I love getting comments, so I make the effort to leave comments. That's how it works in conversations, so why not in blogs. You say something and I respond. And like conversations, you and I may not always agree with what is being said. For most grown ups, that can lead to great discussions or debates and can help to open up each other's understanding to a view point that is drastically different from their own.
For some grown ups though, it can lead to childish reactions. "I don't agree with what you say, so I'm going-to stick my fingers in my ears and shout NANANANA-BOOP BOO till you go away". It's rarer that you see this in real life conversations (though I have encountered it) but it happens a lot with blog comments. It's all thanks to the wonderful MODERATE button. Comments that need to be pro-actively approved before they can be seen by other people reading the blog. It gives the blog writer the ability to pick and choose which comments they publish. It's great if you have trolls or spammers. It's not so great when people use it to censor ideas that do match their own. It shuts down the opportunity for ongoing discussion and learning. It limits their readers to only hearing one opinion on a subject.
I encountered this situation this week. A group of adoptive parents where discussing a blog post that shared an adoption story. The main point of this blog post was that the adoptive parents re-created a water birth situation with their newborn adoptee and had it captured in pictures. All of the adoptive parents in the discussion agreed that this was odd, strange, unsettling and done by people who may not be well educated in adoption.
As an adoptive parent, but more so as an adoptee, I too had many thoughts and feelings on this blog post and the idea of re-creating a birth session. So I left this comment:
The photos are stunning and beautiful and on their own they would be a wonderful way to celebrate any family. BUT.....
I am both an adoptee and and adoptive mother. One thing that people often forget is that the cute little babies grow up. What seems like a wonderful idea through the rose coloured glasses of new adoptive parents, or the Hallmark version of adoption that people not connected to adoption believe, are not always wonderful ideas to people on the other side of the adoption triad.
I love both the first pictures my parents have of me and the first pictures I have of my son. They celebrate the milestone of each of us joining our family. None of these pictures try to react the pieces and moments of our lives that do not belong with the families we now live with, but belonged to our first families.
I showed these pictures to my (adopted) 11 year old son and explained what they were. His response was "that's kinda dumb, there's nothing wrong with adopting." And that is how these types of photos can make adoptees, like baby Sebastian who will one day grow up, feel - adoption must not be good enough for you if you needed to stage a pretend birth and bonding moment.
As soon as I saw "Your comments are awaiting moderation" pop-up, I knew that my comments would never make it on this blog. The other comments all left there are telling the blogger/photographer how wonderful and beautiful this is. Not a negative thought among them.
It's been 3 days now since I left my comments. I'm drawn back to the post throughout the day to see if maybe, just maybe the will post my comments. But I'm not holding my breath.
You can check out the post, and it's happy comments here: Birth without fear
UPDATED JUNE 6, 2014 - I have just found out that my comments have indeed been published. I'm glad that my voice and that of others has been heard.