I read several “popular” bloggers. I put you in the “popular” category when you get frequent attacks of hate. I never said “popular” was a good thing. I often feel like it’s a bad thing.
I have only had hateful occurrences on my blog a few times in the last 8 years. Nothing major. Someone made fun of me for not washing my hair. Someone criticized me for not bathing my child every day. Obviously, the internet has a thing for hygiene.
I was upset both times, of course, and definitely publicized it too much. This is exactly what you popular bloggers tell us not to do: DON’T FEED THE TROLLS.
Yet, more and more lately I see you popular bloggers call attention to hate you’re receiving. Either directly or with snarky off-hand comments. Let me make this clear: my two instances make me totally understand the need to call out the haters. Inevitably, your supporters will jump to your defense and I don’t care what anyone says: THIS FEELS AWESOME. It helps dull the pain of the hate. Some days I wonder why more people don’t rally their troops in their defense.
But, I’ve been thinking about it a lot as a reader. And as a reader? It tends to hurt my feelings.
Let me explain. When you make an offhand comment about, “the people who email me telling me that by homeschooling my children I’m warping them for life” you are replying to the haters. It may be a funny, off-the-cuff comment, but the people who have sent you ugly emails about homeschooling? Take your off-the-cuff remark as a reply directly to them.
Why do I care? Because I really like you and I want you to make a comment directly to me.
I’m not sure if you think about it this way, which is why I wanted you to know that your readers do. Maybe we’ve commented on your blog (Not me, because I never comment anywhere) or maybe we’ve emailed you. Maybe we’ve sent you a tweet or “Liked” something of yours on Facebook. Either way – we probably read (and enjoy) almost every word you write. And chances are, you’ve never responded to us. Because you are very popular and busy and we TOTALLY GET THAT.
But when you take a moment to address a hater? It hurts my feelings because they don’t deserve your attention. They’ve done nothing to earn a response from you. Especially not compared to your fans which I’m certain are in greater quantities than your detractors.
I always tell my husband that I would like him to make a point to pay me 10 compliments for every criticism. This is how I wish my favorite popular bloggers would shift the balance. Look at how many times you call out your readers, or reference comments and emails. You should acknowledge 10 X more KINDNESS than HATE. I mean – everyone needs to vent about an obnoxious hater once in awhile. I wouldn’t want to deny you that, but maybe figure out a way to balance that out with several shout-outs to your supportive readers too?
I understand the need to add a curt reference to your haters, I don’t think anyone can resist that urge when bombarded with hate on a regular basis. But, maybe also add a loving reference to your kind commenters. When you reference your readers who think you spend too much time running, also reference the readers who thank you for your inspiration.
Just remember, your fans are quiet. There’s hundreds/thousands/millions of us out here who never give you anything other than positive reinforcement from the silence of our computer monitor. You only know we’re here because your stats tell you we are. You must trust that, because we come back with ever entry, that we love your words. Yet, when we see you mention those who dish out the negative, we feel sad because you rarely mention we quiet supporters.
And in the long run, don’t you want more of us and less of them? Because I like you a lot. You’re funny and kind and wise and you inspire me in many ways (Yes..I’m talking about YOU.) and I don’t think the haters deserve as much attention as you give them.
Me, on the other hand? I deserve the attention. Specifically in the form of Hot Glazed Krispy Kreme Donuts.