Unsolicited Advice & Your Personal Blog

It must be so annoying to have a widely-read personal blog that allows comments (or shows your contact information), simply because of the plague of the 2.0 world: unsolicited advice! The best real-world comparison to comments-enabled personal blogging that I can think of involves, say, standing up and reciting your thoughts and feeling to the passengers on a Greyhound bus. Anyone who read Emily Gould's blog after her New York Times article on blogging her personal life came out would have seen an explosion of life advice couched in passive-aggressive "I care" language. (330 comments—many of which start with "sweetheart" and "hon" and include, "If I were your analyst I'd say that you need to break out of the mold, the rut, you've been in for several years.") Thank you, Internet strangers! Julia Allison deals with it, too, of course:

Unsolicited Advice & Your Personal BlogS

Although she doesn't seem to mind. Julia prints e-mails from her readers often, and this is pretty typical. It's also meaningless: "Time to feel happy about the stuff you do right, then get back to the hard work of being genuinely you.." These types of comments are the equivalent to the kitten posters in the dentist's office.

On one hand, having a personal blog is sort of asking for this type of thing, and not everyone minds it! Some people find it nice to hear that a bunch of strangers sort of care and are reading—however misguided their advice may be. (It's my opinion that girls have it worse than guys with this type of comment, maybe because they often make themselves more vulnerable in their writing or "lifecasting" or whatever it is they're doing.)

But please. A little unsolicited advice to the unsolicited advisers—a therapist will let you act out and purge these issues and rescue fantasies in the safety of a clinical setting. Leave bloggers out of it.