Two things made me write this post – getting more vitriolic* comments of late and this court case. (If you are a blogger, do read. There are some real implications for bloggers everywhere).
*I’m surprised its taken this long considering my somewhat forthright views on Amanda Holden.
So let’s begin my rambling…
Free For All
It is part and parcel of making yourself available online that you will occasionally, rightly or wrongly, get some form of online abuse.
Abuse and Insults come in various forms. As I mentioned above, sometimes maybe you deserve it. Sometimes you probably don’t. Either way the internet is a free place where everyone and anyone can have their say. And there are some really dim ones out there.
Shhh! Its a secret!
You see the internet makes people anonymous. It makes the people would wouldn’t normally say boo to a goose suddenly have egos the size of Megan Fox’s lips. Its easy to be brave when you can run and hide immediately afterwards, never having to defend your actions.
Cos you know there are a lot of people that don’t get out much and will find something (I won’t even use the word critical, since criticism is useful) negative and irrelevant just to seek attention.
Did you learn to read?
Just some basic ones. I get comments (not just on this blog but on other sites and on You Tube, home of stupid comments, occasionally) like, “This is a crap review” – except…its not a review. It will quite clearly say in the post THIS IS NOT A REVIEW. So there’s not really much that can be said to such a comment.
“That’s a really ugly pair of shoes you have on.”
“But its a hat?”
You catch my drift?
Especially with You Tube I see dumb (racist, foul, sexist etc.) comments all the time and its amazing how often you look at the accounts of these posters they are aged 12. I got a funny comment about a video accusing me of lying about my location – how could I possibly be based in the UK when I am not white? I found it pretty hilarious – onece again what can you say to something like that?
Don’t be sad
A few things to remember if something someone said got you upset – most people who leave daft comments do so anonymously because they know very well what they are saying is horrible and quite often are people who just happen to stumble on your blog. They aren’t regular contributors or regulars. Anyway on to the tips…
Self Help Section
(I asked the other half what tips can I give to other bloggers on how to deal with negative comments. He replied “Delete them” and carried on munching on a Garibaldi. Psychiatry is his calling.) But actually….
1. Delete the comment. It is not wimping out to delete a comment that has upset you or is inappropriate. At the end of the day, don’t feel you have to justify yourself if someone has made a personal comment about you or has been unnecessarily horrible about something. Being tactful costs nothing.
2. Assess the comment. As bloggers we should accept bad with the good but there is a difference between criticism, disagreement, debate and making personal remarks on appearance, race or just plain daft irrelevant comments. Still ask yourself…
Did you say something personal in the blog that attacked another person? Did you say something that could be upsetting to people? Did you contradict yourself or say something perhaps a little insensitive like -“My £10,000 Hermes bag is really digging into my arm so I bought another one” in a time of recession?
However – the more popular your blog gets the wider your cross section of comments will be. Getting off the wall comments can be a good sign too that you are attracting readers from all over!
3. Ignore them. Easier said than done especially if they are just being plain silly. But I’ve realized it is a waste of precious time and energy and I for one can barely fit in the things that are important to me, never mind dealing with some little person I don’t know from adam. But some people have endless time on their hands to carry on pointless arguments – do you?
4. Be polite. Yeah, really. Even in the worst emails I’ve had to write, I always end with thankyous. Of course if someone is leaving racist and plain threatening comments then a firm email may be necessary but always retain your dignity.
For example – you have a week left at a place of work that you hate – your boss was annoying, your colleagues drove you insane. Do you stick two V’s up at them as you leave? Do you mess up their accounts and send some angry emails? Or do you give them a big smile, say thankyou and goodbye? Smart people don’t burn their bridges, and although you won’t be requiring references from someone who leaves you negative comments, you can have your head held high knowing you never resorted to calling them a (insert a rude word here).
5. Its only an online thing. It’s not real life, its not affecting anything serious like your health, your family or bank balance so let it go. See that Elephant over there? You need to grow some skin like him.
But then again…
Like I said in the beginning, if you put yourself online – and it doesn’t matter if its blogging or Facebook or Twitter or You Tube, you should be smart enough to realize now that it is public fodder and you have to take the bad with the good. Write freely but know that people are watching – more fool you if you think you can talk about work or family or name people in your life who prefer to remain private without there being some repercussions.
Don’t all leave abuse now, will you?
And hey – I don’t expect everyone to agree with me or like me and I accept all comments, even rude ones if they have an ounce of intelligence behind them. Discussion, Debate – makes the world go round.