METABLOG WEEK 2010: Screw the Haters (Unless They Have Something Useful to Say, That Is)

METABLOG WEEK 2010This weblog entry is part of METABLOG WEEK 2010. Join us!

For someone who had been blogging for almost seven years, which pretty much makes me a dinosaur on the internet, I have received very few negative comments. In a way, it feels like a blessing to have been left to do as I please without much finger-wagging or dissention, but, in another way, it's a little disappointing, because I think that we need a bit of both sides to stay grounded and improve clarity.

Still whether it's mild criticism or downright cruelty, negative comments put a bit of a dark spot on any blogger's day. A few different kinds of negative commenters come to mind:
  • The Concerned Citizen shows up regularly to give you advice and question your motives/honesty/thinking/etc. They try to make it sound like this comes from a place of concern, but, really, they just think they're wiser than you are.
  • The Criticizer doesn't like you, your pets, your kids, your photography, and your chosen method for flossing your teeth. If you say anything about anything, you are wrong about it. They like to tell you that.
  • The Troll is actually just a self-important creep who gets off on being an asshole. They go beyond adviceyness and criticism and sail into outright insults, allegations, and lies aimed to disarm and hurt their chosen blogger. They usually do so anonymously and to strangers, although some are brazen enough to go so far as to attack people they know out in the open. Their harrassment verges on and sometimes crosses into illegal activity.

  • Occasionally, a critical comment from The Concerned Citizen or The Criticizer can be good, like the time a couple or more years ago when I went on a spate of making jokes about the baby Jesus crying and stuff like that, which I had assumed were quite innocuous from my atheist standpoint until I received a couple of comments, and that grew into an enlightening e-mail conversation that helped me to take a softer approach when it came to mocking other people's systems of belief. I felt like a bit of a jerk, but I got better.

    Not all comments that initially rub you the wrong way are bad. They can, in fact, help you to see your writing through a more critical eye, which is good for your writing.

    Then, there are the comments from The Troll that are aimed to hurt. They can come from anyone. Even people you thought were at least halfway decent from your offline life can pop up and — WHAM-O — they're suddenly talking shit in your comments so that every reader who stumbles by can read about how you supposedly eat roasted kittens on sticks as an appetizer.

    PS. Kitten sticks are an excellent starter at garden parties.

    This drive-by troll attack has happened to me on more than one occasion, and, let me tell you, it can suck large. The first time it happened, I moaned and railed and sharpened pointy sticks before I took a few deep breaths and deleted said offensive comment. The second time it happened, I moaned, took a few deep breaths, and deleted said offensive comment. Now I just block those mofos right out of the gate, because who needs some sanctimonious bastard who gets all up in your grill about kitten sticks? Not me, I can tell you.

    At this point (11:47 p.m.), I keep losing track of what I'm trying to say. This is what you get for letting me post in the middle of the night after no sleep the night before because this freak decides to lie on her back and pick at the mattress all night to get your attention.

    Halp! I'm too little for kitten sticks!

    Oh right, my original intent was to talk about whether negative commenters have affected how I write this weblog.

    They don't.

    The end.

    Wow. That was a really crappy way to wrap up this post, and if I hadn't just swallowed some melatonin, calcium and magnesium vitamins, and a hefty antihistamine to knock me into sleepiness, I would correct this terrible situation, but, as it is, spelling is becoming somewhat difficult.

    My lesson, in short: Screw the haters (unless they have something useful to say, that is). They don't mean to do you any good, so why entertain them in your house?

    The end. Again. For reals this time.

    No, seriously.

    The end.

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