For those of you who made it through the last post with full stomachs, I congratulate you. Seeing someone’s butt boil is not my idea of a stellar entry. However, one of the applications from that post, which some of you hinted at but didn’t land on was just this: there are some things you shouldn’t blog about.
However, yesterday’s post has a deeper implication for many of you. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that blogs can be extremely hurtful/dangerous/unethical in many ways. A few simple taps of your fingers and you have launched some things out into cyberspace which have amazing power. In a moment, your unthinking and unfiltered thoughts become words.
While I still agree with Mark Wegley and his excellent post about the benefits of blogging and the history of communication, I must chime in with this entry with a word of caution for today’s bloggers.
Being a blogger requires discernment and ethics. Here are a few excellent sources to review about blogging ethics:
- Imprint blog – this is an identical list, but with a few added from a Christian worldview.
Blogging has become the primary internet traffic these days. They have surpassed every other type of website in traffic and popularity. After having blogged for almost a year, I’ve learned just a tad about the strengths and weaknesses of blogging. Here are some things I’m learning:
- Do not hide behind your blog to communicate what you really should in person.
- Avoid talking about people (friends, spouses, teachers, family, etc.) in sensitive ways without their permission.
- Never use your blog for retaliation, revenge, or to slander another person.
- Limit your dirty laundry. It’s not healthy for you to consistently air your problems in an online fashion and avoid the one-on-one, face-to-face of a true friend or counselor.
- Don’t write about personal events or issues that involve another person without asking their permission.
- Seek to encourage, instruct, and help others rather than seeking to just "get things off your chest."
- Try not to base important decisions or conclusions on comments you receive to a personally-important or self-revelatory post. If you notice that everyone agrees with you in your comments, it may just be that those who disagree with you wish to not create a conflict where the whole web can read it.
- There is a huge difference between being authentic and being self-revelatory. There are many things that just shouldn’t be said. (Ephesians 5.8-13)
- If someone you know personally upsets you in a blog, respond and communicate in person rather than blogging about the issue yourself.
- Extend grace to others.
- Have fun.
- Delight yourself in truth rather than innuendo.
- Do not allow your blog to replace your communion with God. It may feel "spiritual" at times, but God would rather hear from you personally than read your blog.
- If someone’s blog has helped/encouraged/inspired you, tell them so in the comments. Many incredible blogs die an early death for lack of feedback.
- When quoting someone else, remember, context is king.
It seems that Facebook, MySpace, and Xanga remain popular choices for teens these days as their preferred blogging sources and online community builders. However, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. Recently, as I began to follow some links to local teens’ blogs (most of which go to churches here in town), I became pretty dismayed by the sheer vulgarity, lack of taste, and rampant immaturity I found. "Christian" teens are saying things on their blogs which they would never say to another person in public, and which certainly seem to undermine the very faith which they profess.
Teenage bloggers seem more interested in verbally vomiting out their
thoughts and feelings than they do in truly communicating with each
other. There seems to be no filter between their thoughts and their
keyboard. And perhaps, there are more blogging adolescents out there than we’re comfortable admitting.
Ephesians 4.29 is an arrow to the heart of careless blogging:
Do not let any unwholesome
talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building
others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who
The End (again)
Let me encourage you all to consider deeply the necessity of wisdom and ethics in your blogging. Don’t let your fingers be your brain. What’s on your mind doesn’t need to be on everyone else’s. (Or in my case, what’s on my butt…)
BTW, I’ve posted before regarding some handy-dandy tips for blogging: