The #1 Peril of Blogging

Blogging comes with a lot of… perils. As the title says. I mean, when I sat down to write this entry, I was going to write about THE NUMBER ONE PERIL, using “NUMBER ONE” but not really thinking about the fact that there weren’t really any other perils, I just wanted the dramatic effect. But then I thought about it, and I suppose there ARE other perils. Let me list some of the smaller perils for you briefly:

  • Putting all your info out on the Internet still makes some people nervous (see: Internet safety post).
  • Some people actually believe that they’re anonymous enough to write about friends, family and co-workers and assume they will not be found out (these people are not too bright).
  • If you have been blogging for 100 years like I have, you run the risk of becoming a huge blog snob. There aren’t a whole ton of blogs I like, I truly and genuinely enjoy even fewer, and there’s a whole TON I read just because I like to feel superior in some way to the writer. Yeah, I do.

Anyway, with those minor perils aside, let us talk about the NUMBER ONE peril.

You will notice, Internet, that sometimes I end my posts with a question asking you for your opinion, what you think, or your preference of two different options. Other times, I simply relay a conversation or story. Still other times, I tell you of a situation that is going on in my life in an informative manner. You know, I blog about things. And stuff. And whatnots. This is what bloggers do, in general. If you are a blogger, you do the same things. Or at least, you should. I can’t really imagine what else you’d be doing.

No matter what the post is, someone is going to comment or email (and sometimes both!) to tell you how they think you should solve what they have perceived as your problem.

It doesn’t matter if you didn’t ask for advice on how to solve a problem. It doesn’t matter if you don’t even think that you have a problem. It doesn’t matter if you have already solved the problem on your own, assuming there was a problem.

This, on the surface, is really very harmless. I mean, who cares? But when you get unsolicited advice on problems you don’t actually have EVERY SINGLE DAY, you start to feel a bit ungrateful. Not at all gracious. Maybe even a little ticked off.

You can’t say anything, though, because this is the Internet. You have put the story out there, thus are welcoming any comments that the Internet may have. And there are some people, no matter the situation, who are born, lifelong advice givers and the Internet is their Christmas, 3 day weekend, and Double Soup Tuesday at the Orphanarium all rolled into one.

That’s right.

The NUMBER ONE PERIL OF BLOGGING: Advice.

You’re getting it. Didn’t ask for it? Too bad, you’re getting it. Don’t want it? Too bad, you’re getting it. Have in no way indicated that you need it? GUESS WHAT, YOU’RE GETTING IT ANYWAY.

Take, for example, and I am not meaning to hurt anyone’s feelings, as I have come to terms with this blogging peril 10 or 11 years ago when I STARTED to blog and the first Internet Advice Givers learned how to click “leave a comment,” the post below on television watching positions.

A summation of the post: I like to watch TV in the bed, as it is more comfortable. Phil likes to watch TV in the office, as the office TV is bigger. We each think our way is the correct way, and were wondering who the Internet would side with.

The Internet’s response: Well, why don’t you just move this TV or that TV and then you don’t have a problem?

Where did we indicate there was a problem? We didn’t. We like everything the way it is. But the Internet saw an opening in which to insert their opinion and they shoved it right in there.

Harmless? Yes, usually. After one or two or a million years of blogging, you kind of just laugh it off. I mean, the same thing happens in life.

There are times, though, when you inform the Internet of a situation slightly less lighthearted than television placement, and you don’t ask for advice or opinions or anything, yet you are still flooded with what other people think you should do. And then it starts to get offensive. All the “Why don’t you justs” and “Haven’t you considereds” and “You obviously need tos” really start to grind on you in these more serious situations. Don’t you think we did that, or considered that, or can see the obvious?

That is why I have so many posts sitting in draft form, just waiting for me to hit publish, and they sit there for so long that they’re no longer relevant or necessary, because if you hit “publish,” you are essentially agreeing to review reams of unsolicted advice and it makes you sad and frustrated and eyerolly and frankly, kind of a little bitchy and ungrateful, and no one wants to feel that way.

