Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On Constant Comments and Swooper Attacks

Bloggers are the nicest people!

Really folks, I think I have met some of the nicest people in the world in this little place we call Blogville.  Take Susan at My Place To Yours, for example. Even though I had become a Nogger during the Christmas season, she still remembered that Christmas Eve was my birthday and sent me an unexpected birthday card.

And then, there's Kitty. Many of you know Kitty from Kitty's Kozy Kitchen. She's not only one of the best recipe sources in Pinville,  but she's just a generally nice person.  I got a little treat in the mail from Kitty this week.

It came about because I felt the need to leave her a comment (surprise, surprise) about the name of a tea in one of her posts.

This one.

I told her that it should be the official tea of Debbie Land.

She LOL-ed me.

Then, she sent me a little gift of gab in the mail for good measure. 
Thank you, Kitty!

She also sent along some eggnog tea.  It will have to be egg nogger tea for now, though, because this morning, I would kind of like to yak about that constant comment business.

I plead guilty.

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but I'm what you call a constant commenter.   I'm uncomfortable with silent spaces and generally feel the need to fill them with a little commentary.  According to the Man of the Place,  I have never had an unexpressed thought in my entire life.

That's not true. You wouldn't believe some of the thinks I think. 
But then again, maybe you would. 

The truth is, while I joke about my motor mouth, I actually do work at keeping a grip on it.  Even more than the quantity of words, though,  I try to work on the quality of them, especially in that constant comment business around here.

As in,

If you can't leave a nice comment, don't leave one at all.  

Let's face it. Unkind or unnecessary written comments don't  just slip out accidentally. There's no such thing as a slip of the finger, people.  Written comments have to go through a filtering system. They have to go from head to hands to keyboard. Then, when it's all been said, they still remain unexpressed until we willingly send them.

And there's always that delete option that could be deployed...

The truth of the matter is that most if not all of the unnecessary comments in Blogville don't come from our blog friends and neighbors, do they?  They come from the Swoopers.  You know the kind I mean. You've never seen them before,  but suddenly... there they are, swooping in to leave an unnecessary negative.  I'm not talking about blogs of potential controversy, either.  It happens just as often on regular old yakabouts.

I got swooped one time for yakking about Sunday dinner with my family.

Another time, I got swooped for cutting down a Christmas tree.  

The post wasn't even about cutting down a tree; it was just about decorating it. I merely mentioned that we get a live tree in the body of the post. Suddenly, I was swooped.  I have no clue who this woman was. I clicked her name, but I had never heard of her blog.  I think it's pretty safe to yak her out since she's never been back here. She showed up on that post, though, swooping in to tell me that there was never a reason to cut down a tree.

I think she might have used a few of these  !!! for good measure, too.

Never mind that Christmas trees are actually a row crop. Nope. Plant them, folks, but under no circumstances should they be cut down.


I guess she doesn't eat corn, either?  (Probably not. You know, genetically modified corn and all... And don't even get her started on the carbon footprint left by a herd of belching bovine...)

But I digress.

It isn't really the specifics of the matter, anyway. It's the principle of the thing. What's more, it's the pure mystery of it. How do these people find you?  Do they sit in basements somewhere googling for key words? Do they receive some sort of swooper alert?

 Some folks blame the anonymity of the cyber world.  It gives cowards boldness they never had before, they say. I think I agree with that.  I also think it's probably just a sign of the times.  We live in a culture that seems to lack common courtesy in every other area. Why should our words be any different?  Fight picking and insult hurling is all the rage these days.

In the end, the only fingers I can control are my own.  For my blog friends, neighbors, and fellow partiers out there, I'll try to use them as positively as I possibly can. I would rather be a Kitty or a Susan  than a swooper any old day of the week.

And  as for those swoopers? I'll continue to use my fingers on them, too... by hitting that button that says delete. 

And that's all I have to say about that. 

Have you ever been the victim of a swooper attack? 
Do you leave them, respond to them, or delete?

And in contrast, what was the nicest thing anyone ever did for you in Blog Land?


Denise said...

Well said dear sister. I am so glad you have addressed this issue. I don't have a blog but I read them. Sometimes I read a comment and think "Wow. That was mean." I don't know how you bloggers deal with these rude people.

I'm guessing they don't have a Duchess that taught them if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Angel @ Finding The Inspiring said...

