Friday, October 03, 2008

Proper Blog Manners

I was once involved in a very serious disagreement with a friend that began over email. He and I both have very strong personalities, and have often disagreed. In this particular situation, however, the medium of email did a great deal to escalate the situation because the type-written word often does not convey tone inflections and body language. As a result of our exchange of emails, rather than us having a constructive conversation, my friend and I were ready to fight.

Emails can be a provocative medium to exchange sensitive ideas, and the blogosphere is no different. Denny Burk has posted a good blog on what he calls, Blog Trolls. Here are some examples from that blog:

When we disagree with one another, it’s critical that we do so in a way that is not disagreeable. The book of Proverbs teaches us that “The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable” (Pr. 15:2). It also says that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger” (Pr. 15:1). Consider also this text, “Sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness” (Pr. 16:21). The Lord Jesus Himself was no stranger to controversy (Mt 12:34; 23:31). Nevertheless, it was said of Him that “All were speaking well of Him and wondering at the gracious words which were falling from His lips” (Luke 4:22).

The blogosphere has a way of giving even the most cowardly man sitting in his parents' basement courage to attack with his Mac. We should all heed Denny's advice on blog trolls and seek to avoid being lumped into this group. And, read the rest of Denny's article, I believe you will find it very beneficial.

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