So, Internet, I beg you, the next time you read a blog post and flex your advicely fingers, take a moment to ask yourself a couple of questions:

1. Was this advice asked for? Will it be welcomed?
2. Is this solution so obvious any sane person would already have thought of it?
3. Self, am I kind of being a know it all butthead, but think it’s ok because this is a blog and the blogger wrote it on the Internet and therefore I can say whatever I want even if it is know it ally and buttheady?

And THEN offer your advice.

Your bitchy, ungrateful pal,

TJ

* Post not in any way spurred by recent events, but instead a release of 10 years of frustration.

50 thoughts on “The #1 Peril of Blogging

  1. Melissa

    I tend not to give advice so much, but instead relate how I have dealt with something like that or feel about it, and have wondered if that’s viewed as obnoxious, unneeded or ok.

    What kind of comments DO you like?

  2. Valdesta

    LOL Yes, you do have to have somewhat of a thick skin in order to blog, and I’ve never had a blog that wasn’t found by someone I knew IRL unless I only wrote in it 5 times and abandoned it ;)

    In life in general, however, unsolicited advice is a huge habit of us all. We could all do well to practice a little more listening when others are talking, in and out of the blogosphere.

    Don’t stop writing of course!

    Valdesta
    My WoW blog

  3. TJ Post author

    I like all kinds of comments. This post was actually mostly brought up by a real life situation Phil and I have.

    Whenever someone asks about it, they can’t seem to help themselves with saying “Why don’t you do this” or “have you considered that.”

    We’re two intelligent people. We’ve thought of everything. We promise. But people can’t seem to stop themselves, even though they know that if there WAS a workable solution, we’d have found it by now.

    I was thinking about what to post this morning and saw I had a draft post that mentioned said situation, and wrote this post thinking about what the advicely aftermath would be if I had posted it.

    There’s nothing wrong with sharing experiences, commenting, offering opinions, etc. There’s nothing wrong with offering advice. As a blogger, however, you get a lot of advice. Whether you want it or not.

    As the post said, though, it is the Internet and people are free to comment how they choose, and they should continue to do so.

  4. Ebby

    I would like to think I can keep my suggestions to myself pretty well unless there is a specific question asked, but one is often blind to one’s own faults, so I have no idea if I am actually as considerate as I think I am.

    I do agree with you on the unsolicited advice problem though, when I get it it makes me want to stick a spork in their eye or something…..

  5. Teal

    Hi Teej
    I think your post is really interesting and it brings up a topic that my colleagues and I have been discussing on and off for years.

    We work in (being deliberately vague) …. counselling and it is often so tricky to stop yourself from giving straight out ‘advice’ and ‘fixing’ what you perceive to be someone’s problem…

    Often someone wants to explore topics, debate and come to their own decision or just have a connection with another human being rather than being told ‘advice’

    However, we’ve pondered whether humans have some kind of innate need to solve puzzles, fix problems and find the ‘right answer’ as that has probably made us evolutionarily very good at what we do and able to survive…

    Maybe it is just the default option when we don’t know what else to do??

    I don’t know…. just some musings.. :)

    Keep up the awesome blogging

    Cheers T

  6. Brien

    You think blogging generates unsolicited advice? Wait until parenthood. Every jackoff thinks they know EXACTLY how you should raise your kid.

    If you act a bit tired and mention that you were up a few times the night before, you get advice on how to get your kid to sleep through the night. If you mention that your kid misbehaved in some cute or minor way, you get advice about spanking, timeout, and waterboarding.

    You should just (ha! see what I did there?) deal with the advice-giving by realizing that it is almost certainly bad advice.

