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Blog Maturity 101

Today Terry points out how "Wheels Off" people who claim the name of Christ can be when it comes to attacking churches that are making a difference. I've been somewhat taken back by the attitude of many Christ followers who seem to get their joy from putting others down. It's amazing. I know that we will disagree with things others may say but what I'd like to address is what I call "blogging maturity".

Because blogging is relatively new for most people I'd like to think that many of the people who are involved with blogging are adolescents in their use of this new medium. As with young people there is an uncertainty among those who are learning the blogging world. For many of these otherwise fine individuals the urge to make an ignorant remark is simply too strong. The perceived glory is far too great and the self-centeredness takes hold under the guise of "to god (g) be the glory!" With some angry "Christian" bloggers, God simply becomes a means to an end. The end being the feeling of "winning" a blogging boxing match.

So, for all my friends who are learning how to blog (and comment on blogs):
1. Each blog you visit is the internet "home" of someone.
You wouldn't dare walk into a home and run your mouth at the host. It's inappropriate to do on blogs as well. It's just ugly and you end up looking stupid. Don't do it. It's immature.

2. Any attack on a blog is a public attack.
It's one thing to debate a friend in college where it's you two in a room or sitting out on the grass with no one else around. Imagine if you took some of those debates and broadcasted them to every dorm room on campus. Yeah. Be aware of what you say. You can look stupid, no matter how 'valid' your point may be.

3. It takes time to type so people will judge you a little tougher.
When everyone knows you took time to type your thought it gets a little more scrutiny than if you just said something in a conversation. It's one thing (still dumb) to blurt out something ignorant in a conversation b/c you don't have the facts or you come off as rude but to type it solidifies any thought of you being immature or ignorant. Read what you type. You have time to think it through!

4. A sign of maturity is the ability to delay gratification.
One thing that separates a mature person from the immature is the ability to hold back from immediate gratification. This is true for the blog world. We all have opinions.

I was in a conversation yesterday with a former co-worker (at our mother church) who said "So Tally what do you think?" and I said sheepishly "I don't have an opinion". She smiled and said "Yeah, Right!" The reality is I usually do have an opinion.

If you have a brain you have a thought but not every thought has to be brought forward and presented in the dialogue. I try to operate on terms of 'value added'. When I'm considering posting I ask "Is what I'm about to say going to add value to the conversation?" My "opinion" sometimes means NOTHING to the core of the author's post. Therefore I keep my golden brain to myself no matter how great I think I may be at the time.

5. Look up the term Ad Hominem.
I'll do the work for you: [link]
The jest of an Ad hominem is that it's an attack on the person rather than the argument. I see this so much in the blog world it makes me sick.
Goes a little like this--

Author: "So and so is doing something amazing for God."
Immature Blogger: "So and so is a blank and blank. Why doesn't so and so just become more humble, LIKE ME!"

Don't attack the person. If you disagree and you must get your thought on record, do it in a civil way. Don't go after people. If you must, talk about the idea presented.

6. You can be both true and Wrong at the same time!
For many immature bloggers they don't understand that perception is reality. Although the context of what they are saying is true, how they are spraying is wrong. For effective communication both parts must be able to be received.. the saying AND the spraying.

Those who don't want to work to make their communication better received by their audience have lowered themselves to bully status. "I'll say what I want and you WILL listen or else". The 'or else' in blog world is usually "Or else I'll keep posting!"

So there you have it... some thoughts to consider. If you don't like them it's okay to disagree. Just disagree in the right manner and we can all play in the sandbox together.

Bonus Features for Christ-followers:
Matthew 18:15-17
James 3:2-12
James 1:26
Matthew 12:36-37

1 Corinthians 10:23-
"Everything is permissible"Â?but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible" but not everything is constructive.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Friday, June 24, 2005

8 Comments:

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Bob Franquiz said...

Tally,

You are THE man! Great post as always. I linked it to my site. This needs to become part of the manual for posting a comment. Awesome job!

 
At 4:06 PM, Blogger Ben said...

Really great stuff...

 
At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Todd Rhoades said...

Tally,

You hit a homerun here. I may include some of this in my new "rules" at the MMIBlog as well (the blog you and Terry were talking about).

Unlike most blogs that get a certain segment of Christianity (all those who run in the same circles), I get the spectrum of people who call themselves Christians; and some just don't know how to get along. I think your comments will help as I try to educate and set some limits up.

When I set up my blog a few months ago, I really didn't think I've have to 'moderate' and/or edit comments from a large group of pastors. Turns out I was wrong! :)

Thanks again, Tally... keep up the great work!

Todd

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger Phil Gerbyshak said...

Great post. This is really a great thought that you should try and publish somewhere. I for one will be adding a link to your post soon. Thanks for sharing your excellent insights!

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Tally,
Thanks for the tips. I am just getting started here in the blogging world. I invite you to my site (generationpost.com). I have put a link to your site as I read it often. I was turned on to you by Bob Franquiz who is one of my best friends and also happens to be my boss. You're doing a great job!

 
At 2:43 AM, Blogger Dan Ohlerking said...

i love this post, bro. thank you for putting it out there. definitely gonna be a link to it from my blog.

the point about true and wrong is HUGE. and not just in blogging - but in life in general.

i continually check myself against the teaching in proverbs that says a fool delights in sharing his own opinions. blogging certainly is fertile ground for that, and as such, i think stuff like what you've posted here can help us all learn to use the tool of blogging to help us do what we do, and not to just fire off our opinions mindlessly.

thanks for posting this.

 
At 7:01 PM, Blogger FeatherIron said...

Excellent! I came in Via Dan Ohlerking's blog and I volunteer under Dan at HPC.

If you are representing Christ and your church body on the internet it is so vital that you be Christ like. When typing though you are not looking at the person(s) and therefore you take liberties you would not in person. I try to remember whom I serve when I comment (which I do a lot) on various blogs but I do relapse into Redneck kick-butt-ness from time to time unfortunatly. (But usually in response to pharisaic condimation and judgement)Having these guidelines posted somewhere close for me to reference will help.

You should copy write them, they are great.

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger Chris Jarrell said...

Awesome post, great blog rules to live by. We need to post them every so often so we don't forget. A thought here what if JESUS saw these rules how would he sum them up.

Reflect the love of the Lord your God through all your posts and comments and the second one is like it, love your fellow blogger as yourself.

Just a thought. :-)

 

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