Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Private Life Behind a Public Face

This post has nothing to do with quilting, well, maybe a little.
Sometimes my brain is full and I need to empty it and writing is more fun than washing the floor and cleaning up the dog hair so I can baste a quilt.

I had a long conversation about things that happen on the internet with my son.  He and I have been having similar experiences and it was interesting to hear his perspective.  Both of us have had many positive encounters and received opportunities through our online presence.  I have connected online and in person with some wonderful people and I'm proud to say many of them are now my friends.  As are most things, it is a blessing and it can be tough sometimes too.

Part of having a blog, a flickr account, being on Linkedin, Facebook, Google +, Pinterest etc is having a public face.  What you put out on the internet under your name becomes what people know about you.  It's instant.  You can leave it, delete it, take it back, apologize for it, but it's out there nonetheless.  Because he is a technology native, essentially growing up online, he's more skilled at navigating social media than I am and seems to understand the ins and outs of an online presence.

I am a technology immigrant. I didn't used to consciously filter myself.  If I thought it, I said it, though I have always had an appropriateness filter that was ground into me by my parents.  Impulsivity is an attribute that doesn't really work in the world of social media. Because the internet strips away your tone of voice, gestures, and facial expressions, a filter can be important and how you say what you think, no matter your intention, can be misinterpreted.  It's interesting to me how innocent posts and comments can become controversial.  Words are powerful tools.

I'm a lady who makes quilts, has a dog, a family and likes potato chips, but is that really me?  Yes and no.  It's impossible, no matter how well you write, how honest you are, or how real you try to be, the internet cannot project a real person or a real life.  In a way internet camouflage is a good thing...you don't see my dust dinosaurs, my bad hair days, my runny nose, the unmade bed, or the dinner disaster that resulted in a call to Grubhub.  A slight move of my camera, or a good cropping makes my life seem much different than it really is.  It's bad too because those of you who know me only through the blog, know only a glimpse of what brings me joy, what frustrates me, what makes me sad, what I do well and what I suck at.

And then there is what my son calls, Internet Entitlement, or the tendency of some folks to think that they deserve things just because you're there and accessible to them.  Jon told me about a mom who wrote him multiple times asking him to rewrite his Adele remix without vocals so that her daughter could use it to sing to at a talent show.  I believe she's probably a very nice person who doesn't understand the amount of work that a task like that would require.  She also didn't know that at the time he was going to school with an insanely heavy load of classes, involved in extra stuff, playing gigs and living a real life.  Even after a polite response, she asked again and pressed him to take on this job for her.

I have been fortunate, the vast majority of my readers have been nothing but polite and respectful here, but everyone who puts themselves out on the internet has to deal with internet entitlement at one time or another.  There's a difference between politely asking a question or even asking for something to be done, given or sent, and then there is demanding and getting angry when someone doesn't respond, respond fast enough or provide what is requested.  There are jobs to do, illnesses, deaths in families, problems with friends, caring for parents, a dog with the runs pooping every hour.  There are sleepless nights, worries, dinners that need to be made, dishes to be washed, gigantic piles of laundry, bills to pay, children to care for, bathrooms to clean and time that should be spent with the ones we love as opposed to in front of the computer.

Is it the anonymity that the internet provides that encourages us to say whatever or ask whatever?  If I look a person in the eye would I be able to do the same?  Maybe yes, maybe no.  My sons remind me that the internet only encourages what is human nature.  I think that's probably true.

It gives me more empathy for people who are constantly in the limelight or politicians who have everything recorded, documented, and investigated.  I can't imagine the pressure of having to live a perfect life, be perfectly consistent in your opinions, look perfect all the time, always do what you say you're going to do, and only make good decisions. It also makes me admire people who have the guts to try, to stand up and say what they think, and to face the music.

The other day I got a comment that upset me and shared it with my wise friend Tricia.  She reminded me..."anonymous" doesn't know me, my values, my life, or who I am.  This person said what she/he said without regard to me.  The comment reflected on him/her, not on me.

I love my blog and blogging because it gives me an opportunity to write, share and in my own way teach.  I am willing to take the good with the bad and I will always try to assume good intent on the part of my readers.  I know my Auntie Arlene and my dad will always be reading, so how could I stop?

I won't disallow anonymous comments.  I will delete those comments that I don't want shared because this blog is not a democracy.  I welcome disagreement, but as the sidebar says, "It's OK to not like things."  It's not ok to be a dick about it....at least not on my blog.

120 comments:

MyLittleBlueDog said...

Hi there, I just love the term Internet Entitlement. The pieces are starting to fall into place now. Oh people are funny, one lady who made the most amazing cake that looked like a bunch of asparagus, said she got hate mail, over a cake?! Very strange people out there. My motto is that a lot of stuff should be thought but not said out loud. These people need a filter. Love your blog, love your quilts and that dog, so seriously scrumptious, hope his upset tummy is better.

