9.27.2012

{on negativity}


Taylor Swift is one smart lady...

If you put yourself out there on your blog, there will come a day when you face negativity. There's a pretty infamous site, known for their snark about bloggers. Some of their content is legitimate constructive criticism, and some is just plan, unnecessary meanness. But if they made me realize one thing at all, it's this: not everyone is going to like you. And that's okay. 

Sometimes it will come in the form of blog comments, and sometimes you might happen to stumble upon some not-so-nice things written about you in a forum, but it will happen. I promise. Maybe you should feel thankful that people are actually noticing you, I know I eventually came to that conclusion. That doesn't always make it any easier. Here are a few things I've learned from negativity on the internet:

Constructive criticism is good.

Though there are a few books and blogs about how to blog, there is no bible to blogging. It's all so subjective. You can read all you want, but it all comes down to personal experience. I think that's one of the best parts about blogging: it's a constant learning experience. I know I learn something new everyday, whether it be from other bloggers or things I come across in "real life." And the truth is, you will make mistakes. You live and you learn, and wouldn't you rather be told that something you do isn't necessarily appropriate or correct instead of making the same mistakes over and over again?

For example, I will respond to "follow me" comments every once in a while, pointing out that what this blogger is doing isn't really appreciated in the blogging world. Usually I'll do it if I see that they don't have a lot of followers, because they probably just don't know any better {though some bloggers build their entire following by this and don't care if it's polite or not}. Sometimes they email me back, thanking me for pointing it out. Sometimes they don't respond at all, and I can only assume it's because of embarrassment. 

Requesting that a blogger include sources for images or pointing out that they made a typo or spelling error isn't bad. We should all appreciate those that take the time to point these things out to us, in my opinion. They're taking time out of their day to help us improve our own sites, and they don't have to. But it's really all about how they do it. If someone leaves a rude comment, snarking about how you used an apostrophe in the wrong place, I don't think you necessarily need to respond. Fix it, and move on. But if someone is sincere about their criticism, and it's truly constructive, then don't feel so bad. Like I said, we all make mistakes. 

Some people are just trolls

According to Wikipedia...
In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
I've found that these people who post anonymously tend to just be trolls. They complain about anything "bloggers" like or do {because, you know, we're all the same...}, including, but not limited to: pumpkin spice lattes, top knots, using Twitter for promoting your blog posts, and especially making money from your blog.

The thing about trolls is that they WANT to be mean. If they seem something negative about you already written, they're going to your blog already knowing that they will hate it. They aren't going to see all of the amazing things you've written, they are just looking for things to be mean about. That's what trolls do. And there's nothing you can do to stop it.

If I've learned anything from the meanness that can come from anonymity on the internet, it's to just not feed into it. Defending yourself just gives them more ammunition, something I saw recently when the boyfriend of someone brought up in one of these forums came over to defend his girl. They tore. him. apart. And it was not pretty. If you just ignore it, they'll forget about you and move onto the next person.

Remember that what you do is important.

I said it above, but I'll repeat it again here: not everyone is going to love what you do. Every person is different, and we all have different styles. Just because I don't like a blog doesn't mean that I think it shouldn't be out there. Everyone always says to blog for yourself. Putting yourself out there is really difficult, and I highly doubt that many of these trolls understand that. They think that if they don't like it, there is no value to what you do, but please don't believe that.

If you ever get caught off guard with the negativity that can come with having a blog, I encourage you to write down all the reasons why you blog. I blog because I need a creative outlet. I blog because I run a business, and I love writing as an extension of that business. I blog because it's a form of therapy. It's important that I blog, because of these things. What I do is important, even if it's just important to me.

What you do is important. We're creating a community of amazing people, setting trends {it's true!}, and sharing innovative and creative ideas. People who don't blog may not understand these things, but we do. So don't forget it. 

You will encounter some negativity in your blogging life. It happens to everyone. But when I ended up in a mean forum a few months ago, I tweeted about how sad I was. And you know what? The response I got from people who honestly love and care about me was a hundred times more powerful than those few comments about how "dumb" I was.

The same goes for you. I appreciate what you do. So please don't stop. 

22 comments:

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

This was such a good read, I really enjoyed it.

Negativity starts with yourself, if you allow negative thoughts to affect you then they will.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

This is such a great post and an important reminder regarding both unnecessary negativity as well as accepting constructive criticism. I've been fortunate to have only received one semi-snarky comment, but the person actually came back later without me sending them anything and apologised for it :) As time goes on though... I'm sure I will get more.


xxx
Jenna

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

I like this post. I will definitely keep this in mind IF my blog ever gets big enough to hear these things. Haha.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

you are so sweet! i go through those moments from time to time.. but they always seem to pass :)


www.thepinksmashbox.com

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

This is a wonderful post and one that I think bloggers need to be reminded of every so often. It's a risk having a blog and putting yourself out there. Dealing with those criticisms is hard at times but I agree that how you accept and use them that makes you a better and stronger person!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thank you so much Corinne! It can be hard to think rationally about things when someone posts an inflammatory comment on your blog, but it's always important that we consider why someone might be doing what they're doing and go from there!