  7. HokieJayBee

    hey teejay! i so wish i was first because i was so gonna hit you with the “hey you should just [do thing X and do thing Y] to deal with advice”. but alas i’m like comment #8 and two or three people already beat me to it, because i was clearly the smartest most awesome commenter and most definitely the first person to think of that humor. see, when i clicked to the comment page i hadn’t even formulated what thing X and thing Y were to be in my funny comment. and now that i see that i don’t have to come up with thing X or thing Y, it’s perfectly ok for me to leave it vague as such.

    before i end this comment about nothing, just some typing for your reading pleasure that is not giving advice – i do have one question that i think you partially already answered – yet i’m confused.

    what spurred this on was a real life event, nothing to do with the blog, that you and phil are dealing with – in which people are giving you unwarranting, annoying, bad advice? which you might never disclose because, hey, it’s none of our biddddness if you don’t want to make it our biddddness. but as an example of a situation where you claim there was no problem and you weren’t soliciting advice – you used the TV viewing dilemma of small TV in bedroom comfort vs. big TV in office with ‘puters. stating that you never said there was a problem, it was merely a statement of TV viewing locational facts, and you solicited no advice. yet, the TV viewing post was titled, “Settle This:” as if you were directing us to read your dilemma and make suggestions/give advice on how you and Phil should settle the problem.

    i’m not one to gossip, i’m just saying :)

    and since i totally found a flaw in today’s post, you now owe all of your reader’s some juicy details to a former secret. like who you saw outside Blizzcon.

    cheers! like, i’m leaving work for the bar now. it’s softball night. sober shortstops are bored shortstops.

  8. TheWicked

    A lot of people must have the following macro hotkeyed.

    #showtooltip
    /emote gives [target=TJ] advice on how to live.
    /cast [target=TJ] Bad Advice

    Life explained through WoW macros? Yeah that’s bad.

  9. Kayeri

    There was a reason I DIDN’T comment on the tv size/comfort issue.. ::chuckle:: but it was a fun posting anyway. :)

  10. Armond

    This is *precisely* why I don’t comment as much as I perhaps should.

    Also, that macro is wrong. [target=] doesn’t work in emotes, iirc, it’ll just print the literal [target=TJ].

  11. Delicia

    Definately a dilemma. Unless specifically asked for, I tend to comment by adding a quirky anecdote from my experience that relates to the topic on hand. It perhaps shows how *I* handle some things, but geez I certainly aint a saint! Out of curiosity TJ, what is your favorite type of comments to read? Or is that situational?

    -Del

  12. Angie

    I realise you were venting 10 years of frustration TJ but I, for one, thank you for the laugh :) & it did make me laugh – advice-givers, of all sorts drive me crazy & have done ever since pregnancy number 1 when I was warned against hanging out the washing in fear of strangling my baby with its umbilical cord!! (oh, yeah…some people are SO remarkably stupid they deserve to be remembered…) & even though I know advice-givers should be laughed at, ignored, shrugged off or otherwise calmly and rationally dealt with I STILL always want to say “you know what, shut up [insert random offensive descriptor here]”. I don’t – but I want to…every time. I couldn’t blog, not ever, because I would get so pissy, it would defeat the purpose of the exercise. So “hats off TJ” and thanks for the early morning laugh! :D

  13. Grimmtooth

    “My advice to you is to drink heavily.” — Bluto Blutarski

    Almost 3 decades in, the best advice I ever heard.

  14. Gryphonheart

    Honestly, I’m not quite convinced that giving or receiving unsolicited advice is really such a bad thing. Sure, it might be annoying at times (especially after you’ve been dealing with it on a daily basis for over a decade), but it makes perfect sense to me why it happens so often.

    As I see it, blogging and commenting on blog posts are simply other forms of having conversations with people—sure, it’s in a textual medium on the internet rather than a face-to-face verbal exchange, but it’s still essentially a conversation. Whether it’s a big ol’ conversation with hundreds of people chiming in or a dozen one-on-one conversations about a single topic doesn’t really change that fact.