The Calico Cat said...

"My sons remind me that the internet only encourages what is human nature."

So very wise... That sentence alone made my morning!

Ginger said...

"internet entitlement" - genius!! (keep your chin up, haters gonna hate)

Linda at Roscoe's Ma said...

Great post! There are some great folks out there. And there are the rude ones who are takers that spoil our day if we let them. They show up everywhere we go so why not on our blogs too. Internet entitlement...fabulous way to put it...but sad, isn't it? I'll say it again...great post! Well put.

Verena said...

Thanks for that post!
Here we are who say: We love your blog, your ideas, what you share,...
There is more love than other stuff.

tutto a posto said...

The Internet allows a type of "road rage" where you just give someone the finger and drive away without a care because at least you got it off your chest, and you will never see this person again. Not enough people read my blog so I am still excited when I see anyone comment. I would be really upset if someone wrote something nasty but, no one is twisting my arm to have a blog so it is a chance I take.

I am very sensitive and I hope well-mannered. I get upset when someone lets the door go in my face, but it is just the way things have digressed in society. I think people spend more time facing a screen than another human so they do not have opportunity to practice good manners and etiquette.

I get pretty frustrated with people daily, but am still pleasantly surprised when someone does or says something kind--it usually makes my day. I cannot tell you how many times I come home from shopping and tell my husband that I should never leave the house.

Anyway, I love your work and find your blog inspiring, which is why it is on my sidebar. Nasty comments are just like any other hurtful thing that people do to each other, and the hurt will pass. I think it just stings more to read it than to hear it.

Little Island Quilting said...

Here here...or is it hear hear?!

Deborah OHare said...

A great post! I have been experiencing a lot of "internet entitlement" lately. I often get asked to explain how I do something, which generally I am happy to do. What annoys is that after I have spent upwards of half an hour typing out a response I rarely get a thank you. Now that I can apply a term to it I feel better:)

Marg M said...

Human nature is a strange thing at times, I just know that I enjoyed reading your blog post, thanks, oh and I do love your quilts too.

Lisa said...

Hope you are not feeling too bad - I can't imagine how some of the huge bloggers feel when people leave nasty comments regularly. Keep doing what you do - I love your blog and I feel you are very generous with your talent and knowledge. And you know you don't have to have 'other stuff' going on in your life to say 'no' to people's requests. It's OK to just say 'no' for no reason at all :)

giddy99 said...

Excellent post! I think the Internet has allowed far too many Murmurers and Cowards to slither out there and be ugly without showing their faces (e.g. Anonymous). I believe that if someone can't stand up and say it without hiding their face or their name, then they shouldn't be saying it.

Part of it is Internet Entitlement, and some people just feel entitled all the time. Pushy Mom is probably pushy all the time, everywhere she goes (shudder)...

Andrea R said...

I get the same in a different corner of the internet where I am fairly well known. I'd love to say you get used to people saying "you suck!" but, well.

At least you do come to a point where you're able to deflect a lot of it and let some stuff not be so personal. Which is also kind of sad.

(I have to deal with a load of "Can you help me with this for free? It should only take a few minutes, I swear...")

Now I try to remember all the people who say I do great, instead of the once voice that said I sucked. Sometimes they are loudest and you have to drown them out.

emgower said...

Well said, thanks for sharing. Also, wanted to let you know I so enjoy your blog.

beth lehman said...

i often wonder how our children and this generation will grow up.... making real vs. online connections. i worry about technology and wonder how it's changing us as a culture. "entitlement".... certainly a culture shift. love what you do in your corner and how you've made it work for you. (and something you said about dust dinosaurs!)

Mary said...

Thank you for this post. Very thought provoking and well written.

Star of the East said...

I think that, on the contrary, the internet world, or at least the womens blogging world is much milder than real life. By far the most comments that a person gets are nice and encouraging.
The 'real world' is full with nasty people that don't see others but just ride over them, often with the pretext of honesty. The ugly people always take more space than the good people. Internet is a bliss, in my opinion :)

Pat said...

Internet Entitlement - what a perfect phrase. I love your blog, your quilts, your dog (been there with that pooping thing!). From what I've seen, you are more than generous with your time and your ideas. I'm sorry there are the occasional people who can only make nasty comments. Guess that's what that big ol' delete key is for. :D
Keep up your wonderful work.

Anonymous said...

From one anonymous reader out there: Thank you for the time and effort you put into this blog - it's my favorite part of the end of my day!

Donna said...

:-).

piece peace said...

Thanks for all...and I found lots...of the modern day wisdom regarding e-dentity on the internet. I thoroughly enjoy your work and your blog and I appreciate all the work it takes to make it available to anyone.

