Is it worth writing a blog?
I am led, today, to ask whether it is worth writing a blog. Now, this might seem like a funny question from someone who has written about 1400 posts...but it is one that has been prompted by the experience of the past few week or so.
I have been receiving enormously offensive, hurtful and spiteful anonymous comments - which I have not posted - on some of my recent articles, in particular the one about Singapore's Intellectual Class. The venom in these comments is so intense, so violent, so disgusting, that it has brought me to the point at which I am considering not writing anymore, on the internet.
Whilst the internet affords many opportunities for positive self expression, it also allows the worst people in the world, to attack others, anonymously. I am very tired of it. I write, always, for a positive purpose. I am trying to achieve some good in the realm of ideas, understanding and social development. Yet, sometimes, I am viciously attacked for it - in an extraordinarily abusive fashion. It isn't right.
Now, I must say, I do enjoy and have enjoyed my correspondence with many interesting, intelligent, thoughtful, and even kindly people around the world. Yet, so intense is the unpleasantness of some of my recent anonymous commenters, that I am thinking of foregoing these pleasures, so that I never have to endure the insanely hostile comments I have been receiving, ever again.
I realize that I have two choices I can make: the first is to stop writing altogether, never post again and turn off all comments so that I never have to receive any more hate mail. The second choice, is a "halfway house" - and that is to turn off anonymous comments, and see if that improves the tone and civility of the comments I receive.
I shall decide in one week from today. So, please, if you are a civil anonymous commenter, feel free to comment in that period. Thereafter, please secure yourself an online id, if I decide to continue blogging and receiving comments, with identification. (4.53 pm I am enjoying our correspondence, so please get yourself an online ID, if you wish to continue...)
I will add this: if all my readers could see the unpostable anonymous hate mail I have received over the years, you too would not want to write anymore. You would also have a very low impression of that portion of "humanity" that would shelter behind anonymity to hurl hate, spite and insult, at another human being, who is simply trying to express ideas in a way that they can be understood.
I have some thinking to do on this matter. I would like to thank everyone who has commented intelligently, benignly, productively or humanely. I have had many enjoyable internet conversations, through you. Thank you very much. As for the hate mailers: why are so many of you American? (Many of the others are Singaporean). Just what is wrong with those two countries that they can breed so much hate? Given the kind of sentiments I have seen expressed by a minority of commenters, from those two countries, I really don't think I could ever live, in either place. I would not be comfortable, living there, knowing that there are people in the society around me, capable of writing such things, to people they have never met. It is loathsome.
Thank you to all those who are worth thanking. As for the others, I hope fate gives you what you deserve. I shall decide soon. Either this blog will fall silent, forever, or there shall be no more anonymous comments permitted.
(If you would like to learn more of Ainan Celeste Cawley, 10, or his gifted brothers, Fintan, 6 and Tiarnan, 4, this month, please go to:
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