Oct 1, 2009  •  In Blogging, Personal

Trolls and Naysayers

I have been blogging for eight years. I have had moderate readership at my first blog, gained immense exposure through Weddingbee, and am starting to get a small but devoted following here at Geek in Heels.

Needless to say, I am no stranger to internet trolls. I have received my fair share of personal attacks and snarky comments over the years. You would think that I’ve gotten used to it by now.

…but I would be lying if I said that it doesn’t hurt.

This past week, in response to My Reasons for Withdrawal, I have been subjected to the following comments:

“stupid bitch”

“a perfect example of the entitlement generation who got a mortgage they couldn’t afford, live in a city that’s too expensive, and continue to leech off us hard-working Americans.”

“welfare whore”

“…poor self-pitying wench…egotistical yuppy dinks thought that they had the finances to live in NYC on one income in a place they really couldn’t afford to begin with….These dinks deserve to lose their home because they have no life experience, think way to much of themselves, were not willing to work hard.”

“[You are] the reason I will never support universal health care.”

The best part is that all these comments were posted to other sites that linked to my story. None of them had the courage, time, or consideration to bash me straight to my face. Yes, I only found them through referring links to my blog.

My reason for writing My Reasons for Withdrawal was to inform my readers of what is going on in my life. That was all. I was, and still am not seeking pity. It was not an attack on the U.S. healthcare system. And it certainly was not meant to arouse so much anger.

The power of anonymity that the internet offers can be scary at times. South Korea, one of the world’s most wired countries, is even considering enacting a “Choi Jin Shil law” after the famous actress who committed suicide after slanderous comments about her were posted all over the web.

I know that the best reaction against trolls is no reaction. Ignore them, and they will go away. While I admit that this method works in the long run, it still does not quell the initial sting of reading each hurtful comment. It almost makes me want to not write about personal subjects anymore, because there are a lot more scandalous events going on in my life that will certainly provide more kindle for the fire.

It really is a sad world to see so much hate and judgement hurled against strangers, assuming so much without knowing the entire story, and immediately casting out those with differing opinions.

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15 Responses to “Trolls and Naysayers”

  1. Hey Geekinheels, I’ve been reading for a while but I’m de-lurking here. I’m sorry to hear about you and your family’s tough situation right now, and I hope you guys get through it.

    I always comment under the policy that if I won’t say something to your face, I won’t say it to you online. Anonymity shouldn’t be an excuse for vitriol.

  2. yolin says:

    That’s awful. People think they can get away with saying the most horrible crap online just because of the anonymity – it really is what causes so many Korean celebs like Choi Jin Shil to commit suicide.

    I’m so sorry you have to go through this – I really hope things will get better for you and your family. <3

  3. savannaleigh says:

    I always find it so ridiculous the awful things people say to others on the web- if you don’t like something or someone, don’t read it! You could always go the route of Heather Armstrong and start Monetizing the Hate! (http://dooce.com/hate/)

    (I died when I saw that she had done that….what an awesome way to fight back!)

  4. Marisa says:

    Hi, Sweets… don’t follow your pingbacks. I switched to Blogger for my personal blog and use Google Analytics to track stats, and it’s been a godsend not to be able to easily find pingbacks and read them. Really. I posted about having a backup plan and someone wrote (kindly, at least) on her blog that my marriage was at risk! So I don’t follow them, and I’m happy in my ignorance.

    We put our lives out in the world-at-large and so we shouldn’t be upset that people who don’t know us takes pieces of what they read and make judgments about our lives, but it’s so hard not to be (upset). I can handle snarky comments on my posts — and really, I’ve only gotten one in all of my blogging — but I don’t have a good strategy for handling snark-via-linking so I don’t bother.

    Keep blogging. Ignore the haters. They won’t change your life, right? Hugs.

  5. Marisa says:

    Another option: post the links to your pingbacks and your readers can defend you. Sometimes that works bett

  6. Amanda says:

    Yeesh, it’s not like you wanted to be in this position. Perhaps those trolls have never had anything bad or unpredictable happen to them, never gotten sick, never had a loved one get sick. Sigh. We’re all human.