Leanne said...

Nicely put. I love reading your blog, have for a very long time now and it inspires and motivates me all the time. Do be the boss of your blog, I hope everyone expects nothing less.

Elizabeth said...

I couldn't have said it any better. I enjoy your blog, creativity, spunk and passion for life.

Christine Moon said...

Great post.

Obviously people that don't write blogs have no idea how much time, sweat, and angst can go into one single post. It may take a reader less than 15 minutes to get through a post that has taken me 3 hours to write. Seriously. Because I care (and obviously you care too) about what and how we say things.

Your comments about your self-filter also resonate with me. Good food for thought.

Thank you -

Elsa said...

I really like the philosophy of Thumper ~ 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all' and that includes the internet. I think that because it is so anonymous people think they can say anything and not suffer the consequences. It's not true. I've seen a few people get really hurt because of comments by other bloggers and people who read their blogs. It's really unkind and shouldn't happen.
I love your blog and your creativity ~ I'm always inspired by what you post.

Archie the wonder dog said...

Well said!

Jenny Wren said...

Well put!

Julie said...

J,

I agree with all you said. I know you don't need any kind of ego boost from me but I wanted to say how awesome you are for putting yourself out there even when there are Di##$

So thanks form all of us that love what you do and how you say it :)

Brenda said...

Thanks for a thoughtful post. I attempt to be careful about my online presence and I'm wary about social media. I've been a journalist for 25 years and I know the difference between public and private personas. I used to write a family activities column for my local newspaper and people would constantly come up to my children and say "I know what you did this weekend." Of course they didn't hear the squabbles or opposition to going on another family outing so I could write a column.
Thanks for the great work you do in blogland and in the real world.

patty a. said...

I love your blog. Internet entitlement hits the nail on the head! To me it shows that a person who leaves a nasty comment is emotionally immature and are jealous of your talent and successes. They are worthy only of a good swift delete! Take care and keep up the great work!

Susan said...

I only follow two blogs regularly and yours is the top of my very short list. It is funny how I developed an idea of the person you are from reading your blog. Then I had the chance to meet you and that was truly one of my favorite evenings. I am sure that the attention you have been getting in the quilting/bloggin world has changed your life a ton. I just want you to know that I for one, get so much out of your blog. Beyond all of the fantastic quilts, and tutorials, tips and tricks (loved the invisible zipper), I hear your voice. I am grateful to you for putting your self out there, for taking the risk. It is a generous gift to your readers.

Lynn said...

I have been reading your blog for a while and enjoying your posts. I have learned a great deal from you! This morning, I wanted to write to tell you that I thought your latest post was important and wisely written. Thank you!

I'll look forward to continued inspiration!

debra lynn said...

Well said. I often have to remind myself that "people perception of me is not a reflection of myself". Even IRL, I'm surprised at how some people can act. I am so appreciative of your blog and the quilting advice you gave me about 5 years ago when I just started quilting. I learned solely on via blogs and the lessons my mom gave me throughout childhood. My numerous family are very thankful as well since they have received lots of quilts based on your knowledge that you have passed on!

Aliceart said...

Good for you! I enjoy your blog so, your art has inspired me a great deal. Your writing has made me feel as though we are alike in many ways and could be good friends, but I'm aware that may not be so. I do so enjoy it as a friendly little corner in my day, and so hope that you will continue to find joy in it.

Those kids are smart, aren't they?

Jenny said...

Jacquie, thank you for this post -- and for letting us be anonymice.

First I want to say thank you -- I love love your work, appreciate your insights into life, enjoy a peek at family life when they're older than 3 (more quilting time, perhaps, more of their own personalities, amazingly, and sadly fewer wonderful whole-body hugs, it seems), and like feeling that I'm in your 'community.'

And thank you, too, for letting us be anonymous (or vaguely named). If the internet were made only of people like you, I'd have a social media persona to share, too. I admire your willingness to share yourself with strangers and lack of fear (real? apparent?) of the wackier of those strangers. I'm a journalist, like the commenter above, and feel entirely torn about social media -- I don't want to share 'me' with my work world, and it's a world where people try to sleuth out what they can about others to get an advantage. So I don't have a presence on the internets, at least for now, though I'm always questioning that when I find out another far-off friend has gone through big life events without my knowing it. And when I comment here, or ask a question that asks you to share more of your valuable time, I wish I had an identity to share back, as a way of saying 'thank you,' and 'I respect you,' and 'I want to be a real friend that you can get to know, like I feel I've come to know you' (even though, as you point out, that's a very carefully edited kind of knowing).

Anyway, thank you. And I'm sorry. And someday I'd like to meet you and chat and share quilts I've made with snippets of your ideas, and string together my anonymous comments so you can see some of me emerge, and fill in the person around that. But I hope you keep doing what you do (though I can't really ask that of you -- it's not my place), and I'll look forward to appreciating you -- something I wouldn't be able to do without this internet.

