Goodness, there’s a lot of hating going on out there in OnlineWorld these days. Nothing much shocks this old gal, but I after all these years I still am amazed at just how crass folks can be. Vile comments, derogatory statements, subtext filled with all kinds of finger-pointing nastiness. The strangely-connected-yet-still-slightly-anonymous enigma that is our world does strange things to some people – removing things like good sense and mutual respect and common courtesy.
But this isn’t about the haters. This is about you.
Because sadly, I’m seeing a new trend emerging. And it can be just as damaging as the haters. I don’t know what to call it yet – I’m sure someone brilliant will find a name for it – so for now I’ll just call it “Hate-Back.” It’s what happens when we get caught up in the moment of the hate and we decide to react with a snarky comment, or “out the hater” in an Instagram picture, or write our own subtext filled with finger-pointing nastiness. Rather than respond, we go low. I remember standing next to a teenage girl in a hotel bathroom as she sobbed. It was the night of her prom. She kept saying over and over again, “I shouldn’t have gone low.” Her friends held her as she wept. The entire back of her dress was shredded. Yeah. Going low has consequences – on the dance floor and on our reputation.
And the “hate-back” goes even further. We make remarks about people who unfollow us on Twitter or respectfully disagree with us on a Facebook post. We quickly label everyone who doesn’t love everything we do as “haters.” The thing is, not everything we do is going to be liked by everyone. We simply may not be that delightful or that interesting or that awesome to everyone we meet. And there are days when our mojo isn’t so marvelous.
And that’s OK.
So to us, the ones who have the power to overcome the hate, let’s do it. Let’s show this crazy online world what good sense and mutual respect and common courtesy look like.
And let’s nice the haters to death. Because we can. I believe in us.