Road Rage and Anonymous Comments

01.7.11


Bloggers love and hate comments. Comments are often the validation that we’re all looking for, and, almost as often, can be like a dagger through the heart (or an axe in your back). I’ve had dozens of people ask me the same question:

How do you deal with the hateful comments. Don’t they bother you?

No, they don’t, and they shouldn’t bother you either.

Have you ever accidentally cut someone off it traffic only to have them honk at you, drive past, sneer and flip you the bird? Have they ever rolled down a window to yell and scream at you, and then skidded off leaving only a trail of burned rubber behind?

When I was younger I might have reacted to the driver with road rage. I might have sped after them, or cut them off again, I might have played dangerous games of chicken while my adrenaline surged.

I’m wiser now, and I’m a fairly courteous driver. I see road rage around me, and it leaves me unaffected. Road rage is just like comments.

If you haven’t been in my home your angry comments can’t hurt me. I look at them, and I envision you speeding past me on the 405 with your middle finger hanging out your car window. I think of you alone in a car headed nowhere quickly. Even when the comments are not anonymous, they’re not likely to be words that would be said to my face.

I’ve promised myself that every time I read an annoying comment, I’ll just imagine who is it behind the computer, and more often that not contempt fades to pity, or even worse apathy. I don’t care that they exist. I honestly see no value in their words. None.

I get called dumbass a lot

Conversely, if I’ve been out of line, and someone from my inner-circle leaves a comment letting me know that I’ve been hurtful, crude or mean, those are wonderful comments to get. Thank you for saving me from general assholery. It’s good when your girlfriends help you become a better person.

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6 responses to “Road Rage and Anonymous Comments”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jessica Gottlieb, Holly Hadsell Hajji and Heather Borden Herve. Heather Borden Herve said: perfect timing of UR post after tons of hate comments I got today RT @JessicaGottlieb Road Rage & Anonymous Comments http://bit.ly/g1ESgx […]

  2. I agree. If I’ve never heard of you before and you leave a nasty comment on my blog, I just laugh it off. However, if someone I know and respect sends me an e-mail telling me that they are disappointed in me, that does mean something.

  3. Well, yeah. I’ve been struggling with this the past couple of days. I offended hundreds of strangers by being less than pleasant in a post somewhere. The post was valued. The information was valued. The average reader ignored my tone and used my words.
    Then someone called me (I kid you not) a Nazi and that was the point at which I just stopped trying to be nice on that one. I deleted the obvious trolls, ignored the so-hurt-its-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it. Apologized to those caught in the crossfire, and moved on.
    People get all death-threaty and hate-filled over the strangest things.

  4. I have another blog where I discuss race issue and life as a black mom of a biracial child. I’ve gotten many many hateful, crude, and down right ignorant comment over the years.

    I’ve learned to protect myself and my readers thru comment moderation. I don’t mind comment that disagree while saying something of value. The other mo value comments get deleted/ignored.

  5. Great post! Ive seen countless bloggers delete their blogs, change their names, cry for weeks and so on over one nasty comment. I say if we are going to put ourselves out there publicly, we have to take the good and the bad we elicit. I see people who put photos of their children, videos of themselves, and many details of their lives on their blogs and then cant handle it when someone says something negative, in jealously. Some people just arent cut out for ‘public life’.

  6. Maegan says:

    I posted on a board about something I disagreed with…the person I commented to, rather than simply replying, tracked down my blog (probably not hard to do, since it was mostly likely reached by clicking my name from the comment)…then found a random post & went off.

    Yeah…I have a delete button ya nut job. “Delete Comment?” Yes. And there it goes.

    I don’t mind if people don’t agree with me…but umm…let’s keep it relevant, shall we? Finding a post with a craft tutorial and commenting about what a terrible parent I am means nothing to me. Nada.

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