Cheers!

Netta said...

Well said. A good reminder of the power of words and personal responsibility. You enriched my day, thank you.

jill said...

I'm not sure the internet is different. People have become less civil with each other for some time now. Wish it weren't true....

I enjoy your blog and thank you for it!

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Amen, sister. That "Tricia" friend of yours is a wise woman.

Debbie said...

I really appreciated your thoughtful post - thank you! And thank you for continuing to inspire us in a variety of ways through your blog.

Dana - Old Red Barn Co. said...

amen!!!!

Deere Driver said...

Well said, but the last line is the icing and the chuckle!
Go Girl!

Bridget said...

Trolls. That's what they are. And on a happier note, I have finished laying out the blocks for the modern quilt I started at your Albuquerque workshop! Thanks for being a great teacher.

Amy said...

Well stated and refreshing! Thank you!

mascanlon said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to thoughtfully write about this topic. As a no blogger but often commenter my world is richer for tall the inspiration and generosity online. I try to always be mindful of the bloggers time and effort and never say anything negative.

Jaye said...

Thank you for reminding your readers that your blog is not a democracy. You help all of us who are lord and master over our little piece of Internet space.

Regina said...

I think you are wonderful, Jacquie, and I so appreciate your blog!

Jan said...

Great post. I agree with what you've written.

Camille said...

Oh Jacquie, you are amazing. You said all of this so perfectly. You can't see me over here, but I actually applauded at the end. Sometimes things like this need to be said.

I tried to write a post along these lines, but ended up taking it down because people were upset that I asked them to read through posts where I had already answered their questions. It was ugly. I'm sure I said it all wrong, which didn't help. Next time I'll just have you write it for me. You don't have anything else going on, right? ;-)

Keep it up, there are so many of us cheering for you!

Anne said...

I can't say much that hasn't already been said. Sadly, entitlement is an appropriate word for many in the world in general these days, but I still like to believe that most people are good hearted and kind. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. It's a great conversation to have with my own kids.

Lisa E said...

"Internet entitlement". Love that phrase. Yes, I've seen it all too often. Thanks for this post, and I want to let you know that we really appreciate all that you do for the modern quilting community.

SusieDW said...

Well expressed, Jacquie. From your heart. I think a really important point here is that all benefit from listening to wisdom of youth just as youth can benefit from true wisdom shared by elders. Both in the example with the "mother and Adele" and yourself learning from Jon. I can think of the Internet as an old fashioned "party line" on my grandparents phone. Assume someone is listening in and will spread the rumors, gossip, harsh words. Some people just like to maim and hurt over social media. They are cowards to not confront their target face to face. We carry one because we love and respect all the great appreciation we have of generous talents such as you.

Sharon said...

I love your post and in particular, the last line of it. I do wonder though if it's really human nature shining through. As people have commented,in face to face encounters, the emotions kick in, the upbringing of "mind your manners" or "think before you speak". I think it's the anonymous atmosphere that allows the bad behavior.

Valerie said...

Amen Jacquie

Doreen said...

some people just have no sense , real or otherwise.
thank you for your wonderful blog and sharing your life with your fellow quilters. You inspire us do do our own thing and still play nice!
Anonymous should have learned that in Kindergarten.

Doris said...

I admire you for the strength/restraint/courage/ whatever it took for you to write this post. very thought provoking, well phrased, and I think you got your point across without any gestures or intonation. I'm sure we have all had those comments, the one that sort of takes the wind out of your sails or rains on your parade for a day or two; I know I have, and I have no where near the number of readers or exposure that you do. Your sons are wise beyond their years, methinks, and yes, human nature comes across in everything. Thank goodness most of us were raised with good values and taught when to keep your trap shut. I hope that one day I can get to know you as someone other than a profile picture on a computer, but until then I promise not to presume IO know you. and, I'll keep reading right along with Auntie Arlene and your Dad.

Tracy said...

Well said and you have a wise-well spoken son. I suppose there will always be those people either anonymous or face to face who don't "get it" when we can't change things for them or they don't like our way. Keep up the positive attitude, you are doing great and don't mind them!

folksmith said...

you are so creative, i look forward to your blog, thanks for being out there.

liz said...

Your blog is one of my favorite places in blogland and I appreciate you! Thank you!!

Maureen T. said...

Wonderful post!! Years ago, crabby, tactless, and self-congratulatory people only impacted those in their immediate area. Now, by posting one stupid remark, they can hurt many. I say, "Delete away!!". There is enough negativity in the world without their input.
On a positive note, you are an inspiration - both as a quilter and a human being. Thank you!

Corrine said...