    Well, part of having a conversation with someone is not only acknowledging what that person says, but also conveying your understanding of it. After all, if you’re trying to have a conversation with someone who only acknowledges your points (most likely by nodding and say “Uh-huh” a lot) without conveying that they understand (usually with interjections such as: “He hearthed mid-bossfight?!”, “You got a legendary fragment? Congrats!”, “Yeah, goldspam is the worst!” etc. etc.), after a while you’ll probably begin to wonder if they’re actually paying any attention or not. Since blogging as a medium doesn’t really allow for comments to be interjected into the actual blog post, commenters (commenteers? /commentaters? /commies?) have to find other means to show that they’re actually paying attention.

    One way to do this is by offering advice. Not only does it show that they’re paying attention (unless of course the post specifically states that you don’t want it), it shows that they’re engaged enough to be willing to think critically about whatever situation you described. In terms of the TV example, sure the suggestion to move the large TV into the bedroom is fairly obvious and not really thinking as out-of-the-box as, say, suggesting you move the bed into the office, but at least it shows that they’re willing to expend some effort pondering your situation. And let’s face it, even unsolicited advice showing they’re willing to engage in conversation with you is much better than something like a generic goldspam comment from some illicit corporation that only values your blog as a means to an end.

    Furthermore, asking questions is another way of either getting a conversation started or keeping one moving. Phrases such as “Why do/don’t you do X?” or “Have you considered Y?” are only advice in query clothing if you interpret them as such: they could very well be genuine questions asked by someone who is truly interested in your thought process. Now, if the advice was phrased as “Move the big TV into the bedroom. Problem solved, you’re welcome!” then yeah, I can understand wanting to e-punch that person, but otherwise, I see a question as just an invitation to continue with the conversation. After all, “Why not put the big TV in the bedroom so you can watch together?” or “Have you considered moving the bed into the office so you can watch together?” are much more likely to get/keep a discussion going than “He’s right, you’re wrong”. At least with the former, they have a decent chance to get a “Well, we don’t really like each others’ shows, and I swear if I have to watch another episode of ‘So You Think You’ve Got the Talent to Dance Dance Revolution Like A Sparkly Vampire Heart-Trob’ I’m going to start decapitating things” response, whereas the latter would probably only yield “But whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?!?!/1slashone” (if it garnered any response at all).

    In conclusion, I advise you to be more open-minded. *ducks*

  15. TJ Post author

    GryphonHeart: Yes, it is like real life in that people often offer unsolicited advice.

    While I understand what you’re saying, I do think you’ve missed the point. You’re saying that in my example of the TV post, people were simply trying to participate in solving my situation. Except, there was no situation – people decided there was one.

    And yes, you’re right, it does come from a decade of built up frustration. To use your blog as an example – you have 47 total entries. I have upwards of 750 on this blog alone, and it’s only two years old – there’s still 8 more years of blog out there. You’ll have to trust that when you’ve got hundreds of entries under your belt, it will start to wear on you as well.

    As far as the people who asked what kind of comments I DO like: Don’t get me wrong. I like all comments. I appreciate that people have taken the time to consider what I’ve written and write a thoughtful response.

    At this point in my blogging career, the “advice” thing is just a given. I can tell when I’m writing entries which ones are going to generate that advice and I just accept it. People like to “help.” I was just writing a post on the existence of the issue.

    I’m not truly ungrateful for any of the comments I receive. I just thought I’m talk about a phenomenon that all established bloggers are likely all too familiar with.

  16. Gryphonheart

    Sorry, by “situation” I meant to describe something more akin to “setup” or “prompt”, not to imply that you had some sort of dilemma that needed fixing. That was poor word selection on my part.

    Also, yes, you do have significantly more blogging experience than I do, but part of having a long-established blog with hundreds/thousands of posts is that you seem much more intimidating to approach than a smaller/newer blog like mine. Offering advice probably crosses peoples’ mind as a good way to make an impression when they’re essentially competing with dozens of other people for a bit of your time and attention.

