Jul 22, 2010

blogger advice, and salsa.

recently, i've been thinking a lot about the influence and responsibility we carry have as bloggers.

with the ability to share our thoughts with all of kingdom-come does comes with a price. if you write something, more than likely, someone will read it. and if someone reads it, you have just influenced them in some way.

and yes, i know this is your personal space. for some of us, it's our diary. we pour out our most private thoughts, desires, and fears. it's our place to let it all go; to find our release. it's therapy.

... and that's awesome. that's what a diary is for! i would much rather you vent your angers and frustrations here than drown your sorrows in tequila later.

don't get me wrong, either: i believe in free speech. i would never pretend to tell you what you can and cannot do. your blog is your prerogative.

but i can't ignore the seemingly flippant attitude that keeps popping up in my google reader.

if you would consider your blog your diary, you pretty much get a free pass here. pass go and collect $200. you share your thoughts with your friends, and you don't expect anything more from it but companionship and stress-release: a perfectly good use of social networking.

but if you believe your opinion commands respect, authority, and action, watch yourself.

what caused this bunch in my britches? well honestly, i've kinda wanted to smack one of my (previously) favorite bloggers. and it takes a lot for me to get ticked off.

i feel no need to name names, but basically, this blogger recently seems to feel they are an expert in all areas... politics, supplements, veganism, you name it. and that's all fine and dandy, except for the fact that much of the information they post "as fact" is completely inaccurate.

i'm certainly not trying to toot my own horn, or say i'm better than this person. they're hilarious, always make me think, and have introduced me to many new products. they also have probably 293874293874 times more readers than i do. 

my problem is that this blogger hasn't researched the opinions they are passing on to their readers.

if this blogger prefaced their thoughts by saying something like "well, this is what's worked for me," or "in my opinion," i would get off their case. but far too often, i come across people who don't know what their talking about pushing their thoughts as facts that EVERYONE should follow.

sometimes, it's no big deal. but other times, it could really impact someone. for example: if you eat like crap, that's swell. i wish you wouldn't, but it's your life and your wallet, so you eat however you please.

but advising confused readers to exactly copy your habits, and then guaranteeing health and happiness, like i've seen a lot of recently? now i'm gettin' ticked. your choices are your own decisions, but misleading someone with inaccurate information is just downright shameful.

and my place in all this? here's the scoop: i'm 20 years old. i'm immature, haven't experienced all life has to offer, and don't pretend to know everything.

what i do on a daily basis works for me, but it certainly doesn't work for everyone. but what i post on my blog, i hold myself accountable to.

if i say something, you'd better believe i've put time and energy into it. i've researched it, thought about it, asked around, exhausted it, read about it, and just generally am incredibly passionate about it. not to say i'm never wrong, but if i am, it will be a GENUINE error on my part. and if i don't know the answer, i won't give you my thoughts until i do. period.

there's a difference between posting your feelings/thoughts on something, and telling other people to believe something as fact

if you blog with a purpose, whether it's product reviews, nutritional advice, animal rights awareness, etc., you are directly influencing others and the way they think. even if someone doesn't agree with you, what you say will subconsciously stick with them.

what should you ALWAYS do when you read personal media/opinions?

1. think for yourself! you have a brain, use it!

2. don't doubt your intuition. if it seems wrong, it probably is.

3. research, research, research! never take something at face value.

4. consider the source: are they an authority on the matter? have a degree in it? years of life experience? a reputable source?

5. stand up for yourself: don't be afraid to challenge them, or double check their sources.

please know this: i want my blog to be a safe, encouraging place. if i can help it BY ANY MEANS, i will not post something irresponsibly. and always feel free to ASK ME ABOUT IT! i just wanted to warn you guys.

ok, rant over. i hold nothing personal against this blogger, seriously. it was just a recent example that came to mind showing you guys how dangerous blogging can be, if you aren't careful. just because someone says something confidently doesn't mean you can check your sense of reason at the door.

now, on something a little happier.

like mexican food.

fresh, summery salsa recipe
adapted from simply recipes, of course.
- 2-3 medium tomatoes, about 1 1/2 lbs (i used cherry tomatoes from mom's organic garden!), diced
- 1/2 huge red onion, diced
- 3 or 4 jalapenos, seeded and diced
- 2 or 3 big handfuls of fresh corn (unfortunately, i only had frozen)
- 1 lime, zested and juiced (very important!)
- 1 big bunch fresh cilantro, chopped fine
- 1 small bunch fresh oregano, chopped fine
- big pinch salt, little pinch pepper

directions: combine. let rest in the fridge a few hours to meld flavors.

that was difficult, i know... now, the pictures:

have you ever read someothing you knew was inaccurate on a blog?
what did you do?
what kinds of information do you post about?


  1. Whoa! Good post!! Ive totally noticed that- even with so called experts.... Its really frustrating because theyre so often looked to as authority figures- and with no disclaimer!! Im always super nervous about coming of as preachy or superior- but it's usually my lack of writing skills rather tha any intention, haha.
    Great post!!!

  2. I completely agree with your point of view. This is something EVERYONE should take notice of! You give excellent tips, and your words are very inspiring.

