Have your children or you ever had lice? Are you familiar with a nit? A nit is an egg of a louse.
My wife has spent hours picking nits from my daughters’ hair. We lived in Colombia where we stayed in a dirt floored shanty with a widow and her children. After a short time my daughter had lice. Another time we picked lice up through some homeless who have lived with us.
Picking lice and nits is laborious work. You move from one hair to the next at the scalp level inspecting. Lice are found and pinched between the nails. Similarly, gathering every egg is important, otherwise the eggs hatch and you start this labor over again ad infinitum.
Some bloggers or BS buddies can be the same. With the same labor of a mother over her daughter they inspect. They read a blog trying to pounce on any nuance, any variance to exclaim their prowess…”just a little smarter than the rest of us.” They do not care to understand the argument but to find the slightest flaw or perceived flaw to discredit. This many times is a tactic to avoid recognizing ideas that are disliked. I have this happen sometimes by those who respond to my blogs on WordPress.
On christianblog.com I do not find this to be generally true. Most are courteous and encouraging even in disagreement. I really appreciate this attitude. Of course correction is good but sometimes the thrust of an argument is missed for the nits. That is annoying, Amen?
The other day I misspelled a name. The thrust of the argument to my blog implied I was an idiot, ill-equipped to opine because I misspelled Mao. It didn’t hurt my feelings. I responded thanking the person for the spell check. I know I make mistakes. Every day I thank God for spell check.
I’m surprised at how hostile people can be when writing on the web. They would not talk the same if it were a face to face encounter. We are more polite to each other over coffee I think. Let me confess when I’m jabbed I many times want to strike back. And sometimes I can’t resist and I write a smart aleck remark.
Therefore the council to the nitpicker tending person is to stay on the subject of the blog. Get the point and commend the argument. Point out how to strengthen the argument or where there may be incongruence. If you notice a nit you may mention it in the most gracious way with a heart to improve understanding and the blog itself. Easy breezy!
Finally, I think one should see nitpicking for what it is. Nitpicking is small minded. It is divisive. It is not simply a personality defect but the assault of a murderer who is without dictatorial power. His only gain is a demonic ovation and self adulation. Nitpickers beware, everyone can see it for what it is and no one is clapping.