As I was on vacation last week I did a lot of brain thinking. We went up to Sacramento, dropped the kids off with grandparents, and spent 3 days (and nights!) just the two of us at the most relaxing hotel, The Ritz in Lake Tahoe. It was amazing and honestly I haven’t felt that clear-headed in a long time. I could feel a shift coming on about a lot of things, and some are SO good. But if I am to clearly look at my job and life and figure out what gives me unnecessary stress (kids, for instance are necessary stress), then there is one thing that was just all of a sudden so easy to eliminate. And I feel a huge relief.
After 8 years of not monitoring or deleting comments we will now delete anything that is written without regard or respect for the human being/s who work hard to produce the content. It’s so easy all of a sudden. To be clear – negative comments, criticisms, and suggestions are all absolutely welcome – please don’t stop those. I love the dialogue and feedback is crucial to the progression and success of the blog and to me, personally. You’ve helped me become a better designer, writer (ha), mom, and person. I want to know what you like, don’t like, how we could be better, etc. You have opened my eyes and have expanded my world with your thoughtful criticism and intelligential dialogue. I really need feedback – good and bad, but with respect.
Hate-filled comments close me down. They make me less transparent and I become far less interesting and way less funny (plus nauseous, anxious, and riddled with vulnerability, etc). I find myself not wanting to write the posts, not taking risks, and just apologizing over and over with so many disclaimers trying to reduce the backlash as much as possible. Strangely the more honest and transparent I am (especially about mistakes and money), the meaner the backlash – but by only a few people. It’s confusing, for sure, but I have to listen to the 99% of you who want that and not the 1% who make me feel like garbage for whatever vulnerability I’m displaying that day.
So here is a good method: If you have a criticism of us you feel compelled to write then pretend that an 8 year old, someone who is just learning how people should behave in the world, will read your comment out loud in front of you. If that makes you uncomfortable then perhaps rephrase it. I think this is probably a great way to go about life, actually.
Even though it’s just a few of you, there is too much power in that negativity and despite me not being particularly sensitive (I couldn’t have this job if I were), the effects are latent and long-lasting.
IT’S VERY GOOD NEWS 🙂 Look how happy I am –
I already feel SO MUCH BETTER. We implemented it last week and while there were only a couple comments deleted before I could read them (which is the goal) it meant that I could click on ‘comments’ with excitement, not fear. We now run a cruelty-free blog and ironically by censoring the hate, I feel WAY more free to write.
But listen, if you find yourself wanting to leave mean comments all the time then perhaps you should find someone else that better inspires your life and style. I’m clearly not the right fit for you, you aren’t that into me, and frankly the feeling is mutual. There are other sites (or bridges) that haters can troll with the sole purpose of hating – they’ll be happy to have you 🙂
Sorry it took me so long to do this. I felt that by censoring you I was taking some of the open democratic nature of the blog away, but I’m not. Just weeding out the hate. BUH-BYE!
Now to those of you who are not compelled to be mean (which is most of you), thank you so very, very much for all the support, positivity, and encouragement. Thanks so much to those of you who have a criticism and know how to phrase it in a way that won’t make it feel personal or disrespectful. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you. If I offend you I WANT TO KNOW, please don’t think this is me wanting just positive comments. It’s not. You mean a lot to me, and I want everybody to feel happy when they come here (including me :))
I feel like I have the most engaged, positive, open, and intelligent group of people reading and commenting on my blog in all of the internet. You open my eyes to so much and have made me look at myself and my life in a more macro way. You help me see other sides, you help me expand my bubble, and you may not know this but many, many brands and companies read your comments to help understand this super valuable demographic – YOU. The fact that we can debate in a friendly way about politics, race, and religion is truly remarkable – let alone parenting, feminism, design, and style. Besides, you’ve help make some VERY good design decisions and suggestions on my house – I really do need you.
Thanks for all your support and positivity over the years, seriously, and cheers to a new more positive chapter to all of us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. xx