Not much more I can add here, but one thing is for sure. Most of the readers and responders are good and sincere people. Rats to to the rest. I will spare you my mental characterization of that person. It is a form of bullying. Without talent or skill these persons become bitter, and still accomplish little. I say get away from the computer and go do something, anything. You will feel better. OK, I'm done. PS. on my little blog I blocked anonymous comments, quilting, sewing and knitting have little in common with male enhancement products. (((smile)))

Lois H said...

Jacquie,
I first met you at the KC Modern Quilt Guild and was SO impressed with how kind and caring a Woman you are.
Your blog sure expresses what I think some people are just beginning to realize. You couldn't have stated a Major Issue any better.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your family, your home and your WONDERFUL Quilting talents !!!

Lois

Elizabeth Dackson said...

Very well put, Jacquie, I couldn't agree more. Sometimes I think you're right, that people say things anonymously on the Internet that they'd never dream of saying to an actual person standing in front of them, but then again, I think your son is right, too, it's probably just human nature being magnified. I'm sorry to hear that someone left you a dick-y comment, I agree, it's just not cool. Good for you for hitting the delete button. Hugs to you!!!

Sfredette said...

Hurray for you!!!!

P.S. I love your blog, very much. Even if you just posted pictures of your quilts, it'd still be one of my favorites.

Jody said...

I love how you wrote this post Jacquie....I call it the "stroke and the slap" - you are respectful, balanced in your thinking and then you get to the point...It's so not okay to be a "dick" on someone's blog. People are entitled to their opinions, but they should encourage respectful discourse! You go girl!

Jenelle said...

Thank you for writing this Jacquie. You've put into words something that has been nagging at me lately, but I haven't know how to broach on my own. "Internet Entitlement" is such a good way to label this and you do see it everywhere, even in our relatively small corner of blogland. I'm so sorry for the bad experience you had. Delete away! :)

Patricia said...

Hi, there. I have been following your blog for a long time now (all the way from Brazil!). Never commented before, I think... will do that more often. Just to make sure you know how much your quilting and writing is appreciated. Agree with everything you said here. And you must take care. Patricia

beachiesews said...

Well, good for you! Just because you are nice does not mean you have to be a door mat for some clod!

Irelle@JibberishDesigns said...

Very wise words from both mother and son. I appreciate your blog and all the other things you do to promote the Modern Quilt movement. It's a shame that our society is getting ruder by the minute. I'm looking forward to meeting you at QuiltCon! Hang in there and thanks for the post!

Marianne, aka Ranger Anna said...

Here, here! You rock!

Lynne said...

Well said! Sorry you had a hurtful experience, and thank you for sharing your thoughts and creativity with us all. :D

Adrianne said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful post. I really enjoy your blog, and find your quilts incredibly inspiring. I'm glad this hasn't put you completely off blogging and that you are taking control of your own domain.

Chris said...

Very well put! I like to remind myself that usually only disgruntled people speak out: the complainers, the whiners, the ENTITLED! As my old supervisor used to say, "Where are all the gruntled people?" LOL

Your post made me aware of how many positive comments I fail to leave because I'm rushed, lazy, whatever. I will try harder to leave positive comments to try to make up for negative commenters. In psychology there's a term for dwelling on the one negative comment, Mental Filter. Remind yourself what you're doing and stop it right away by reminding yourself that you got 100 positives for every negative and there are likely 200 positive people (like me) who just didn't bother to comment.

Julie said...

So politely said....well done.

agent99 said...

Well said. And.. You are a damn good quilter!

jane said...

Bravo!

Byrd said...

I was in my local thift store today and spotted an old cubed box I thought I would convert into thread storage cabinet, a la the beautiful display you have in your studio. It made me very happy to have found your blog and the inspiration you have given this old-school quilter. Now I read this and I am terribly sorry some jerk wrote something that hurt you. My advice? FUGGEDABOUTIT! Just keep doing the beautiful things that you do! Take care, Byrd

Library Gal Quilts said...

Hey Gal, I have always loved your blog. I think you have made some important and intense points today. To me having the opportunity to write things to myself (really some of what the blogging does for me is keep me going forward with projects and keeping a low key journal of my life. Your laundry list of "life" is excellent. So much goes on besides quilting but quilting is our connection. Once we are connected we share. And what we share should be good things. Wishing you lots of happy quilting days and many supportive comments always. As for the thoughtless lurkers and creepers and anonymous comments. Consider the source and know you are loved and respected by those who sign our names! xo Pam in Chico

Just Crafty Enough said...

