The internet is exploding about someone yelling at a toddler in a diner. It is the kind of thing that makes me question what it is I do. The blogging, I mean. It makes me feel like I am part of the problem…guilty by association…or maybe just guilty.
Let me explain. I’m not talking about which side I take in the situation. It’s not about whether the diner owner was correct in screaming at someone else’s crying toddler, or if the parents were wrong in letting their child disturb other customers, or if any of the story actually played out in any of the various versions we’ve been told. It’s not even about the larger discussions of whether parents should take small children to restaurants, or if people without kids need to suck it up because everyone has a right to eat in public.
What this IS about is how we pollute the internet arguing about all of the above. Because these things are not worth arguing over.
I know it’s tempting to think they are when sites like the Washington Post, and USA Today, and pretty much any news source of your choice are all talking about it like it’s the next great debate. And for bloggers? Well, this is just the prettiest of packages tied up in a bow, left right on top of our laptops, full of timely material, upticks in views, and practically guaranteed comments and shares. We know how the internet works. Why shouldn’t we take advantage of it?
But really think about this for a second: people across the vast webisphere are taking time out of their lives to either defend or condemn a woman they don’t know for telling a baby to shut up. Seriously. Look at all those words strung together, think about their collective worth, and ask yourself, DOES THIS MATTER?
Enter me, questioning what it is I do. The blogging thing. By most respects, taking public stances about matters of opinion isn’t my bag. Those of you who have read Are You Finished Yet for a while may notice I don’t write much about topics that get people riled up. Well, there was that one time I confessed to being a bad Catholic, and the other time I declared with all the rage of a chilled-out Matthew McConaughey that I don’t care if people think I’m lame for being a stay-at-home mom. But usually, I’m more about revealing my 6-year-old’s Google search history and envisioning what superhero keg parties would look like. Yet when I see a story taking over my newsfeed, like this toddler getting yelled at by a diner owner, I think to myself,
“As a blogger, is this all I actually do, in one sense or another? Turn people’s attention to things that DON’T really matter?”
The nature of the game almost demands that bloggers have and publicize an opinion about everything. We fall into the trap of thinking our audience expects it from us, or that we somehow owe it to them, or that taking a stance on something like toddler restaurant etiquette or bottle versus breastfeeding is a requirement. And guys, those are the things we are getting in arguments about. Everyday. All over the place. It’s silly.
Our rage should be reserved for things that matter. So should our voices.
After all, writing an entire post about Michael Bolton being your first concert seems more meritorious to me anyway. Because frizzy mullets, people. Frizzy mullets.
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16 thoughts on “What’s With All the Blogging Rage Over a Diner Owner Yelling at a Toddler?”
Well, I think this is refreshing to read. I used to read some other bloggers and the blogger megasites (where someone different posts every day.) The “list” blog posts – I get a sense the writer is being passive aggressive about someone they know in real life.
I try to write as my life happens. If people want to read, cool. If not, no hard feelings.
Yes! The last thing I ever want anyone I know in real life to experience is to read my blog and see a veiled version of themselves there. Because that would be horrible. It’s not worth it…mostly because I hate awkward situations and it will ALWAYS be awkward with that person forever.
So well said!!!! I roll my eyes at how people can get so riled up…for about a week, before the next person pisses someone off and then goes to social media about it.
Some great things have been said on the matter by bloggers I respect, but I admit that I really can’t be bothered engaging in it myself. WHAT ARE WE DOING?!
I too write about silly things that are hardly controversial. I don’t need to use click bait or rage writing/reading to get my traffic…and as a result I do not have much traffic, but I have my sanity and my dignity!! x
That’s probably why I started reading your blog to begin with. 🙂 I remember a post about maybe a candy bar you liked, and I thought it was crazy how much I enjoyed reading a post about a candy bar. But that’s the kind of stuff I appreciate…it takes talent to make the mundane entertaining.
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I’m so glad my blog is what it is—and that I’ve mostly been able to refrain from anything like you’re talking about. I’ll stick with funnies and observations as long as humanly possible, because #nope to the alternative! And you keep doing you—I like your posts 🙂
Girl, you’re the bomb at what you do. It’s why I love you. Speaking of which…I just saw a new post in my inbox! It’s like someone sent me a snickers bar.
THIS. All of this. We have a real problem with noise pollution in this country, and bloggers are one of the primary spewers of smog.
I’m doing that thing right now where I point two fingers at my eyes, then point them at your eyes, and back again. Because I feel ya.
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I agree with you that stories like this don’t merit coverage or consideration. But the news media is not entirely to blame. Both parties in this story took to the internet and the story went viral. Without the internet argument, the news media won’t have picked it up. Let’s face it, in the competitive media circus, the media feeds us what we apparently wan to hear about.
Right? Like why is everything such a war really? Who cares!
I’d be happier if more people cared about which dress got chosen on “Say Yes to the Dress.” 🙂
Sometimes I think humans haven’t advanced much from the days of the Roman Empire, when folk enjoyed seeing hapless victims, none of whom looked like Russell Crowe, thrown to the lions.
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I love this comment. Probably a little too much.
While I think it’s ok for everyone to have their own opinion, our world as a whole as lost the art of discussion. Everything does not have to be a debate. I don’t have to win you over to my side or prove you wrong, or vice versa. We learn just by communicating and discussing. Then we move on. No hurt feelings. No internet wars. It seems too many people want to be right and famous all at the same time.
I’m late to this but totally agree. Thank you!