I think you're right on point Debbie. There's no room for hateful comments. The old saying about not saying anything if you can't say something nice is still one to live by in my opinion.

So far, I've been swoop free. I gets lots of spam but like you I hit my trusty delete button and out it goes like a puff of smoke into the night.

And, by the way, I want to thank you for your comments. They always brighten my day!!!

Debbie said...

Good morning! Well let me say that I too am a gabber...I have generally always got something to say. And while I have only had one or two mean comments by swoopers (great word btw!) and I have merely hit delete, I have always wondered about the number of people who read my blog and NEVER comment at all. The lurkers. I guess that's OK. My stats tell me I have around 50 to 60 page views on a blogpost, but then I only get about 10 comments sometimes. I've wondered who all the other people are. I wonder if they find my posts boring, offensive, or not worthy of a thought or two, haha. I guess I have a couple of blogs that I regularly read that I NEVER leave comments on either, but it is usually because they are soo popular and have 40 or 50 comments or more already, I can't see the point in leaving ANOTHER comment saying the same thing in another way, lol. I have decided it doesn't really matter, nor am I blogging for comments, but it does make me wonder if there are weirdo's reading my posts, or hurting, lonely people or what. Just curious. See what I mean, all this chatter and what have I said? lol Enjoy your day Debbie!

Gaby said...

I have to say I'm yet to encounter a swooper and I have written on some controversial topics. Maybe you have to actually have some followers to be attacked! Haha! But anyway. I did have a swooper in my "real" life. There was a woman in my old church that seemed to know exactly when I was the most down and hurt and she would choose that moment to come in, say something unkind or tactless and "swoop" away. Being the pastor's wife I mostly took it like a trooper to avoid trouble for my husband. But now that we are not at that church anymore, I avoid her like the plague :) Sorry, that is not what you asked but I've been thinking about this for the last few days so here I'm yakking myself.

Sharon said...

Though I haven't really had a *swooper* comment, as in negative commentary, I did have a comment once that was full of foul language. Frankly, it shocked me to no end. And yes, quicker than you can say, "Be gone!" - I hit DELETE.

The nicest thing anyone did for me in Blog Land had to be the outpouring of good wishes and condolences on my recent post about my dad's passing.

There are good people out there - and I am so very glad to have found one in YOU!

Ann said...

I have one of those...on my FB page. He only seems to comment when he can be contrary. He's a friend though...so not like I can delete him...but I'm learning to ignore him.
I can't imagine anyone being nasty on your posts, Debbie! Even what I could call a "controversial" post, it isn't really....more to get you to think (like Sunday's btw...well done!).

Good thing you delete the nasty's though, otherwise your blogs would become more about the responses than the wonderfully witty writings of you!


elizabeth said...

I love your comments! My most negative comment was on my antique Shawnee Pottery owl cookie jar...a well meaning Christian told me owls are demonic. My reply was that there are lots of things God created that people may use in the wrong way, but God created owls, not the devil. I thought it was amusing.

Now the tree lover who commented to you...must be from the Pacific Northwest, my neck of the woods.

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

i think it is very easy to find a positive comment to post - always!! if you can't find a positive comment to post you really have no reason to comment at all ... totally agree. i think that we all need & want positive reinforcement as much as we can get ... at times we are so hard on ourselves that is just is not cool. it is so what the world needs. stop the mean, hateful & no called for comments. we need love, a positive, a helpful & kind -- always & forever.

have a good day!! ( :

Vee said...

Swoopers...what a charming, euphemistic name for them. I call them something far worse. Oh, yes, I have had a few. (Worse yet, I may have been one...ugh.) I do call them out. I copy the comment and paste it so that it can't be denied and respond to it in comments. Sometimes, I have even done as you have done here only not as well.

Bloggers have blessed my socks off many times. I think it is easier to bless a blogging buddy than a real life one because we can do it as money allows and for no other reason than to be friendly. The biggest blessing is when a blogging buddy makes her way to my corner and we get to meet in person.

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

The worst I've seen was on a post about Apricot Jam (believe it or not). This person went off and even used the F-Bomb a few times! I guess she really didn't like apricot jam:@) Since I was concerned about her coming back I deleted the whole post. I agree with don't say anything if it's not nice, just move on to the next blog...

Barbara F. said...