Your blog is beautiful. It is stunning. It inspires me to keep trying to manipulate fabric. You make it look so easy.
Thank you for showing us your work, and your studio space.
I am sorry that you were "bit" by "anonymous" to the point that you were moved to write this post.
Delete what ever rubs you the wrong way.
I say it is time to revert to the rules that my grandmother went by: If you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all. Would you go up to someone at the coffee shop and say "I don't like your dress very much"? Even in a nice tone of voice? No. That is just rude, and there is no place for it, in life, or on-line. There are social niceties that keep the fabric of our community a nice place to be. Let's all embrace them.
I hope health descends on your family, and your dog.

Bia said...

I have been a college professor since 1995 - and have a very public life. It's amazing how easy it is to say, "no." Like, "No, I don't respond to email on the weekend. I don't work weekends." And, you know what, my students have learned to contact me during the work week..or they figure it out on their own. We all need time to be creative, to clear our heads, and to spend time with the people we love. I'm in control of my life. And I like to keep it that way! So amen, sister!

Candice said...

Perfectly said- just perfect!! Thank you!!

Esch House Quilts said...

Wise words from you and your sons. There will always be idiots out there - hopefully the thoughtful people outnumber them.

JaneB said...

Well said. Thank you so much for sharing a slice of your life.

Lynne said...

It must have taken quite a bit of time to write this post. You took the high road and responded with grace and frankness, when you probably felt angry and shaken. Good for you. The last line sums it up nicely.

Elle said...

Hi Jacquie,
Thanks for another great post. I had a case of "internet entitlement" recently, and it really frustrated me. I had commented on a blog a long time ago about a different method for quilt-as-you-go that I've been figuring out, which I'd hoped to do a tutorial about at some point, and a woman wrote and said something like "hurry up and get that done - i want to know how to do it". I sort of ignored the rudeness of it and let it go, but she recently wrote again with a long explanation of how she had a full time job and very little time to quilt and she needed my help because she wanted to finish a queen sized quilt and that I just had to help her even though she hadn't even tried to figure it out herself. My thought was "hello, I have a full-time job and very little time to quilt, too...I don't make any money from my blog or quilting (though I've been quilting for a long time and wish I could make it into a paying job)), so why are you demanding that I help you?" It was really discouraging, but I tried to politely respond, and I spent an hour long train ride trying to describe my process in a complete way, as well as giving her reference to a book I'd seen years ago that I found helpful. Did I receive even a "thank you"? Nope. Sometimes people suck. It's hard to let it flow off of you like water off a duck's back, but that's my new image that I try to conjure when someone is a jerk. We'll see how it works!
Thanks for all that you do and share. I feel so inspired by what you do, and someday I'll even finish my existing projects for others and make a quilt for me that is inspired by one of yours! :)

Bea GarcĂ­a said...

Well said! Love the phrase "Internet Entitlement"!!

Lisa C said...

I couldn't wait to scroll through the comments and I was so thrilled to see how positive they were. I've just been actively reading blogs about a year. I hope it makes sense when I say I've learned a lot over the last year of what bloggers expect from their readers and what readers should or should not expect from the blogs they read. I think blogs are like tv shows - watch what you want and turn the channel if it doesn't interest you. Unless a blogger throws out an open ended question asking for feedback, I personally think it's rude for a reader to comment negatively or against the blogger's viewpoint. I like to think that if I wouldn't say it to their face, I certainly shouldn't say it online - especially without the benefit of facial expressions, etc. Having said that, my hardest thing to get used to was if I asked the blogger a question about something in their post and they never responded. (In this case it was a pretty detailed post on how they organized their sewing room with pictures of their stash. I asked if they kept a line of fabric together (say a complete fat quarter set) or if they separated it.) From my point of view, if the blogger would have given a talk and I raised my hand, they would have answered me. But an earlier response pointed out that she spent 30 minutes answering a question only to not receive a thank you. I can see this frustration also. Thank you for your blog. Thank you for putting yourself out there. And thank you for reminding us that we need to mind our manners!

Julia York said...

Thank you for your blog. Without your inspiration I would never have begun quilting, I value being able to share in your creative journey. Don't let the folk who love to 'play holier than thou' get to you. We all meet them, somehow being able to be anonymous makes them brave.... that must say something about them (coward perhaps?) Take care and please keep sharing.
Jx

Susan G said...

I'm sitting here thinking about the lecture you just gave for my sewing group and the comment that one of our members said to you. I'm not sure if it's better to hear rude comments in person or read them from an anonymous source; to see the face that spoke the hurtful words or to imagine how ugly an anonymous face would look. Either way, I do know that in the short time that I've gotten to know you and hear you speak in person, you are someone I admire. I admire your courage to start a new career and your blog, to write about your life, passions, and inspirations. Please don't stop being that unfiltered, unafraid, unwavering you.

Nanette Merrill said...

I adore you. Really. I don't have time to comment like I used to but I do read and love your projects. My favorite line of your post was "they don't have a right to be a dick about it". It made me laugh. We are kindred spirits, really. And I'm so grateful to have met you.