  17. Leala

    Even though I understand it can be annoying, sometimes people are just giving advice because they care about you and want to help. They sit around on the internet and read about your personal life or whatever else it is you are posting about, they get to know you, some of them start to care. So, since they don’t know you (or live inside your brain) they don’t know what you’ve thought in your head. So sometimes they make suggestions, etc. that relate to the subject.

    So, the question is… why talk about stuff that you don’t want people to weigh in on? I have a ton of stuff that I could be tempted to air out on the internet to make my self feel better and have an audience. But I don’t. Why? Because I don’t wanna hear anything stupid from people who don’t know me.

    I don’t ask people to listen to me without being prepared to listen back to them. It’s not really very fair.

  18. Chris Anthony

    @Armond, [target=] macros work very well; I have plenty of [target=mouseover] macros to attest to that. :)

    @TJ, I have little to say but that I sympathize and totally see where you’re coming from. :) I know and acknowledge my tendency to give advice when it’s not needed or wanted, and it’s still hard to shut that urge down!

  19. TJ Post author

    Leala: Couple of things. One, there are more ways to weigh in than offering advice.

    Two, where did I say I wasn’t prepared to listen back? There are over 9000 comments on this site, and over 10 years of blogging, there have been many, many more than that. Until today, I never said a word.

    Today, I needed a blog topic. I wrote about how, as a blogger, you will receive unsolicited advice. Maybe the post was a bit vague to get the point across, but I decided not to point out specific examples so as not to hurt anyone’s feelings. However, I also don’t feel the need to overly coddle those who read this blog.

    Unsolicited advice is annoying. That’s the entire point of the post.

    I’m not talking about every single post that I, or any blogger makes. However, take this example:

    “Internet, I like red. This other person likes blue. In your personal opinion, is red or blue a better color?”

    Answers:
    1. Colors are dumb.
    2. You should choose purple.
    3. I like blue.
    4. Yellow is the best color.

    Most annoying comment out of all of those: 2. Why? Because they’re solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

    It’s annoying. I’m allowed to be annoyed. Am I asking people to listen to me, or am I providing entertainment for people? Regardless of which it is, I don’t “owe” any reader or any person anything, including swallowing my annoyance or avoiding making certain observations.

  20. Bernie

    SO, sorts like when Brittany or Lindsey hang laundry. No one really cares but some “entertainment” rag supposes it is news. You watch it and then you feel intelligence oozing out your ears.
    The fact that you have written things that i found uncomfortably interesting is why I attempt to dialog with you.
    I read what you write because it can be funny.

  21. Medievalnurse

    My opinion, such that it is, is that people gravitate to sunshine and rainbows. Being a person who is very in to telling it like it is, I see your post for what I think it is (that you just are expressing your opinion on a subject) and if someone is offended by the post, then they are seeing something in the post that rings true about themselves, and they do not like it.

    Truth is, I perhaps have given you advice without you asking for it, and I certainly have been the recipient of advice that I didn’t directly ask for, but either way, I didn’t get offended by your post because your intent wasn’t to berate any one person, it was to express yourself, and I always applaud someone expressing their feelings instead of always pretending everything is always beautiful and happy with the world.

  22. ZombiePirateXXX

    None of my family even knows about my blog and I have friends writing on it but our readership is that small at the moment as we’ve only just started this really hasn’t become an issue yet… who knows, the Internet may one day esteem us as highly as a TJ….. who am I kidding… never gonna happen.

  23. Leala

    Writing a blog, especially a personal one, is asking people to listen to you. This post is asking them to not respond in what some people may think is a helpful way, by giving advice. So people should only ever agree with you and tell you that you are awesome? (I’m being sarcastic to make a point.)

    FYI, I don’t mind that attitude. I’ve outright told people F off who have been rude to me on my blog/podcast/whatever. Because it’s mine. But I am aware that is what I’m doing. And if I don’t want people to respond to me, in any number of ways, I shouldn’t be putting myself out there on the internet. Because why should a bunch of strangers care about my personal life? They shouldn’t.

