Thoughts on Rebuttal Blogging
Posted on April 16, 2014
I love a good take-down.
You see something stupid on the internet, and you know it’s stupid, and you know why it’s stupid, and then someone comes along and explains EXACTLY why it’s stupid, and you’re so happy to see such a clear, concise explanation of why it’s stupid that you share it so that everyone else can see just how stupid the original stupid thing was.
Oh, man. It feels so good. As a blogger, I’ve written a few rebuttal blogs–take downs, if you will–of my own. I enjoyed writing them and seeing them shared. It makes me feel good to know that other people agree with me and see where I’m coming from when I respond to something sexist, racist, ignorant, or just plain wrong.
But I don’t want to be a rebuttal blogger.
I don’t want to just write in opposition to other things that exist in the world. I want to write to support ideas, not just criticize the ones I don’t like.
There have been several things in the past few months that I’ve thought about writing about, but then decided not to because of this growing discomfort I have with becoming a rebuttal blogger.
When I see people on Tumblr and other platforms angrily renouncing every single celebrity, artist, or musician who isn’t as progressive as they are yet, I see something I don’t want to become. I don’t want to be the person who takes joy in informing people that something they love sucks.
I probably won’t swear off rebuttal blog posts all together. I think there can be value in a dialogue between different ideas. However, I’m going to commit to some ground rules, some of which I haven’t followed in the past:
I won’t take joy or pleasure in undermining what someone else cares about.
I won’t be unnecessarily snarky, especially in response to someone’s deeply held beliefs.
I might be snarky in response to badly thought out memes and viral posts, but I won’t extend that snark to every single person who might have shared that meme. After all, sometimes you don’t realize that something is illogical or wrong until someone points it out to you.
I will only respond with a rebuttal if I feel like my response actually adds something valuable to the conversation–not just a contrarian voice that says the same thing a bunch of other people are saying.
If I write a rebuttal, it needs to be rooted in research and facts, not just an emotional rejection of the original argument.
I hope that if I stick with these guidelines, they will stop me from contributing to a blight of negativity. Perhaps my blog can be more positive than it has been in the past. I hope that it can prevent me from hurting people by dismissing their points of view. I hope that it keeps me from becoming more cynical than I already am!