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.