Joan said...

Bravo, very well said.

I love your studio reveal, so inspiring, just like this post today!!

jeifner said...

Well said. I saw that asparagus cake that a previous commenter mentioned. It was a stunner and she even gave a tutorial on how to make it and ppl personally threatened her well being over it. So bizarre. I appreciate all you share and especially the time you seem to so lovingly devote to your blog and creations. I think we've all been blessed by your presence on the internet. So thank you, you're wonderful.

Michelle said...

Oh, Jacquie, so well put. My blog has been silent lately because my marriage seems to be hanging on by a thread, my grandfather passed away, and I'm trying to work at 5:30 in the morning so I can still get off in time to pick up my kids from school. I don't have the energy for a blog sometimes, and I feel so guilty. But then I remember, hey, wait, it's MY blog! I can share what I want, when I want. t's your generosity that allows us to peek at what you feel like sharing. I value every sentence and photo from you, even though I'm lax in telling you so.

Thank you, and I hope you feel all the love. :0)

Ramona said...

"I welcome disagreement, but as the sidebar says, "It's OK to not like things." It's not ok to be a dick about it....at least not on my blog."

I like that! Good post.

Mama Pea said...

Jacquie, I met you at Market last spring. I know you don't remember me. You signed a book for me. I adored you then, and I adore you even more after this post. I. Love. It. You nailed it. I hope I can get you to Michigan for our guild meeting. I really want you to come!

Dawn said...

Don't let nasty people spoil your days. Most of them are unhappy with their lives and want to make others unhappy, too.
And here is what I think most about this whole subject.....Why the heck is someone reading your blog if they don't like what they see??? Why don't they just head down the road to someplace that does make them happy??? Because I'm here to say it goes right back to what I said in my 2nd sentence.
I'm sorry that you had whatever happened happen,but you know who you are and what you are so don't let a mean spirited person make you doubt yourself. Blow it off and get on with what you do best....cause we love seeing and hearing about it. :)

Jeannette said...

Wow what a well writen post that really explores so much that goes without notice to most...as in myself. I am totally shocked that anyone would be so demanding /rude to expect anything from a blogger/person. I am very thankful for bloggers that inspire me, expose me to things I would never have know before. I am so sorry you have had inappropiate interactions. You are one of the most giving/warm/incoruaging/genuine persons i have had the pleasure to meet. Please kick those not worthy of you to the curb an keep on going!

Paula said...

Jacquie...I just love ya!! You are one of the best of the best!

GlescaGal said...

Thank you for a very thoughtful and helpful post. It's good to remind everyone that the internet also requires a degree politeness and thoughtfulness towards others too. It's forgotten all too often.
I do like you your last comments. They might come in useful at some point but I will credit them to you.

Suzanne said...

You have a wonderful blog. You are a wonderful quilter and artist. Keep being YOU!

Dawn said...

THANKYOU so much...it's real, right and raw....I have been sabotaged by bad comments from anonymous too and so needed this encouragement atm. X x

nancyinfr said...

I found your blog via a google search for wonky log cabin tutorials. As a former Kansas girl (Prairie Village!) and mother of two sons, I felt an instant connection to you. I've followed your blog ever since. I even bought your book! I think your boundaries on your personal life are very healthy and will continue to admire your work and be a better quilter because of your inspiration!

jfor said...

Just want to say thank you for your lovely blog and sharing your beautiful work! You always say things that I feel so in tune with and make my life brighter - so sorry someone had to spoil it a bit for you - manners seem to be so lacking these days. My tender heart keeps me from trying the blog thing. You are brave! Keep on truckin!!!!

mamadevlin said...

"Entitlement" is a great word...I've often used it when I describe those that have grown up in the world of technology. With digital cameras you can automatically see pictures, with phones you can text or call and "expect" someone to immediately answer. With DDR you can watch your show when you want (and skip commercials), with downloads you can set up a playlist to listen to exactly what you want with out radio advertisements. With the internet the world is at your feet, you don't have to wait for the information to get to you. You can order what you want nad have it delivered to you without ever having to leave your chair. You don't have to "wait" for anything....which leaves to me my favorite phrase "Entitled Indviduals". I think that "Internet Entitlement" has created "Entitled Individuals". I get what I want when I want....

Great post!

Lana said...

Such a sweet blog of yours...i love it and I will always pop in to see what you are doing / writing / creating...
Just sayin.

Andee said...

Bravo! Well said.

Lorraine said...

Well said ....what did people say before the Internet " We can't please all of the people all of the time" .... I love reading your blog ... And pick up some useful ideas ...that I would never have thought of .... And so I bought your book ...Well done
I live in Australia and with the Internet I have stretched my quilting ability from what I started in classes here to what I do know ... It is because you are prepared to share and explain ...your wonderful creative process . THANK YOU
Jealous people will always be jealous you can't change them ... And they are always anonymous .
Lorraine
From Blueys Beach
Australia

LoBo333 said...

