This funny thing happens to bloggers when we write. It happens the second we hit publish.
It’s the movement of people who hate you and are emboldened by the anonymity of the internet that protects them.
It won’t happen on every post, or even all that frequently necessarily… Unless you are me. True, since the blog moved my hate mail has dramatically declined. I think the name helps, and my reputation probably helps more. And to be honest, I’m a little sad about it.
I haven’t had a mass exodus of fans from social media in a year, I have gotten very little hate mail and only ONE publicly announced unfollow.
But why would that make me sad? Do I really like being called names, told I’m a bad person, terrible American, and an even worse wife? (All things actually said to me) Surely I can’t mean that! And I don’t.
But there is validation to be had from haters. Something flattering.
Has something you’ve said ever consumed someones thoughts for a week only to cause them to dedicate an absurd amount of time out of their life to telling you so? Was it ever a stranger?
That may sound insane, and maybe it is. I have long since held that I’m a slightly sociopathic narcissist with a writing habit. And what feeds that better than a person you don’t know, and don’t have any cause to care about, allowing any part of their day to be spent caring that deeply about you?
I don’t call people names, except myself. I try to not be cruel or malicious in my writing. I express my thoughts, sometimes crudely, and put them out in the universe. And sometimes people don’t respect that and make it personal, even though I didn’t.
I get called names and told I swear too much. And hey, both things said may well be true. No one enjoys being called names (I assume without true proof). But the truth is that I have never felt strongly enough about something a stranger said to take the time to track them down to tell them so.
I have expressed differing opinions to friends or politely disagreed with someone, but never have I thought so highly of a strangers opinion that I have ever dedicated more than the few seconds it takes to changing the channel or closing the browser window to disagreeing with them. The fact that these people think so highly of me that they are taking their time to communicate at all is incredibly validating and flattering as a writer.
I never ask people to agree with me, simple to read and think about what I’ve said. Maybe see it from a different perspective. And if you change your mind great, if not that’s ok too. The point as a writer is to create something that makes you think about it.
And just as I get email agreeing with me and comments commending me, I get hate mail almost as often. And I’m flatter that someone took time out of their day to think if me at all either way.