Consider your impact
Frugal living and personal finance blogs rebuke people for “keeping up with the Joneses.” However, I find these same blogs to be in competition with one another as to who can be the “greenest” or “thriftiest.” The comment section is a double-edged sword. Instead of contributing to an article, readers often use it as permission to bully.
In my studies to become a secondary education teacher I have taken classes in technology instruction. Along with the wonders of technology I have learned of the dangers too, as in cyberbullying. Cyberbullying occurs because people are inclined to be more bold or outspoken from a keyboard than when speaking face-to-face. The bully cannot see the reaction of the victim so they may be more aggressive online than in person.
I was heartbroken when one of my favorite bloggers, Katy from The Non-Consumer Advocate, chose to take a break due to mean-spirited comments regarding her choice to not shop at a new specialty store. To rip her apart for one choice is ridiculous. Katy has made a pledge to buy nothing new, a pledge that she has kept for three years. She has set a wonderful example and inspired me to try the Compact earlier this year.
I have only started to consider my impact on the environment in the last three years. Although I enjoy blogs like No Impact Man, Fake Plastic Fish, and Miss Minimalist, I know that their lifestyles are too extreme for a beginner like me. It is my responsibility as a reader to choose what information I can incorporate into my lifestyle. I do not bake like The Frugal Girl or wrap gifts like The Simple Dollar but I glean much information from these blogs which improves my life.
Please remember that bloggers are people with feelings. Do not make rude comments to them that you would not say in person. The comment section is for you to contribute to an article, not to put it down or create a debate forum. If you are truly concerned with my meat consumption, for example, a comment like this,
“As a practicing vegetarian, I’d hardly call either fish or eggs “must eat” foods.”
would be more encouraging if worded like this,
“I am vegetarian so I choose not to eat fish or eggs. I find that I still get the nutrients I need.”
I vividly remember a conversation that took place only three years ago. My friend told me she was adopting a vegetarian diet because it was better for the environment. Growing up on a beef farm in rural Iowa, this was an entirely new concept to me. I have cut back on my meat consumption after consuming it at least twice each day for most of my life. I consider this a great improvement. Comments that attack my consumption of fish and eggs do not acknowledge my progress and are hurtful to me.
As people concerned with the environment, commercialism, and thrift we should be warm and encouraging. Blogs are wonderful tools for us to meet like-minded people and to learn from each other. Please be kind and practice common courtesy.
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