Stop the presses! TPOL is merely a blog providing my insight, comedy, and experiences learned from travel using points to get me there while hopefully inspiring others to do the same. It is not a journalism.
So why do people leave angry, cheeky comments passively criticizing me of distorting the truth or being critical of nonsensical issues. Case in point, Scott wrote, “If you don’t even bother rotating your images, why bother writing?” Such pettiness should be ignored but I can’t help but get annoyed at someone implying that I’m lazy.
Are people so rude that they can’t put phrase their feelings in a polite way? For example, “I saw your pictures and wondered why don’t you rotate them to account if they are meant to be vertical?” That’s a valid question and I would answer with a well-reasoned response e.g., “I learned today that rotating them on WordPress doesn’t fix the problem.”
Greg wrote regarding my post on Travel Blogging vs. Travel Writing, “If you’re already talking about how many ‘hours’ a post took to create you’re not in it for the love.” Nowhere in my post did I say I was doing it for love so what’s with the brassy comment?
The last example from my Hotel Review, Park Hyatt: Too High in the Sky is my favorite. TJ’s snarky remark was “There is a difference between fog and clouds. FYI.” I’m still trying to figure out his motivation for saying this though I Googled fog and found the definition to be: a thick cloud of tiny water droplets suspended in the atmosphere at or near the earth’s surface that obscures or restricts visibility (to a greater extent than mist; strictly, reducing visibility to below 1 km).
I understand that I shouldn’t shine the spotlight on silly behavior and that I shouldn’t acknowledge such negativity but the problem is much larger than a few bad-mannered comments. The problem is that social media provides a bully pulpit for anyone to say whatever he wants with no repercussions. These remarks relate to issues of far greater importance than if the lounge I was in at JFK was the Admirals or Flagship.(see Charles’s sensitivity to my mistake). All it takes now is a screenshot of a Tweet and the bloodhounds move in for the kill. From there, the pack waits for someone else to do something ill-advised and it’s game over for him too.
Individuals who use social media to assassinate the character of others defend their actions with the misapplication of the 1st Amendment. The targeted person has no way to defend himself once the virality of what he said gets into the hands of the social media jury. Unlike in criminal cases, where the 6th Amendment provides that the accused shall enjoy the right to confront witnesses against him, social media trials are conducted by anonymous avatars who hide behind their Twitter handles or fake emails while relishing in the contrived uproar they have inspired.
To that end I propose a code of conduct for bloggers and commentators alike. This etiquette guide should have simple rules such as the following as a starting point:
For commentators: Actually read the post before responding.
For bloggers: Tone it down with the click-bait (of which I’ve been, in my opinion, emphasis added, wrongly accused in the past.)
Alas, none of my rambling will matter since, as I wrote in the post To Reply or Not to Reply, few commentators follow-up and even fewer are genuinely looking to engage in a dialogue on the point of which they have taken issue.
Anyone care to comment? Inapplicable remarks will land you in TPOL’s Hall of Shame for life. That’s a joke. Sorry I refuse to follow the threat up with a smiley.
And now here comes the monkey!