I do believe i found your blog through Susan's, and Kitty is one of the nicest, and one of my most favorite, bloggers. She is very thoughtful and generous, having been the recipient of a couple of sweet gifts. I have had a swooper or two, i delete and ignore as well, rather than go all Brooklyn on them. I have been attacked on FB by a blogger on another blogger's news feed. What really irks me are creepy spammers advertising through comments from sharing posts on Google + and FB. xo

Laurie Ritchey said...

I'm almost afraid I'll jinx myself, but I've been so fortunate in not having any really bad comments in the land of Blog. My social internet experience began with HGTV's Rate My Space site, and I had several hateful comments on that site. Because of those hateful comments, many of my cyber friends on that site left to begin blogging. I do think, sadly, there are a lot of unhappy and jealous people in our world, who think that searching the internet for a place they can let out some of their anger helps them feel better. On the RMS site, when the comment was obviously intended to hurt someone, I usually said a prayer for that person, because I know they are in as much pain as their comment caused me. Good post, Debbie. laurie

Chatty Crone said...

Okay I have been extremely blessed. I have had the blog now ten years and I have maybe one or two swoops.

What I get hurt more for is losing a follower. Which or course I am now that I am writing and reading less. However, I don't defriend them back.

How's that? sandie

Noelle the dreamer said...

One of the best posts I have seen in awhile and straight to the point!
Oh dear, I too have been blessed with kindness and I am not sure sure how I would react to a negative one.
'If you cannot be nice, don't say anything at all' I totally agree and the delete button is a great invention is it not?!

Amy Kinser said...

I love what you have "labeled" these unhappy, feel the need to criticize, people. I had one just the other day who was very rude. Thankfully, I check all comments before they go onto my blog so delete I did. I used to want to try to defend myself and then realized it wasn't worth it so off their comment goes into nowhere land.

Mrs.Rabe said...

I call them trolls!

They go around looking to stir up trouble and looking for a fight. I have not had too many but the ones I have had were related to me. Go figure. I left their comments as I was having a discussion with them but it finally got so bad I deleted the whole post!

The best blogging thing has been meeting so many fabulous friends, and the best of all is when we've gotten to meet in person! So great to find that these dear hearts are the same in real life as they are on their blogs!


Janette's Sage/Simply Your Decor said...

Mine have come in personal emails! They didn't comment on my blog.

That is my all time favorite tea. I started using it back in the 80's. So just you posting it made my mind go back to when I was a young mother..thanks...I needed that today.
See you are even positive in the pictures you post.
Hugs...and enjoy the precious comments you receive in the hundreds, and forget the couple that aren't so good! Just DELETE

Mevely317 said...

Love that someone finally called out the gremlins (I like your word better!).
Knock wood, I've not had any 'swipes' .... tho' one lady dressed me down re. a comment I left on our mutual friend's blog. (At my age, I didn't expect it to sting ...)

The best thing? Reading thoughtful comments on something I've written. Heck, I still remember my first comment - I was over the moon!

Dang, I'm so glad you're back! :)

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Debbie,

This is a great post as usual, and very relevant in the land of blog (or nog). I simply do not understand the need to make rude, catty, snippy, even incendiary remarks on someone's blog. I think what you said about the anonymity factor -- just makes people feel like being rude I guess. Anyway, I haven't been swooped yet, but now that I've said that, I probably will be. :-D I have however, had a LOT of spammers trying to sneak in some free advertising through commenting on my blog posts. I just hit that DELETE button and send them into the black hole.

Kitty is an absolute sweetheart, one of the nicest bloggers around. That was so thoughtful of her to send you the tea! Barbara F. of "Two Birdies and a B." brought me a little Scottie purse when we met at the Southern Bloggers Conference. I thought that was so sweet and thoughtful.

Thanks for sharing, Debbie, and have a wonderful week!



Dayle Allen Shockley @ A Collection of Days said...

Love this post and the topics, and Happy Birthday, a month later.

I have no problem deleting nasty comments, although I don't think I've ever been swooped. I'm sure my day is coming.

I'm delighted we are bloggy friends.

Kelley said...

Q: Have I ever been the victim of a swooper attack?
A: Umm, I forget.

Q: Do I leave, respond to or delete them?
A: Umm, I would delete them. Poof. No one would ever read them.