    Keep up the good work :)



  3. Great post, Rebekha. I've noticed some of the same things lately, which sort of makes me sad, lol. I try not to get too opinionated on my blog, unless it's something I'm REALLLY affected by...and even then, I sort of skirt-tail the issue. I'm just a pushover, really - never one to push my beliefs on anyone. Sometimes I'll have stuff typed and then just decide "hmmm, maybe not." Sometimes I worry I say too much already, but then need to remind myself that there's always going to be someone who has SOME sort of issue with something I write/believe. Sad, but true. I make sure before I do an information post that I get multiple resources - which is why there hasn't been one in a while. I just don't have time :( BUT - I'd rather there not be one, than put one up with incorrect information.
    And, like you said - just because I prefer healthier foods, doesn't mean I tell everyone else that they should, too. That's their business, not mine.
    Have a good one, girl!

  4. A lot of times I wonder, why do people even read my blog? I have a degree in math, I don't look fit/healthy but all I talk about is eating and exercise. What the hell do I know?

    ...so i just try to be candid about my thoughts and hope I don't come across like I'm some sort of authority.

  5. hello,
    I've gandered by your blog a few times, and just wanted to commend you for writing this post. I can quite relate to Jessica from Healthy Exposures - I'm a bit of a pushover. I have my own views, but I'm not comfortable inflicting them on people ;)
    I don't know who you are referring to, but I agree with the points you raised. I think in the blogging world it can be easy to fall prey to the power of persuasive writing - particularly to those who somehow (consciously or subconsciously) manage to come across as an 'authority' on a subject - and sometimes people need to be reminded not to take all they read as fact. Likewise that any hypothetical 'authority' bloggers with possibly a large following need to be aware of the influence they can have, and take responsibility for it - like you said.
    It's good to read about different approaches and methods to health and fitness/ethics/ etc - and I find some bloggers with certain strong views interesting from a challenging-your-own-views perspective - even if it does just mean that it reaffirms my own beliefs - but I can respect someone who puts their own views and opinions out there to potentially be criticised, so long as they are just that: views and opinions, and not holier-than-thou preaching. If something is written in 'views and opinions' (if the writer isn't an expert) then the audience feels more at ease and appreciated...if that makes sense? Like the writer is allowing for input, and respects the reader. Whereas if it's just straight preaching in the sense of "this is what I do and this is the right way you are wrong blah blah blah" after a while it can really alienate the reader...we all have minds after all!
    I really really like this post!! It's a really great reminder.

  6. Great post, Rebekah! I've stumbled across a few blogs like that and to be honest, a lot of the times I end up leaving and not returning. I don't like feeling like an opinion is being forced on me and it kind of irks me when I see information being posted that's inaccurate. I can understand making mistakes as we're human and it happens (all the time!) but a lot of the time it's stuff that was just not researched enough.

  7. Interesting point - I think especially where something as important as food/nutrition is concerned it's important for bloggers to exercise caution when presenting what are often opinions, as fact. As you point out, what works for one person might not work for another and so on.

    Sarah x

  8. I really try to remember when I read blogs that I need to always use my brain, and I am always hoping other do the same when they read mine; this isn't really about products or nutrition, just with more general stuff like opinions or feelings even. I liked your list because it IS important to remember that each person has their own philosophy on life and you have to stick to yours and trust your intuition.

    For a second, I worried that I was 'the' blogger...but then I realized I am not a vegan...and I can't claim to be one of your favorites. ;) AND I don't have that many readers. I get really annoyed by some of the bigger blogs that ironically are some of the first I read...I have to hold back not to rant at them sometimes.

    Overall, this post reminds me that everything you say anywhere DOES leave a touch of influence and idea on them. I will be more mindful to leave things like 'everyone is different but this works for me', etc. Great post!

    This really goes for everything...we should really use our intuition in magazine articles, etc too about what is healthy. A lot of 'studies' on things are put out there with a limited survey size/study size anyway.

  9. sometimes i almost react without stepping back when i read something that feels so wrong to me. or when someone talks strictly about certain diets and i feel like i need to constantly say "yea but remember, balance is key, and not everything works for everyone"

    i try to post everything i can that i firmly feel connected to or had a personal experience with. i try to stay away from too much hype or claims and focus on either facts or experiences. its always hard and everyones got a different opinion.

    the best for me is to breathe, relax, and try to understand why they feel the way they do and have the opinion they do.

    xoxo <3

  10. Great post. I'm very honest and candid on my blog and always try to say, "In my opinion", and if I forget, I actually want people to call me out on it or if someone disagrees, I like hearing their side too. Sometimes I'm wrong or it can help me look at a situation from a different point of view. However, I think a lot of the more popular bloggers are pretty high on their own pedastal and take everything as an insult instead of just trying to see things differently. Great post!

  11. mmm... salsa.

    eek! I hope this isn't addressing cynosure. though I don't have that many readers nor do I claim anything about politics, etc. ... so o__o I usually make it clear it's my opinion, my experience, etc...

    with blogs I've seen that are inaccurate, I usually gently correct them in the most respectful way possible... but I don't see that kind of thing that often personally :o

  12. Wow, really great post. I'm glad I ran into in through Jessica's blog. (This is going in my reader :3).

    I find myself swayed easily by those I see as knowledgeable and half of the time I don't review the evidence or look at the sources, which I know is something I should be doing. You bring up very valid and strong points and I agree with them - I think I should work on using my intuition and self-knowledge rather than letting other blogs walk all over my brain.

    Can't wait to explore the rest of your site. :)


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