People angry-tweet at me a lot.
This happens most often whenever I publish a piece about a certain high-ranking political figure whom Twitter trolls either really love or really do not love.
But it happens when I write health content, too. Apparently, everyone seems to think they know more than me when it comes to nutrition science, and thinks they could write better articles than I can.
Anyway. The point is, if you’re publishing things online, someone, somewhere, is always watching/reading.
This is great. Sometimes. I mean, it’s what you’ve always dreamed of. Strangers you’ll probably never actually meet in person are reading words you made into Things. That’s awesome!
But every once in awhile, it’s not.
The more of a “personality” you become online, the more vulnerable you become to the kind of scrutiny none of us ever really ask for — but have to learn to deal with anyway.
Honestly, people can be extremely mean online. But they can be mean in “real life”, too. You’re never going to be able to escape the haters. Which is why it’s so silly to spend your energy responding to them, worrying about what they say, and trying to “please” or “compromise with” them in some way.
Haters, trolls, whatever you call them — they spend time on the internet looking for articles that reinforce their beliefs. And when they find things they feel aren’t perfect or up to their personal standards somehow, they do not hesitate to leave rude comments, send angry emails, and so on.
You can’t get away from them. But you can learn to thrive despite their toxic energy.
Here’s what I’d like to say to anyone who feels the need to attack me personally for the work I make public to the world:
I’m not going to yell back at or insult you in return. I honestly don’t care what you think about me. If your life is so sad that you feel the need to be rude to strangers for just doing their jobs, I hope you find happiness somewhere at some point. But you’re not hurting or affecting me, really, in any way. So thanks for trying, but nah. Bye.
Sure, these things hurt, and we wish they didn’t happen. But every interaction, even if it’s one-sided, teaches us something. It helps us build up a shield to deflect the comments that might otherwise bring us down. You’ll always take certain things personally. But it does get a little easier to let some things bounce off you.
And please, don’t feel pressured to be perfect all the time. It’s not worth the energy. Everyone makes mistakes, and if people want to point yours out to your face, let them. If that’s how they want to spend their precious time, let them. Spend yours creating things, and be proud of yourself for that. Waste no time on those who don’t matter. You need all the moments you can spare.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.