Q: What was the nicest thing anyone ever did for me in Blog Land?
A: There are so many to mention, like--

Sent me a handmade greeting card
Sent me a book in which [Dayle] had written a chapter
Sent me a decal cut with her Cricut
Sent me a vintage pattern or three
Sent me an embroidery pattern or three


Happy yakkity yak {Don't yak back!},

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

My comments are screened so it kinda deters those folks because they are looking to either cause controversy or to make you feel badly. I have no room in my life for mean spirited people.
You bring delight to most allll of us with your wit and wisdom. (())

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Well, since I was raised by a "could have been" sister of the Duchess, I must *first* say "thanks for the shout-out" although it was totally unnecessary. :-)

As for those nasty swooper-types... I don't recall any showing up at My Place - even when I've written some controversial things and was prepared for them. I have, however, had readers put words in my mouth on occasion, and I've tried to let those comments slide. Usually their words prove my point anyway. LOL

But I have watched my husband receive spiteful comments in response to newspaper articles about his work with Hope Unlimited for Children. You know the type: Must feel good to take Brazilian vacations on work time. How does it feel to be the "great white father"? Forget about those poor kids in S. America; why don't you take care of the ones where we live? SERIOUSLY? Unfortunately, you can't delete those from a newspaper feed. I guess it's just as well; they speak for themselves.

As for the nicest things done for me in Blogland... One person gave a gift in my honor to Hope -- and also emailed to check on me when she saw we were in the middle of a horrible TN storm. Another sent a little gift at Christmas. A few, like you, have been prayer warriors with and for me. Many have been encouragers. This Blogland can be a wonderful place -- if you choose your friends wisely. I'm glad you're one of mine!

Scribbler said...

Yes I have, quite a bit in the early days of blogging.

I just delete them, too. Now I have comment moderation on, so I can help control spammers, and that has the pleasant side effect of also filtering out the nasties.

Sue said...

Well said, Debbie, couldn't have said it any better myself! So far no swoopers, (knock on wood). I did however have someone steal my photos and pose them as her family, lol I had a nice long talk with her!
I don't why anyone would leave a negative comment on any of your post debbie I always leave here blessed, encouraged, motivated, and challenged to be a better person.
I am so thankful for the friends I have made here, you being one of them, having these friendships is the nicest thing anyone has done for me!
I read your last post, Living in a Crack house, loved it very much. I always enjoyed Erma Bombeck's writings and you right up there with her. close to hers.
So sorry for the long letter, it just seems that I always have so much to talk to you about, I don't know what we would do if we ever got together, we agree on so many things.
Thanks for links to the ladies blog,
Enjoy your day.

Sue said...

BTW Wishing you a very Belated but Happy Birthday!

Sue said...

OH! I almost forgot to tell you , One summer as I was taking frozen veggies to the freezer as I opened the back door this black snake was crawling right in front of it I almost stepped on him, he and I played footsies for awhile but he won found another escape, later on that summer I accidently ran over him on the garage pavement, he should have left the farm , and not hung around. ha ha!!

kitty said...

Aww that was so kind of you, my friend. I feel so honored that you mentioned my little gift of tea to you.
Yes, I get weird messages every now and then, but there's no way to reply to them.
As for kindness, I've been blessed by many bloggy buddies. You, among others, have prayed for me and continue to do so. What a gift that is!!
Enjoy your tea, sweet friend. xo

Alycia Nichols said...

You and I are much the same when it comes to being concerned with the QUALITY of the comment rather than the quantity...although I almost always end up leaving comments that are just a hair shy of a short story! :-) The very reason I visit blogs is to somehow connect with the author, and through commenting I feel I am doing just that.

As for the "swoopers"...they don't even deserve a moment of my thought and consideration. I have had only one who "swooped" on one of my entries on the BH&G site. You could tell she was just trying to get a rise out of me. I wouldn't dignify it with an angry response. I actually ended up with 2 followers because of the way I handled it! And I left her ignorant comments on the page so that others could read them and see what a dipstick she apparently was. I think anytime you get a crazy comment, it's just someone who is either a jealous, no-talent hack, someone with WAY too much time on their hands but without a brain cell in their heads, or someone who just doesn't understand that the world does NOT revolve around them and their ignorant, narrow-minded, numbskull opinions. 'Nuff said!

There have been a TON of nice things done for me by so many people in blog land!!! When my Daddy died last year, I got more support than Spanx gives my behind! :-) I've also received beautiful gifts from other bloggers as well as people who were just readers, had something they had no idea what to do with and wanted me to have it so I could enjoy it & create something around it. Talk about feelin' g-o-o-d after stuff like that! And here's the deal: I try to always be nice, too, because who knows who needs a little pick-me-up?

