“Don’t Read the Comments!”

Recently, my blogging has reached a much larger audience, and I am beyond excited.  My message, that happiness is not that hard if we all just allow ourselves to be human beings first, is really resonating with a lot of people, and I am getting some wonderful feedback.

However, an interesting thing happened after the first article went out.  Two friends from entirely different parts of my life, both told me, “Don’t read the comments!”

One had been a blogger on Huffington Post for years, and the other had garnered more than five million YouTube views on his videos. Then other people started saying the same thing – my husband, friends on Facebook – it seems that this is a universally known truth.  To protect oneself from the ugliness in the world, one cannot read the comments about your own work.

I understand that position.  The Internet can be such an ugly place most of the time, but I guess I’m the exception when it comes to internalizing what people say.  I have no problem blowing past 50 “Your a complete moron who should have your computer taken away and probably be shot in the head” comments to get to the one, “Thank you. This really helped me.”   One of the latter is worth a thousand of the former to me.

Maybe I’ve gotten enough training ignoring the bile.  Remember, I’m the girl who’s made 44 videos and commercials in support of marriage equality, so you can imagine some of the ugliness I’ve seen directed straight at me.

That said, I think it’s a little sad that writers and artists have to protect their souls in this way.  Maybe friends could read the comments for them and forward just the happy ones.  Or maybe, just maybe, one person will read this post and think twice before writing something hateful.

If the standard for posting comments were: “Is this making the world a better place?” something tells me Internet chatter would go down by 70%.  Same is true if everyone had to know the difference between “your” and “you’re” (which my sample poster above clearly didn’t).  Then again, that also makes them soooo much easier to ignore.

Tomorrow – an outstanding reblog that you will love.
Later this week – a new HuffPost article about the “future uncertain” tense in the language of Happiness.

Please read, share and COMMENT.  I trust you, and always want to hear your thoughts, because you’re my favorite readers.

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8 thoughts on ““Don’t Read the Comments!”

  • Writer / Mummy

    I can’t imagine not reading the comments on my own blog but I have had to stop reading the comments on other people’s blogs. Nothing rips through the high of relating to a heartfelt post than some of the nasty, bitter vitriol spewed underneath. Particularly parenting blogs. I relate to judging my own parenting against that of others, and maybe even feeling a nanosecond of satisfaction (though generally I am left feeling like a terrible parent!). But I NEVER understand what people get from writing vicious, sarcastic, nasty or just plain horrible things when someone has spilled out their heart. So much anger. Makes me wonder what they did with all that hate in the days before the internet. Very sad.

    • speakhappiness

      I agree when it comes to other blogs. Even something as innocuous as Deadline Hollywood (an entertainment industry site) can degenerate into the kind of ugliness that makes my shoulders tense. As soon as I notice it, I just sign off and go hug my dog.

      • Writer / Mummy

        Giving the dog a hug is a good idea. I find I get dragged in and only the knot in my stomach alerts me. I used to fight back by leaving a nice comment in defense of the original article, but I’ve found it safer to walk away.

        • speakhappiness

          That’s a little sad, too — to think that people who want to defend the writer are being bullied away. On the first HuffPo post, one woman (and I have no idea who she is) went in and took on all the negators. I really appreciated it.

          • Writer / Mummy

            I’m not very good at confrontation (and can end up being aggressive in my defense, which defeats the object). I will try harder in future not to be bullied away! 🙂

    • speakhappiness

      John, I adore you. And hate to have to point out that you’re joking (even with the clever use of a smiley), but as long as we’re talking about keeping comments friendly, I’ll derail anything unpleasant before it starts. Coming from you, this is cute and funny.

      • jtmickevich

        The sad thing is that a calculable percentage of the negative comments I have ever received, and I’m talking easily 25 to 30 percent, either contained the word “gay” or were simply that single word. I used to reply “Yes! Thank you! Let’s hook up!” but all that did was feed the trolls.

        BTW – that’s another lesson, perhaps even more important than not reading comments. Don’t feed the trolls!