It’s tempting, the moment I see one of my articles has garnered some comments, to devour them up like a dieting white girl who’s finally made it to her cheat day. And I used to dot it, hesitantly, in the beginning. But what I quickly found (very, very quickly) was that reading comments just left me feeling a) annoyed b) defensive c) fed up with all of humanity and d) thankful for the one person, that lone hold out, who actually got it. Here’s some things I’ve noticed about the comment section, because I read them all the time for articles that aren’t written by yours truly.
1. Internet commenters can find something negative out of anything.
And they will. You could write an essay about nursing your poor, elderly, sick father back to health and someone will call you a piece of shit for trying to impersonate a doctor and putting a hard-working healthcare professional out of business, all because you had to “play doctor.”
2. They will read so far into things, you’ll swear they think they’re solving the DaVinci code.
Recently I wrote “Struggles of Adjusting to Life with Big(ger) Boobs” about my personal struggles having bigger boobs than I used to in the past. Seems innocuous, right? It was, until someone commented to the effect of, “Honey, you think YOUR boobs are big? Just try living life as a triple-Z cup.” Damn, lady, I wasn’t saying any of that. Big is all relative! That’s literally the entire point! Me acknowledging my own (admittedly small, comparatively) cup size growth does not take away the struggles of other boobs, in my opinion. Enough about boobs. Back to my point.
3. They will make everything personal.
And not even that, they will take personal attacks to a whole new level, a level you haven’t experienced since middle school. Except like, with more curse words. No thanks. If I wanted to get called a fucking fat cunt who should just go slit her wrists, I’d call up my father (just kidding, LOVE YOU, DAD!)
4. They do not have basic grammar skills, nor can they build a cohesive argument to save them from drowning, but they’re going to criticize you for lacking exactly those abilities.
Shit happens. Not much you can do.
5. They are overwhelmingly negative in general.
As a whole, people rarely comment on articles when they have something nice to say. If you’re looking for positive feedback, Facebook is the place to go.
Writing for the internet (is that what you’d say? I write “for the internet”?) has taught me a lot of things. I’ve learned to be more confident in my abilities and less concerned with criticism. I’ve realized that it’s a lot easier to entertain people who actually know you. And I’ve learned to delude myself into believing I am perfection in human form by actively ignoring the criticism in the comments section. Kidding.
Or am I?