    But the idea of being able to blog about whatever you think and have conversations with people is cool. So we do it.

    I’ll also say, just to give some frame of reference, I’m new to your blog. This is the first post I’ve actually read. So I don’t know much about you, but the topic of blogger perspective/fame is interesting to me.

  24. TJ

    Leala, setting aside the fact that I disagree on the asking people to listen/providing entertainment front, I understand what you’re saying but I don’t think any of the implications of what you’re saying truly make sense.

    1. I shouldn’t have the opinion that certain types of comments annoy me – I should be grateful for whatever comments I get.

    2. If certain comments annoy me, I should never voice it, because I should at least present the appearance of being grateful for whatever comments I get.

    I never said people needed to agree with me. I’ve never said what kind of comments people should leave. I have pointed out the VERY COMMON phenomenon in blogging that, no matter what you write, SOMEONE is going to give you advice.

    It’s funny that it’s so common, it DOES annoy me at times, and I’m perfectly within my rights not only to be annoyed by it, but also post on the subject.

    So I get what you’re saying about blogging being about conversation, but I don’t understand how it applies to the post I made. Is it that I never should have been annoyed in the first place, or I never should have said that it annoys me at times?

  25. HokieJayBee

    i still won and you owe us juicy outside of blizzcon details! you keep saying that the TV thing wasn’t an argument/situation/problem that needed solving or advice from your readership….

    but you titled the post, “Settle This:…..” you can’t complain about advice on a specific post that is titled, essentially, “hi readers, phil and i have a situation/problem that needs settling, and with the understood ‘you’ in the sentence, i’m directing you to help me settle it”.

    and i know i just mentioned one post out of 3281 in your 10 years. but i like to argue!

    i win this battle, you win the war. and you’re perfectly within your rights to be annoyed. and perfectly within your rights to voice that annoyance. i for one did not arrive at work this morning to a pistol on my temple with a demand to click on my favorites, to include one Temerity Jane. and i did not receive a threat of anthrax in my soup if i didn’t read or comment on your page.

    :P

  26. TJ

    Ah, but you don’t win the battle! If you look carefully, you will see that “Settle This!” is actually a series of posts in which the Internet has always been asked to choose between two distinct options.

    And it was Mike Schramm.

  27. Settle this?

    Ah, but see, “Settle this” does not necessarily mean “I have a problem and need help coming up with a solution”; instead, it was meant as “we have a disagreement and I want to know who you think is right.” And this wasn’t the first post she made like this either.

    While I don’t necessarily agree with this post overall, using the title of the previous post as a reason to why you should be giving advice when none was asked for (nor, apparently needed) is just a cop-out.

    My personal thoughts on the subject are … everyone is different (wow, that was an earth-shattering revelation). Everyone reacts to certain situations differently; everyone interacts with people differently. Me, for example, when ever my girlfriend has an issue with someone else I always stop and say, “Ok I can see your side of it, but have you ever considered _________?” Not really because I disagree with her or because I think she’s wrong and the other person is right, but just because I always find it’s easier to move on/get over/not be pissed off about a certain situation if you can understand why the other person did what they did or said what they said. Some people simply see “Settle this” and the fact that you two argued about it (and probably don’t understand that it was a playful argument) and thought they could help. And see, there’s the rub. People are trying to help you, and you’re offended/annoyed by it. Granted, you may not WANT or have ASKED for their help … but you’re annoyed with people for caring about you.

    And I think that’s why this post may rub people the wrong way. I don’t always agree with everything you post, but when you post something I think is dumb or annoying or whatever have you, I don’t comment and say “well that’s annoying.” I simply shrug and move on, and check your blog the next day to see if you’ve posted anything new. Yet when some people try to interact with you in what they see as a helpful, productive way, you just get annoyed because it wasn’t the response you wanted. It’s kind of a slap in the face, as a reader, to be told how I should or should not comment. You may not appreciate what I say, sure, and that’s ok. Just like I don’t always appreciate what you post in your blog.

