The Blogs… Make Them Stop Screaming.

I read something today on a very popular personal Web site that hit a nerve and made me feel kind of bad. (I’m menstrual and dieting, what more can I say?) I know that this happens to a lot of people, they’ll read someone’s Web site and something on there makes them feel sad/angry/annoyed—whatever. (I have received emails for making people feel this way. I’m guilty, too. Over the years, I have had my link removed from Web sites for this.) Bloggers can’t please everyone all the time. But they can avoid needlessly cruel comments, especially if they’re fairly well known and therefore looked up to. Not everything is funny to everyone.

I have been meaning to write about this for some time. I have been toying with a massive essay about the blogging community (specifically its women). And the desire to write about it became even more intense recently.

There is a movie coming out soon. It’s called, Sorry, Haters. It’s a film about hatred, obviously. But the term “Hater” means something entirely different from what one might initially think. To have a “Hater” means you are worth more professionally. The more Haters you have, the more well known you are, the more successful you become. Some bloggers become popular for having as many “Haters�? as they do lovers. The Haters, however, are the people who bring them the traffic. People love to hate. It’s true, just look at Howard Stern’s career. Everyone gets off on feeling angry. And some bloggers enjoy having Haters. They’d be lying if they claimed otherwise.

This morning, I almost got confrontational and wrote to them to tell them how badly they made me feel and why what they wrote wasn’t necessarily a wise thing to do. Instead, I took the passive-aggressive route and wrote this instead. (Charming, I know.) But writing them won’t do me any good and it won’t change anything. It will probably just welcome retaliation or public humiliation (which has also happen to me before when I put my nose into business it had no business being in.) I also wanted to avoid being added to their long list of Haters. What do you do when you feel this way?

Then, there is the “three-way calling�? technique, which comes from something most girls used back in middle school (at least when I was growing up). One girl calls you, asks you to be quiet, and then for some brilliant reason thinks it’d be funny to get a third girl on the phone to say mean things about you while you sit there quietly listening. I thought about employing the “three-way calling�? Internet technique, writing a bunch of people with like thoughts and asking them to join me in an albeit small, ridiculous, and thankless crusade. Online, the technique is often used by men AND women. The offended will move away from the original Web site (IRC, forum, whatever) and collaborate with specific individuals in order to gain more manpower. After they have their strategy in place, they return to the Web site and gang up on the offending person. It’s really pathetic. It’s even more interesting because sometimes a person employed to back you up on one battle ends up on the opposing side months later during another. Similarly, you might employ a person you had a previous beef with to fight a person who helped you out before. Do you get where I’m going with this? Does it sound complicated? Does it sound completely stupid? It happens all the time. Grown adults do this. I’ve seen it in action.

The first thing you learn in any self-defense class is if it’s at all possible you should run away from a confrontation. If that doesn’t work, you fight. There was a part of me who still wanted to send a letter letting them know how thoughtless they often are. But this time, I really do think it’s probably best to just walk away.

This time, I’m finally turning it off.


  1. God, that 3-way-calling description made me shudder with some bad memories…that and slam books (remember them?!)
    Let the haters hate. Whenever I read something that upsets me or pisses me off, I usually write something up-full of vitrol-and then delete it before posting a comment. I take a deep breath and realize, ‘am I going to help with this comment?’ The answer is always NO, and I also know it won’t make me feel any better. The hardest thing I’ve tried to learn is to know when to be silent.
    (I don’t think that is always the answer, however. Sometimes our voices should try to be heard).
    I’m dying of curiosity over here, though, wondering what blog you are talking about. ;-)
    I love your site.


  2. Tobyjoe is trying to get me to just spill it. But I think I might be just sensitive today (this week.) Tobyjoe often tells me, “you know, michele, it’s OK to dislike people. It means the people you do like are really specialy.”

    But I can’t seem to bring myself to do it. I always feel like stooping to some finger-pointing level is a weakness and I should rise above it, just like what you’re saying.

    Ah well.

    Yeah, I wrote a long, long letter and it’s just sitting my “drafts” folder.

    It will never see the light of day. I’ll just sit on it. Perhaps, one day, I’ll publish all the unsent mail and unposted comments. heh


  3. just say it michele , come on:

    “Jonathan, I DISLIKE YOU”

    let me be the first!


  4. Jonathan, I don’t dislike you. Sometimes, you drive me crazy but I don’t dislike you.

    I didn’t write this to make people worry about how I feel about them.

    I am not sure why I wrote it. And every time I do write something like this, I get really mad at myself and wish to take it down.


  5. I’ll give you a hint: it’s nobody who visits this site. And it’s about animal abuse.


  6. Ah, thank you Tobyjoe. I think you have just confirmed my suspicions.
    Michele, I just adore you.


  7. Man, I’m out of the loop!
    I read yer blog and my sisters.
    If my sister says something I don’t like I just punch her. Simple.


  8. Will you punch me, too?

    To be honest, and save the leeetle bit of credibility I DO still have, I barely read much anymore either. I don’t have the time, actually. There are very few sites I visit. Now, there will be even one less.

    Point being, you are not far out of the loop at all. At least not any loop I have been a part of looping around.


  9. Yes, I was thinking that same thing, that maybe some things are said in defensiveness and are rather harsh and not fun to read.

    I think that I can be a pain on my blog sometimes, but I swear it’s in a spirit of bringing people together. I’m sure it works against me a lot of the time, but oh well.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with emailing someone and saying, “hey. this really bothered me.” I certainly hope people are able to do that with me- because I would never want to hurt anyone. I can’t speak for other people though.


  10. Animal abuse breaks my heart too. Every year, when I see all of those Christmas cards where the family dog has antlers on its head to make it look like a reindeer, I want to cry. How can those people live with theirselves?


  11. Well, yeah, there’s that.

    Perhaps I overreacted a bit. Which makes me feel much happier with the fact that I didn’t send an email or make a stink about anything.

    I’m no longer menstruating. So I’m happier today. Yippee, me. Yippee.


  12. when you write things like this it of course begs the question who/what!? so i can see what you’re talking about, but then, I’m a big believer of not rewarding negative attention seeking (not that i have any idea what triggered you beyond toby’s hint, thank you TJ).

    i wrote something a while back about bunnies and nachos, and I hope you just aim me that you thought i was evil and wanted to fart in my direction or something, if you were mad or hurt by it. But it sounds like that was not it… I hope?. i am not for hurting or experimenting on any creatures, but as a meat eater, etc, i have the necessary cognitive dissonance going on.

    but it’s funny I bet we all re-think whatever we’ve written recently to find what might have been (hopefully unintentional) mean or cold.

    i personaly wish more internet strangers read my blog, and fewer exboyfriends, coworkers and family, because it’s hard to even make an observation or think out loud without worrying how it comes off. And i’m not talking about “oh this person was such an evil beast today” stuff. Just… stuff. I barely read any blogs anymore because I just don’t have time, but I still like to look for the original charm (of the way some people writing about a parts of their lives) that won me over in the beginning can still be found on some.

    i’m also coming out the other end of the dark tunnel of pms. whew.


  13. I overreacted. And it wasn’t about you and your bunnies. Quite honestly, I’m not even sure what you’re referring to. However, I do know you LOVE the bunnies. They are indeed adorable.

    I knew I’d regret this post. I really shouldn’t have made it live. Ah well, it’s out there now.


  14. xo. you’re a bunny. that’s all i know.


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