The 5th day of the Comment Challenge involves commenting on a post that you disagree with. This activity aims to get you to think about how you manage conflict and posts that challenge your thinking. It took me a while to find a post to reply to but I ended up returning to a post that I have mentioned before.
Talking to a New Zealand politician
Stephen Franks is an opposition politician who clearly is anti midwife but the trouble is, you never know with politicians just how much is personal opinion and what is being regurgitated for political gain.
What happened as a result of you disagreeing with the blogger? How did they respond? How did you respond?
I have just submitted the comment so will report back later about the response.
I was very polite, possibly more polite than I would be usually because I was speaking to a national figure. I was very conscious that I did not want to get into an argument, especially if I did not have any hard evidence to back me up. This is not because there isn't evidence but because I did not have it to hand. I did not have time to go and look for evidence so I really just spent my comment asking clarifying questions. If you are going to get into an 'argument' I think it is vital that you have credible evidence to back you up. I was also very conscious that I was representing the midwifery profession so did not want to say anything that would bring the profession into dispute.
What do you usually do if you find a post with which you disagree? Do you comment publicly? Email the blogger? Or do you just move on?
My response to a post that I disagree with very much depends on how important the post is to me, and whether I have the time or emotional energy to engage with the blogger. I have to decide if there is a 'reward' in it for me ie I can make a useful contribution to the debate. I may also comment if I am really, really passionate about getting my view across, even when I know I have the minority view. Sometimes I know a comment is going to make no difference to the views of the blogger or readers, so I will pass on without commenting because I do not want to feed ill informed rantings.
However, I am mindful of my position as an educator with a growing online profile, so I try to be careful about how I contribute to a discussion and what I say. I do consider myself to be a role model to students both as midwife and blogger, so I try to make sure that I always comment in a positive, constructive way.
If you comment, typically how do you engage the blogger? Do you ask questions to better understand his/her position? Do you make statements to explain your position? Do you track comments so that you can return to continue the conversation?
The answer very much depends on what mood I am in at the time. If I am feeling grumpy I may just state my opinion and leave without looking back. But if I want to make a constructive contribution to the conversation and see how my comments are received, then I will ask questions that encourage further debate and track the comment.
If you're a blogger, how do you feel if people post comments where they disagree with you? How do you handle these?
I enjoy receiving comments that disagree with my postings because they are likely to fuel more discussion. I have only had two 'negative' comments. Both these comments I have used to explore my own online behavior and I have used them as learning opportunities. I always endeavor to be polite in my answer. I do not moderate this blog because I want people to feel free to comment how they wish. But I would delete anything that was very unnecessarily offensive - as yet I have not had to do so.
Image: 'When we turn our backs on each other...' tanakawho