Sorry about the ding-dong who swooped on you. They're probably sitting in a corner sucking their thumb right about now. No worries!

Have a great Hump Day!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Yes, I've had some swoopers (I visualize a huge black bird with that word!) One person was such a coward she posted as Anonymous, so I couldn't contact her. She said one of my tablescapes was awful, had no imagination, no creativity, etc. Odd thing is that it was one of my best tablescapes! I assumed it was some person acting like a junior high bully snickering with a friend of the same mentality. I did exactly what Alicia (above) did, I left it on there so others could see what a hater she is.

There are a lot of self-appointed blog police out there who get their kicks from trying to appear more intelligent than others, truth is they are just ignorant! One lady told me I had the glasses on my tablescape in the wrong place. Like it matters?? Most modern day tablescapers ignore the old time rules to be unique!

I like the Constant Comment tea and discovered it years ago! I've never seen the eggnog tea though, does it have a nutmeg flavor?

You! You my friend have been one of my nicest blog friends with your kind comments! Thank you!

Great post! I hope those haters out there read it with all the comments and get the message.


Kathryn Ross said...

Hi Deb! I agree - LOVE my ladies in Blogland - or Blogville - just plain blogging, to me! I never feel "weird" here. I do in the day to day world. In Blogland - people "get" all my artsy silliness and love it! AND - I meet great kindreds like you so I know I'm not alone. Although - you do yak in quantity and quality beyond my ken, sometimes. Like this gem you recently left in my comment queue:

"I have learned by growing older that I want my home filled with things that make us smile and think of cherished things and cherished people."

I read that over and over and LOVE how you captured perfectly exactly how I feel about my home decor, too! Every corner must tell a story about a time, a place and a truth that can connect with the heart in one way or another.

LOVE ya!

Jacqueline said...

Oh my oh my! I loved this post! That has to become the official name for them - I LOVE IT - swoopers! Yes, I think we all have. I had someone swoop in and blast me that I had stollen someone's recipe and how dare I. Well, I had found it in a local cookbook (because it is from a local restaurant) and I had given credit to the cookbook whereas the blog I was being accused of didn't give any source for hers. I did swoop back with that one and said just that, that I had given a source and her friend didn't and that this cookbook was put together as a fund raiser and the restaurant had given the recipe to the cookbook.
Another favorite was a funny little post I did posing 2 Barbies and a Ken doll in Cabo and the post was titled Cabo Barbie - hello - did I tell you what it was going to be about??? That swooper threw a fit that they had wasted 2 minutes of their life that they couldn't get back! How funny was that.
Maybe we need something that says This swooper's comment has been swept away!

Red Couch Recipes said...

Well as we were probably all taught, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all!" If it is negative, I delete it. I want our blogging world to be kind and supportive so away it goes...Love your constant comments. Joni

The Quintessential Magpie said...

You know about mine. It was so nasty I had two attorney friends who were so upset they wanted me to contest the FBI because they thought I was being stalked.

I thought it was one very sad, very pathetic person, and I deleted it. NetHey were striking out T God through me and trying to silence me in the process. Good luck! ;-)

Love you,


The Quintessential Magpie said...

Contact... Not contest. Argh!

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Well, I have moved from bawling like a baby over Sir Lotsa Hair's Fa-riend. To atta-girl over the snide remarks to a big ole AMEN to if you can't say anything nice, for goodness sake, keep your mouth shut or fingers still, as the case may be!!! LOVE your writing, Deb. Always do.

My heart goes out at the loss of this fine lady... blessings ~ tanna

Shelia said...

Hi and popping over because Katherine from Yellow Rose Arbor sent me. I have just posted about the same thing happening to me. I like your funny version much better though. We just have to feel sorry for these poor ole anonymous 'swoopers'. I love that word. Anyway, hope you'll pop in to see me some times.
be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Sharlotte said...

I have to admit, I haven't had a bad comment (knock on wood) but truly enjoy reading all comments left. I appreciate you always dropping by and leaving a sweet note.

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Cindy Dy said...

I like the way on how you put up your blogs. Wonderful and awesome. Hope to read more post from you in the future. Goodluck. Happy blogging!



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