Anonymous Internet Hate
Working predominantly on the Internet, especially in these wonderful days of web 2.0, is awesome. Not only is the Internet endless, meaning you can write just about anything you want, (and I’ve got some good random ideas I’ve finally been able to bring to fruition thanks to Yobeat) but you get to know exactly what everyone else thinks of it, practically minutes after it’s posted! No more waiting around for letters in the mail, which people rarely even bothered to write. Even before you could comment on everything, it was a matter of someone actually opening their mail program and writing an email. Then that email would actually say where the letter came from, thereby negating the fun of saying really nasty things. But no more! Thanks to comments, people can anonymously say exactly what they are thinking!
I’ve always had a thick skin, and for the most part, it’s easy to laugh it off. But when you work really hard on something, and then some shitty kid decides to write some ignorant comment, it does get annoying. And since this is the second time I’ve mentioned my merry band of internet trolls in this here blog, it’s obviously something I think about. Apparently people with the Internet don’t subscribe to the old adage “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
I’m bringing this up again because yesterday I got my latest big break, a Industry Profile interview on Shayboarder.com. It’s already yesterday’s news, since Shay updates that site so damn much, but I was still pretty stoked she asked me to do it, cause we all know I like to give my honest opinion on things. Also, it was an excuse to use my rad karate picture. Well, the interview was long, and I had a little bit of answering remorse after I finished it, wishing I’d answered some questions differently, etc. I even asked if I could redo a few, until I realized that I wasn’t actually going to do it. Overall though, I think it came out well. Of course, before long the following comment appeared:
While I commend them for using the correct version of you’re, it really wasn’t very nice, now was it? But whatever, I do complain about being old a lot and it would be sweet to retire. And of course, it’s clearly someone I know…
I am not the first, or the last person to be subjected to the torture of anonymous comments. Sarah Morrison told me she thought a great episode of MTV’s True Life would be “I Am An Anonymous Commenter,” after she was subjected to a ton of them when one of her Youtube videos was featured on the site. And I recently read an interview in the LA Times with Christian Lander, creator of the awesome and hilarious site Stuff White People Like, who said of his internet haters:
“People were obsessed with telling me [the blog has] jumped the shark. For every single post I’d put up. Part of me would want to be like, ‘It’s your right to say whatever you want,’ but dude, I get it. You’ve said this about the last 15 posts. Enough. And so I stopped reading the comments entirely months ago.”
Of course I’m not going to stop reading comments. As bummed as they occasionally make me, I love it. For every hate comment there are usually two more saying whatever is great. Today I posted a Peter Line interview on YoBeat, and within a couple hours had several positive comments, including one from previous hater. I guess I just wish people would have the balls to put their names on what they have to say. Unless you are going to get in legal trouble, or lose your job over it, why not?