The Human Poodle. What?
The love of honors and celebrity do too.
When I first began to blog I did so for a Catholic company I worked for. The intention was to draw traffic for the website. I had some marketing ideas and knew that to get noticed online I needed to use catch phrases, names, handles, key words for search engines to pick out. I wrote about Church issues, celebrities, I editorialized stories from popular blogs and commented on what they were discussing - I also begged for people to link to me, and so on.
When the stats went up and comments came in, it was really exciting. (I thought it was all for me.) I soon began to mix in controversial issues and critical discussions on the blog - as well as sarcastic and contentious remarks for anyone who disagreed with me or criticized my writing. Favorite topics such as the Novus Ordo vs. the TLM really pulled in readers. Gossip, such as which Catholic blogger left the Church for another Church and why would anyone ever read him again, also generated traffic. Stories of the priests who left or got caught in scandals was a guaranteed stats booster. Picking on Catholic journalists and pop-Catholic writers was another source of 'revenue'.
Controversy and contentiousness and just pushing buttons did wonders for the stats. Sadly, when I went 'independent' - I started out relying on some of the same tactics - convincing myself I had noble intentions, but deep down I knew it was a quick way to get myself noticed, or just blow off steam. Despite the fact I wrote many sincere posts on the spiritual life, some days I also used the blog in a passive aggressive sense to air 'dirty laundry' and to comment on a lot of negative crap that was definitely none of my business. I'm ashamed of that.
Many antagonists online continue to operate that way. They seem to love the controversies, the attention it attracts, the honors, the notoriety, as well as a sense of their own celebrity. I think, like the love of money, it leads to vanity, self-importance and the sin of pride.
For the past few years I have tried really hard to avoid all of that. I hope to do better to avoid such traps in the future and once again, apologize for the many mistakes of the past. I hope to be a better blogger, to say the good things people need to hear, things that will really help them, with some humor and silliness thrown in of course. Perhaps I will be able to make amends for all the bad posts I've written thus far.
The Pope said something today which may be helpful:
Instead of focusing on money, (drawing attention, hits, stats, etc.) the Pope said, we should strive for justice, piety, faith and charity, as well as the gifts of patience and meekness which are the ways of the Lord. Pope Francis concluded with the wish that God will help each one of us to avoid falling into the trap of making money (the blog) our idol. - Pope FrancisCaption H/T to Nan.