xoxo,
Joelle

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thank you Dania! And rough moments like these are just a fact of life when you have a blog. Glad you haven't given up yet :)


xoxo,
Joelle

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

You'd be surprised at the size of blogs that get negative comments! I actually got them more when I was smaller than when I do now, strangely enough. I think that anyone who puts themselves out there is a target, and as long as you remember why you are blogging in the first place, I think you'll be okay ;)


xoxo,
Joelle

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

That's great that someone apologized for what they said! It's those who just want to be mean that are the problems, I think. You never know if someone is just having a bad day!


xoxo,
Joelle

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thank you so much! And you are absolutely right. It's all about how we process things and whether or not we let negative comments get to us :)


xoxo,
Joelle

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Amen, amen amen!! The first time I got a negative comment, I think I spent the whole day obsessing about it. I lost a whole day of work, and finally I came to the conclusion that the person just wanted to point out their difference of opinion. Those stupid forums- I stopped looking at them years ago... actually, it was when I was planning my wedding, and I posted in one asking a legitimate question, and I was ridiculed. That was the last time I ever turned to a forum like that for advice, and frankly, I think it could have hurt me.


The blog world is a tough place to be, because of all of the anonymity out there, and because people can easily put on a "front" instead of being true to themselves. The best bet is to surround yourself with people who are going to encourage you and lift you up. :) Keep going my dear, keep going!!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

GREAT post Joelle! I've faced a rude comment here and there but nothing extreme. I think I know what site you're talking about and I thought they only targets those mega-superstar-bloggers, but then again I haven't cared to check in the last 8 months. You're right - there are lots of people who will only point out the bad. I like what you said about constructive criticism though. Oh, and trolls. Trolls suck!!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Haha are you talking about TK forums? Because those are THE WORST. I remember going there when I was getting married and it was terrible! Those women seriously love hiding behind their computers and attacking anyone with a difference of opinion. It's terrible!


And you're so right about surrounding yourself with people who care about you. When it happened a few months ago, I was so sad, but the people who follow my blog because they care about me really came out in full force to let me know I was appreciated. It was absolutely amazing!


xoxo,
Joelle

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thanks Kristen! You probably do know what site I'm talking about, and they typically do only talk about big blogs on their own blog. But the forums are a completely different story, and those people are mean. Like, really, really mean. I still go on every once in a while, and it really amazes me at how bad they can really be. Don't you feel like we should all be supporting each other? I mean, we are all in this together!


And I'm glad you agree with the part about constructive criticism. While I think we need to take trolls for what they are, I have seen a few bloggers get really upset at any type of criticism these days, and that makes me sad. It's a constant learning process!


xoxo,
Joelle

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Great, great post Joelle! I especially love, "some people are just trolls"! It's so true. I think I someone stumbled upon that site you are talking about and couldn't believe all the rude things on it. There were so many mean comments about blogs that I just assumed everybody loved! I got sucked in reading a ton of the stuff and I'm sad to say it totally affected the way I thought about some bloggers. Now I feel terrible that I would let those awful people affect my opinions. I mean don't they have anything better to do than say rude things about people? The feeling I got from reading that site should have been my first clue not to follow any of the opinions there.

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

P.S. I also love what you said about what you do is important even if only to yourself! It really doesn't matter what those trolls think as long as you love what you do. I haven't blogged in forever but I've been really wanting to do some style blogging. The idea of getting negative comments has totally scared me but I think you've given me the motivation to go for it anyway :)

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Isn't that site ridiculous? I still get traffic from it, which is so weird to me. A friend said that it makes her sad because as women, we should be holding each other up and not tearing each other down. We are all climbing uphill really, so we don't need to make things harder for each other :)
And I definitely think you should start writing about style! I absolutely love all the clothes you pin these days, and I think other people would really love your style as well. Have you done Friday's Fancies yet? That's always a great place to start!

xoxo,
Joelle

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Love this little pick-me-up. Thanks for the kind words, Joelle! I found your blog through Jenni's Story of My Life a little while ago and have been loving your posts. :) It's hard not to be hurt by mean comments, but your close friends, family & blog friends make it all worth it.

www.whosaustin.blogspot.com

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thanks so much Nikol! and you're very welcome :) Hope you have a great weekend!

Joelle Duff said...

I love this post, Joelle! I've never had any trolls on my blog (knock on wood) but I've seen what they can do and I'm always horrified and fascinated by them. I just can't fathom being so angry and insecure that I would want to prey on strangers. I think it totally comes down to that old adage that says what someone says about you says more about them than it does about you.

Joelle Duff said...

That is the hard part of blogging...I have only experienced it a bit, but enough to know I don't like it! I know I'm going to need to learn to better ignore it, and let it slide off me if I'm going to continue in blogging...thankfully there's lots of nice people and comments, too!

Joelle :: Something Charming said...

Thanks for writing this post. I really like to read a couple blogs that I keep up with, but I rarely comment. It was a good reminder to comment when I enjoy something, to balance out people that might be critical. I love your blog! =]