    That’s just life. I don’t always agree with my friends, or appreciate the things they tell me … but I don’t ask them to censor themselves when they’re trying to help me.

  28. TJ Post author

    That comment would have more merit if I’d ever made a habit of responding to every single comment that annoys me with “that annoys me.”

    Have I ever? No.

    Do some comments annoy me? Yes!

    Just like in real life, sometimes the crap people says annoys me.

    This post was a post on the topic of how if you are a blogger, you WILL get unsolicited advice. And don’t think that just because you personally move on without comment when something on my blog annoys you that everyone does. Because they don’t. Oh ho, no they don’t. But as a blogger, I’m supposed to be happy with what I get because people have taken the time to care.

    I am not annoyed that people care about me. I said that there are certain kinds of comments that, over 10 years, I’ve found to be annoying. I’m not the first blogger to say it, and I certainly won’t be the last. The post didn’t apply just to my blog, but to many.

    Frankly, the shock and hurt over the idea that I don’t squee, giggle and scrape and bow with thanks over every single comment is shocking.

    The advice thing is a universal blogging joke. It happens to me, it happens to everyone and yeah, it gets on your nerves after awhile. I don’t feel bad about admitting it.

  29. Chiana

    Huh. I hope this comment doesn’t annoy you, and i’m kinda wondering if it’s a good idea to comment on a post about how comments can be really annoying – but this is the internet and i don’t know you in real life, so I’ll just keep going because I feel like it right now :-)

    first: I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now (via a link on BRKs blog) and I think my comment to the “TV post” was the first one in all this time. Mostly this is because I just like your humor and style, and while I don’t always agree with your views, I don’t feel the need to let you know WHAT I THINK all the time.

    after reading this article about unwanted comments I feel half embarrassed and half angry – I really did give unwanted advice about the TV situation, and not because I think you are too dumb to deal with it. the whole thing just sounded like an issue – it probably is not, only a piece of information about your “real life”. but i whish you would just disable the comment function or instead just use a poll if you only want an “A or B” type of answer.

    so here you have it: a piece of advice how to avoit getting comments with unwanted advice. disable comments.

    I for one will not write comments here again.

  30. TJ Post author

    I’m sorry to see that so many have taken personal offense to a lighthearted post.

    However, the clutching of the pearls and the whole “how DARE you have an opinion and voice it” thing isn’t playing on my heartstrings here.

    Yes, sometimes comments annoy me.

    If you don’t feel that you can comfortably comment on a blog where, behind the scenes, your comment may not be received with a throwing of confetti, you would likely be better off commenting elsewhere.

    I have never called out a comment giving advice as annoying. I accept it just like all other comments. The whole entry said this: In ten years, I have gotten a lot of advice that I didn’t ask for.

    If it devastates you to find out after the fact that the unrequested advice you gave was not framed and hung on the wall, well, you may need to adjust your expectations.

    If reading this post makes you think, “How DARE she not be grateful for every single comment,” I urge to to rethink exactly what it is you’re saying there. This blog is not a charity and your comments are not donations.

    I tell a story, you write a comment. You are now and always have been free to write WHATEVER YOU WANT. I don’t censor or delete comments. I read every single comment. I respond to MANY comments, both here and through email. I never complain about specific comments unless someone is outright out of line. You can comment HOWEVER YOU WANT until the end of time.

    But remove the idea from your head that I am some automaton here for your amusement, clapping my hands and thanking the gods above for every single comment I receive.

  31. TJ Post author

    Steve: As the post said, the post was not spurred by recent events. I did use the TV post as an example. An example of many different occasions that have built up over many years. If I didn’t want comments on something, the comments on the post would be closed. As I have said, I accept, as all bloggers do, that advice comes constantly and continually. I was pointing it out because one, it’s funny and two, yeah it does wear on you after awhile.

    At this point, I just believe people are looking for any excuse to be offended.

  32. HokieJayBee

    i’m offended you think we’re looking for a reason to be offended!!!

