It’s popular to have an opinion these days, and it seems even more popular to have a negative one in the comments section of almost every article, photo or video posted online. It’s easy to take a swipe at the creators of content and cast judgment about their appearance in one venomous sentence, log off or move onto the next comment. It’s also a terrible thing to do, and does more harm than good to some people, of which we hear about all too often, but there is support out there. I’ve seen online haters in action before, and there is much talk of them, today I’ll talk about why they are not going to get the best of me, and nor should they of you.
I’ve been writing in my spare time for a while now, and, have just in this past week, decided to dedicate an entire year of my life to pursuing a full time career in writing. I’ve had three books happening in the background since 2013, written and published poetry, written speeches for people, countless words and countless hours spent.
Just yesterday, I almost allowed people who commented on a piece I put out to the world, to take my dreams away from me, and I was left asking if I have done the right thing by dedicating this next year to my passion.
One goes through an interesting process of thought and emotion when others feel it is their entitlement to post scathing and judgmental comments about ones character, without knowing them at all. It’s incredible how justone negative comment that can come following one hundred positive comments, can be the loose thread that unravels a feeling of hopelessness.
If I were less of a person, I would have quit everything yesterday. But I have chosen not to in the pursuit of my own dreams, and with the knowledge that everything I have done and continue to do is with the best of intentions for those it impacts.
Without resorting to character assassination myself, I chose to investigate the said haters who felt the desire to label me as a “frat boy who looks like he splits his time between cycling and unleashing his unwanted opinion on the world”. I took the time to investigate the person who said I should “stop writing before I kill someone”. I have since deleted all comments as they added no value to my message, nor to anyone reading them.
A common theme amongst these people and their online profiles was that of hate. Posts written, and shared, that are destructive towards everyone and everything. Posts shared, that are of a racist nature, politically motivated, or just generally distasteful and spiteful.
In that moment I breathed a sigh of almost relief. “I don’t write for these people” I thought to myself. I write for everyone who has contacted me via another medium on the same post with nothing but praise and thanks for voicing what they had been thinking about. I write for my loyal followers that have been with me since the beginning. I write for those who have given me nothing but support and guidance since the beginning, and continue to do so today. I write for those who don’t have a voice, but have something to say.
I’ll say this, I could have written these people a cheque for a million dollars, and they would have complained about it.
Part of me resents the fact that I am writing this here today. I could have just as easily not done so. I could have just removed the comments and got on with my life. But as a writer and a conveyor of thoughts, I feel I have an obligation of sorts to write my experience down, in the hope that someone who is not coping with such abuse reads this and realises that they are on the right track and they should keep going and keep evolving into their own being, and to not let the faceless haters of the Internet get the better of them.
My intention of this piece is for it to resonate with those who have been in the same place as I just recently. I’d like to think that the haters are reading it too, and are asking themselves some serious questions about their actions and behaviours, but I have little faith in that. I guess the comments section of this post will indicate whether or not they have understood my message here today.
So now after almost 48 hours of questioning whether or not I am doing the right thing for me by taking a year out to focus on my passion, the only answer is that I am doing the right thing. I am following my dreams and doing what I love everyday and it makes me happy. I do so knowing that I have had a positive impact on many so far, and I know I will continue to do so into the future. I also know that I will not get it right every time, but I am just a human being, like you.
Here is another great resource if you or anyone you know has been on the receiving end of online hate.