Friday, October 3, 2014

When a post goes "viral"

This blog is no means an "official" blog. 

I don't know if that's news to you, but I don't put a ton of time and effort into this blog. I see it as my little corner of the internet where I write about us - how we are doing, how vacation was, what we eat, you know, the little stuff. Blog posts are written not in one sitting but in small pockets of time that I get throughout the day. Sometimes I find myself bouncing Baby X to sleep with my foot while blogging. Other times it's when I'm waiting for Matt to come home. These aren't large stretches where I have time to write an outline and edit my posts multiple times. I usually quickly write down my thoughts, maybe have Matt look over it and call it good. The reason is if I made these really well thought out blog posts, I would never blog. So yes, I'm aware that my grammar isn't perfect and my thoughts aren't always super clear.

I also write with the assumption that everyone that reads this knows us. 
Now, I know that I have a few readers that read fairly regularly that I don't know, but for the most part 88% of my blog hits come from my facebook page, 9% from bloggers (that I know), and 3% of random.

Matt and I glanced over these statistics several times as we debated about making our blog private. We realize that there are a lot of photos on the internet of our kid, but we have also decided to raise her with the assumption that people are kind. In the end, we choose to keep it open because the relationships that this blog strengthens, out weighs the small risk of the negative to us.

It works great for our regular post, but over the course of this blog, I've had 3 posts go "viral."
The first is from pinterest, 10-12 month activities. I get about 30 pings a day since I published it and I've had several people emailing me and thanking me for the ideas. Now, I know compared to bigger blogs, that's nothing, but for me that's a lot more than usual. 

Sweet! That was the easy one.

The other two post were controversial LDS posts. 
Now, if you know me in person, I'm easy-going person in general, but there are a few things that really get under my skin. 

- I hate it when people doubt capable parents' judgement calls. 

- I hate it people criticize and belittle a group or person because their beliefs are different than their own.

- I hate it when people impose unnecessary, harmful practices on themselves in order to please people. 

So, when we first got married, I would rant and rave about things that would upset me. Matt would sit there amused at me and tell me that telling him wasn't going to make any changes and I really needed to tell other people. I'd glare at him but shut up, because I knew that I wasn't confident enough with myself to speak up. Over the last few years though, I have got more confident, and finally during last General Conference, I wrote the blog post about Ordain Women.

It was something that bothered me. I saw several personal friends of mine have nasty things written on their facebook for openly supporting Ordain Women. I saw them struggle and hurt. Meanwhile I struggled with this organization. Women's ordination is something that really doesn't bother my personal faith. I prayed and prayed and prayed about it, and in then end, the conclusion I came to was love them. Then during Conference I felt this feeling to write the blog post. 

I was really nervous. I hate speaking up, but I knew that I was supposed to write it. So I did. And I don't know if it helped my friends, but I was emailed from people that it did help. And that made putting myself on the line, completely worth it. The negative backlash of course came too, but I was comfortable in my opinions, because that's all they are...opinions. We can have different opinions and still be good people.

I think people sometimes forget that because different is still scary. What if your opinion is wrong? Then what else do that you think could be not quite what you think? And that usually leads to uneasiness and a bit of fear. I really think if you can push back that fear though, that's when productive conversations start. 

And that's how I see both of those blog posts, they are places that I hoped would make conversations start. And from what I can tell, they did.

"You must be the change that you wish to see in the world."

The Ordain Women post, I wanted to help people see that everyone has doubts, and the way to fix and help them is through love not criticism.

And this more recent post about the Mormon video, I hoped that people realize that saying "no" doesn't mean you're a bad person, that saying "yes" to everything does not equal more Christ-like, and our definition of "perfection" isn't necessarily Christ's definition. The Atonement and grace is there to make up for what we can't do.

It sounds like from this blog post and this reddit that my writing wasn't completely clear. I guess in the future I might need to spend a bit more time on each of these post, but I also want to invite people that if you don't agree, write or speak up. A conversation is two ways, if we want to be the change, we can discuss, and in the end, we still might agree to disagree, but hopefully we learned something from it. We can even stay friends. ;)

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