You have an awesome blog and I think you are SPOT ON - both with the Internet Entitlement problem and your ability to control your blog and delete any bu##h*(d comments.
Thanks for sharing so much in your blog.
Ignore the crockpots and blog on!

Katherine said...

Brilliant post, Jacquie. I was nodding my head as I read. Thank you so much for writing this.

Love your blog with all that you share(have followed here for years) and this post is just one of the many reasons why. :o) Write on!

Lee Ann Lively said...

Bravo!! Well Said!!

Ginny said...

You are not only wonderful with needle and thread but also with words, I agree wholeheartedly. I love reading your blog and posts like these are important, because of the anonymity the internet provides, and the perceptible shift to a self focused "me" attitude in our culture it is important to remember there are or at least should be boundaries, IMHO. There are real people behind all the instantaneous connections we make. Delete away and yes, even if I may not like it - I do respect the work. Thanks for such a thoughtful post!

charlotte said...

Thanks for the thoughtful post. Every time I read something like this, I think of my mother, who often said "If you have nothing nice to say, keep your mouth shut."
I deal with people every day in retail, who think they are entitled to treat those who serve them like crap. Everyone should have to work a year in retail so they know how it feels. You are awesome, so just keep on doing what you do and delete the bad comments. No one needs them.

Nicci P said...

Jacquie- I really appreciated this post when I originally read it and I couldn't help but think of it as I watched Mo Rocca's segment on this morning's CBS Sunday Morning. The gentleman's analogy in which he compared people's abilty to make anonymous commentary online to a bathroom wall was so apropos!
Thank you for the inspiration and the time you devote to providing it. I love your work and look forward to your class at Quiltcon.

Anonymous said...

I disagree that a comment you don't like says more about the person who wrote it than about you. People write what they do in response to what you write. Believe it not, not everyone will either like you or think you a nice person - I have no idea as it is my first visit here. However, if you take a public space to give an opinion well people will have opinions on it. They don't like you and you don't like them. Life.

If you are entitled to say what you want then so are they. Many bloggers are often critical sometimes personally and often opinionated and rude yet they don't understand that that too is provocative to people. It is just terribly one sided don't you think.


I'm not for abuse but I am for freedom of speech and the right to offend or be offended. Again that's life.

Please take my comments generally, I have no idea what the comment you did not like was, maybe it was very abusive. I don't know you either so I have no opinion at all on what you say.

Mary Keasler said...

"My sons remind me that the internet only encourages what is human nature. I think that's probably true." I totally agree. As it happens to me in literal life as well as on my blog, I have come to take your friend, Tricia's, stance. It is those who choose to be a dick about things are the ones we should choose ignore. I always tell my husband that you will not ever win an argument with Archie Bunker. Just let him fade away with laughter.
Love all your new terminology, by the way. Stay strong, stay YOU.

Live a Colorful Life said...

This is such a well-written post, something that I think about a lot, talk to friends about a lot, especially those who also blog. Thanks for taking the time to give us your perspective.

Angie said...

"It's not ok to be a dick about it, at least not on my blog!" I freaking LOVE that.

Mama Spark said...

Oh my dear Miss J, your friend was right. We all love your work and how giving you are with your ideas. I'll try to call you soon to catch up!

Internet entitlement? Priceless!!

Kristin said...

Beautiful, Jacquie. Very well said. And "internet entitlement" is a term I'll be using for sure!

happy zombie said...

Amazing post, everything so beautifully said! I'm constantly dealing with The Entitlers (as I call them), and I'm almost to the point where I want to pull the plug on my blog, twitter, FB, etc. I have seen the Entitlers all over the internet - no one is immune to them. I have had to remove my email address from my blog - and this makes me so sad that it's come to that type of action on my part because my favorite part about blogging is the social aspect of it.

The only thing that keeps my blog afloat is knowing all the wonderful friendships (like yours!) and opportunities I've made through blogging (not to mention I enjoy blogging). I won't bombard you with all of my horrible experiences with The Entitlers (which would blow peoples minds), but know you're not alone and I appreciate SO MUCH you writing this post. I think my new method of handling e-mail (entitler-mail) is to respond with a link to this post!

PS, I LOVE "It's not ok to be a dick about it....at least not on my blog" - I want to embroider that!!

PatM said...

Well said!

Violet Craft said...

Oh Em Gee Jacquie! Your post is nothing short of perfect. Because I have been wading in that thing we call life, I just had a chance to read it... and I am so very glad that I did. Thank you for perfectly articulating what I so often feel and could not seem to find the right words to say.