Someone please explain to me the mentality of the average Elk Grove citizen? Actually, it is not the citizen that is the problem. It is the average Patch reader. No, wait, it is not the average Patch reader. It is the average Patch reader who comments on blogs.
I was an early adopted of blogs. I personally write 4 blogs and have contributed to several others. Some of my blogs are more active than others. But, for the last 8 years, I have regularly maintained some type of blog. I have received all sorts of comments on those blogs.
My philosophy is that the post is an initial call for a conversation. Thus, if someone writes a post about the meaning of life, there should be comments about the meaning of life. Similarly, if someone writes a post about why Obamacare is the best government program since Social Security (or worst, depending on your philosophical and political leaning), then there should be open discussion and debate about the points raised in the post as well as things that were missed by the author. That, my friends, is how we do things in this country.
I have now written two posts for Patch. My first one was about why MLS was a bad idea for Elk Grove. I didn't come here looking to write for Patch. Someone asked me to write something based on a prior article I had done. So, I agreed to do write the post. My second one was posted just two days ago. It was about how people in Elk Grove give lip service to "Shop local," but when push comes to shove, they shop conveniently. Both are my opinion and both are subject to quite a bit of debate.
For example, is MLS really a bad idea? I think it is and I think its a worse idea now that Sacramento is looking at building a soccer stadium. However, some people think MLS would put Elk Grove on the map, bring a construction boom and more employment. They are entitled to their opinions. I think they are wrong, but that is the beauty of this: we can debate it.
Instead, however, of discussing the ideas, there are a fair number of readers/commentators on Patch who prefer the personal attacks. My character was attacked in response to the MLS post, including whether anyone likes me. (I wish I was making this up, sadly, I am not.) Thankfully, the editors took down the comments. In response to my post about Elk Grove's shop local campaign, my writing skills were attacked. "I'm shocked that you would give the whole writing thing another try."
One of my professors told me I was the worst writer she had seen. Another professor encouraged me to write more. I have many writing styles. I write formal letters, even to people I know and would call friends. I write for my blogs, one of which I do not edit and is more "free flowing." I write to inform. Not everyone likes my writing style, I get it. Just like, not everyone likes me. I get that too.
What I don't get is why some people feel the need to hop online and then blast the person and not the idea? If you don't like me as a person, that has nothing to do with my idea. What is this desire to attack the person who wrote it? If you don't like my writing style, why do you have to raise it as an issue? Thankfully for you, I do not write regularly. But even better, you don't have to read it. So why would you? I don't like Marcos Breton's style so I don't read his column. Isn't that an easy enough solution?
I truly am baffled at the number of people who come on here solely to attack the author and not discuss the idea. I guess in 2012 it is easier to attack a person when you can do it behind the safety and anonymity of the internet. Sadly, it takes away from the discourse and makes our world just a tiny bit worse off than it was before.
I would hope that all Patch readers, especially those of us in the great little town of Elk Grove, could stop for a minute before we post something and determine if we are debating the idea or the person. If its the person, maybe we don't have to hit the submit button and can simply delete our post. Let's try to make Elk Grove a better place and not attack our fellow citizens.