    /2 reported for reporting the reporter

    i haven’t gotten this much amusement out of someone’s blog in quite some time. and at this point, i don’t even mean the original post. this, you guys (points at everyone and looking in the mirror), are too funny.

    however, teejay, if there ever is any confetti, framing, dancing, high fiving o/ \o, or anything else that could be deemed to be celebratory over a comment on a post to an online blog – i demand video.

    subject change:
    how’s the puppy? he had a skin issue true? which flamed up under stressful conditions? which lately would have been stressful since you weren’t there for two weeks?

  33. KT

    Aww, don’t worry about it. (Advice!) You seem to be a pretty popular internet figure and I am sure that people that read their blog and like you also like to think you would like them back. People are just worried that you find them in particular annoying, when what they’d really like is for this person they find so cool to find them cool in return.

    Even the nicest and mellowest people get annoyed by things, and there’s nothing wrong with saying it sometimes. My unsolicited advice: just keep posting awesome posts and all will be forgiven!

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  35. Steve

    TJ:

    I’m very hard to offend, and in this case, wasn’t in the least. Rather, I’m elated that you replied specifically to me! (You helped me win a bet :-D)

    *Not a monetary bet, just a little social experiment I did with some friends.

  36. Settle this?

    I’m not offended either, but then again, I also don’t leave advice unless you specifically ask for it! Ha.

  37. Chaninn

    Wow, TJ, seems you’ve found a hornet’s nest. =)
    As a non-blogger that’s an issue I never would have even dreamed would come into play but I can certainly see where you’d get tired of it after a while.
    Personally, I’d get more annoyed at those who have to correct every spelling or grammar error they come across. I’m grateful for you and every other blogger who can put up with the annoyances and continue with such fun stuff for us (the interwebbies) to read.
    KUDOS!

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  39. Azshrin

    TJ’s post was not telling people that advice was not allowed. She wrote a post about her feelings and what’s it like writing a blog and getting unsolicited advice. That’s the point of a blog, to write about how you think and feel. People reading should think whether they are overstepping their manners (it would be just as bad to do the same in the ‘real’ world) but you readers also shouldn’t feel afraid to participate and comment and talk

  40. Fro0p

    I can’t believe you said that we’re just looking for reasons to be ofended TJ! I find that deeply offensive and I shall go now to sit in my corner and weep :)

  41. Derrick

    First time reader here, but I’ve got to chime in.

    It’s perfectly ok to be annoyed by random, endless advice. But the problem isn’t a blog problem.

    It’s a fundamental human problem. In every aspect of life, people assume when you mention a situation (which may, or may not be a problem), particularly when you ask their opinion on it, that you are asking for their advice.

    People want to feel helpful. Fundamentally, it’s driven by a desire to feel useful and needed – it sounds somewhat negative, and I’m sure people will argue as a result, but it’s just human nature. It simply is. Unfortunately, as a rule people do not appreciate attempts from others to exert control over their life. Yeah, I suppose that’s worded poorly and seems over-dramatic, but it’s the reason advice annoys more than it helps. Particularly when there are a myriad of factors to situations that other people do not – and can not – know, because they aren’t you, and are not in your precise situation. Even if they’ve been in similar situations, they’re not you, and thus can not be in yours.

    So, people always want to offer advice. A previous commenter mentioned parenting: This is a glaring example of the problem. Everyone and their dog wants to offer you advice on every aspect of parenting, and it’s enormously aggravating.

    Alas, there’s no real, workable solution. As you’ve seen in comments thus far, people take any sort of response – no matter how polite – that you don’t want advice as a direct, personal rebuttal. So, they end up feeling worse than they started before they said anything, that not only did you not want their advice but more the opposite. It’s not your fault in any way, but it’s just how people work.

    It would be great if people could learn to just listen, convey understanding, offer their opinion without trying to exert control on another person’s life, but I doubt it’ll ever happen.

    That’s my two bits.

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