An Open Letter To ‘Popular’ Bloggers

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.

Thanks.

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17 Responses

  1. Sarah Lena says:

    ::cue the angel choir::

    YES, THIS.

  2. Carol says:

    That is a great article and an overdue one. I wholeheartedly agree with you. There is nothing more turn-offish than going to one of my favorite blogs only to find them “replying” to a troll. I normally don’t read it but just click away instead. I’ve even quit reading blogs because they would do it constantly. I hate blog wars. Or whatever the term is for that kind of thing.

  3. Lisa says:

    Yes, yes, and YES. There is a particular popular blogger that I only check in with occasionally now because the snarky comment to the haters in every post got so old.

  4. meekasmommy says:

    such a great post! i must admit, it’s not something i think about all that often… but since you called my attention to it, i’ve gotta say, i agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve said! :)

    (and if you get those krispy kremes, i’d love for you to share ‘em out… i could totally use the sugary carby yumminess!)

  5. Tamara says:

    A.MEN. sister! Well thought out, well said, well well well
    Nice work Kim!

  6. Amber says:

    I’ve never thought about this but you make good points. Well said.

  7. Michelle says:

    Extremely fantastic post, lady. Eloquent and right on the nose.

    Bravo and thank you.

  8. kim l. says:

    Who are the popular bloggers anymore? I’m serious, I’m not sure I know.

  9. erin says:

    Kim, I think you are inspirational in your commitment to being positive and not putting hate out there. It’s something I also work (hard) toward, curbing the impulse to be defensive and choosing to see the positive. I call it being aggressively optimistic :)

  10. melaniek says:

    so very well said…

  11. Janelle says:

    I needed this now. My Internet prayer shall be: Please keep the trolls in the dark and please don’t let me turn into one. And if I must bring one to light, please help me to kill it with kindness and if I am trolling, may I be shot down with a love filled arrow. Thank you for being nice.

  12. brit says:

    I of course totally feel you on this. It always drives me crazy that the haters get so much ‘love’. On the other hand I know that I’m not above this. As an instructor at a community college I get ‘reviewed’ by my students at the end of each quarter, of course the review is optional and anonymous (like commenting) and I find that my comments are often hurtful and generally have nothing to do with the course I’m teaching. My husband reminds me (every quarter) that I overlook ten complimentary comments for every one negative or hurtful one. But still the hurtful one brings me down. Every time.

    As a person I need to remember to focus on the people that like me and not the ones who are angry that they didn’t get the grade the wanted or whatever. It’s hard this whole life journey thing.

  13. lindsayc says:

    Well said and I totally agree!

  14. Miss Britt says:

    This is something I’m guilty of in real life even more so than online. My mom cheers me on relentlessly, and I’m bitter that my grandparents don’t approve. My girlfriends think I’m brilliant, and I wonder why a practical stranger doesn’t “get” me.

    And you’re right. It’s unfair to those who’ve earned not only attention, but to have their opinion valued.

  15. Kate says:

    I totally agree in general and with most of the comments. BTW, I feel like you are a popular blogger :) And yeah, who are the popular ones and where are the blog wars? I’m so missing the drama with my little feed reader (and.. you know… life)

  16. Amanda says:

    I love this post. I wish the internet would get over hygiene, though.

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