imagine there have been hundreds of articles written on the subject of people being rude online. In Sunday's New York Times, for instance, there was an opinion piece about how "nasty" comments by readers affect how other readers interpret a story.

I'd been thinking a bit about reader comments, even before I read the Times article. One of the blogs I read regularly is written by a husband and wife renovating a home. I also follow them on Instagram, and most of the photos they post there are related to their house project.

Twice recently, after this couple posted photos, someone said something unkind. Not the sort of nastiness the Times was talking about, but not very nice. And each time, other readers jumped to the bloggers' defense. They didn't like what was said and seemed to feel protective of the bloggers.

The comments went on and on, back and forth. And then, both times - and this is the whole reason for this story; you knew I'd get there eventually! - the bloggers responded, but rather than being even the slightest bit defensive, they defused the situation by being funny, gracious, and kind. If they were offended by any of it, they didn't let on. And that was that.

I thought about how easy it would have been for this couple to react, even just a little bit, or perhaps make a point by staying silent. But that's not what they did, and that made all the difference. A good reminder for this mother, brand new blogger, wife, friend, neighbor, and sometimes reactor.

Photo by Jennifer Green


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