    I had my son while I was in college and my parents’ insurance was nice enough to drop me (despite paperwork saying they would cover fulltime students living at home), so I applied for Medicaid coverage in my state. I ended up needing an appendectomy at 12 weeks pregnant and Medicaid covered it in full. You may want to look into it, not sure what the qualifications are for NY, but it could be a lifesaver for you and the baby.

    Hang in there, lady!

  7. Mari says:

    Hello! I came across your blog thanks to Weddingbee, and although I’ve never commented until now, I just felt compelled to leave you a quick note of support. I’m always disgusted when I hear about the nasty comments people make when bloggers share their personal stories, troubles, or opinions. Maybe I’m simply from the “if you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all” generation, but I think it’s completely inappropriate and rude that you received such flak. It’s no one’s place to criticize you, and you certainly have all the rights to write about what you’re going through. I find your story saddening because it must be a frightening place to be in, but I’m sure that you’ll have a happy ending to be proud of when all is sorted out. Good luck!

  8. annie says:

    i can’t believe people actually wrote that when they don’t even know you or what’s going on. don’t let them get in the way of letting people know what’s going on in your life and your feelings. they SUCK. HUGS i hope that things will get better for you. if you ever need anything wilbs and i are here for you both. <3

  9. Josie says:

    Man, some people are just so mean. I mean seriously, haven’t they ever had anything bad happen to them? Anything that they didn’t plan for? Seriously! Ugh. I’m sorry they are so shallow minded that they have to judge everyone.

    I love reading your blog for all the technology geek stuff you post (cuz I’m a geek too. lol) as well as the insight into your personal life. I hope you don’t stop just because of the mean people.

    I’ve got you and your family in my prayers. I hope your hubby can find a job soon and you can find some freelance stuff.

  10. I’m so sorry — I didn’t mean to subject you some of that. I guess I expected too much from humanity not to kick you when you’re down for the count.

    I deleted those trolls, I’m sorry you had to read that.

  11. Geek in Heels says:

    savannaleigh – that’s hilarious! Although I read dooce, I never knew she had a separate “hate” page!

    dogatemyfinances – please don’t worry about it! Yours wasn’t the only link and you certainly can’t control what people comment.

  12. alyssa says:

    Hello! I came across your blog thru weddingbee. Please dont let ignorant ppl to affect your life. Is very brave of you to write about your difficulties in life while some ppl cant even do that but just keep whining over your situation.

    Keeping blogging and be happy. A new life is on the way.. :p

  13. tyeung says:

    I admire your courage in what is undoubtedly one of the most difficult times that you and your husband have faced. It’s always easier as the third party to point out what you “should have” done….but quite frankly if we are capable of predicting the future, we’d all have hit the lotto at some point! While I have no advice for what you should do or feel, I hope that you feel blessed with the child that is within you. It may seem that it’s not the “best” time to expand your family, but please view it as a blessing. Tough times ultimately bring out the best (and sometimes the worst in people), but I am confident that the bond you have with your husband, family, and friends will get you through it all. You and your family remain in my thoughts but rest assured that doors will open….it’s never a dead end. Wishing you and your family only the best!

  14. Jen says:

    Jenny, you are great and don’t let anyone tell you anything different! I can’t believe people would say those things to you. It’s the one thing I just hate about blogging. My rudest commenters lately have been people I actually consider to be my friends – do they think it’s OK to say anything in a blog comment? It ruined my favorite post of all time for me.

    I think that you were very brave coming out with your problems and sharing with your blog friends. We care about you. People who make anonymous hateful comments are trying to ruin it for the rest of us who are trying to build a community! Good luck with everything, I know it will be OK.

  15. Jennifer says:

    Keep your chin up. I’m sorry they wrote those terrible things. I am sure they are miserable and are probably suffering from spousal abuse and hernias. You are fantastic!

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