(The Internet has become society’s bitch board so once you become succesful how should you react to your “haters”?)
I’ve long joked that “there are writers, and then there are people that comment on YouTube videos”.
The Internet is a scary angry place. While it’s can be used to do productive things like read the NY Times, look at German porn, or drunk shop on Amazon it’s also become society’s bitch board. Got a rant about your Monday or “who wore it best”, let’s comment about it. Just made a cake and want to Instagram it to Facebook, let’s post it. Not every one of our thoughts is pure gold but we tend to type without thinking about the repercussions, if it’s even interesting, or who we may be affecting. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom of consequences.
Most of my readers are intelligent, educated, and well-cultured people. Now think back and try to remember how many times have you ever commented on an Internet article even if you loved it? Probably close to never. The same goes for customer service industries. Always a “fuck you” never a “thank you”. How many times have you written letters of glowing praise to Southwest Airlines or AT&T? How many negative letters have you written?
As a writer you have to expect a certain amount of negative criticism and if its not constructive be immune to it. Writing is about creating an emotion, and when I write something I want you to feel like you either want to punch me or kiss me after. And I’m always flattered when I can cause enough passion that someone feels compelled to comment either positively or negatively. I always told myself that once I got my first “hater” then I knew that I “made it”. So I am proud to announce that the other day I was got my very first hater. It doesn’t matter who, what, or the context but what matters is that I got one. People don’t “hate” on people unless they are doing something right. Sure we all hate the Kardashians but they are laughing all the way to the bank. Sure we all hate A-Rod but the guy is crushing 40 home runs a year. Sure we all hate Snooki but she’s an oompa loompa millionare. As with most “haters”, their anger has to do with something they hate about themselves, more than with you as an artist. Sometimes it may come from envy, sometimes it may come from you shining a mirror on them, or sometimes people are just mean for the sake of being mean. All of those reasons truly have no bearing on you. But the question is how you let it affect you? Do you let it dissuade you or do you let it empower you?
For me, you already know what I chose to let it do. Embrace your haters because once you attain any level of success they will start to come out of the sewers and sling mud. But you know what that means for you? It means you’re on the right track.
[Photo: The rooftop pool at my hotel in Athens, Greece]