Never Read The Comments

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Cheese and crackers, guys!  I thought I’d scraped the absolute bottom of the Internet, but it turns out there are even more frozen layers than I realized!

Since I started my internship, I’ve been learning so much about online journalism!  Namely, to never, ever, ever read the comments!  Here are some examples of the unadulterated, No-Sugar-Added Haterade that has been poured over my shoulders:

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“How can you complain about X when there are bigger problems in the world?”

Well you know I’m just a writer but you’re absolutely right!  I’m going to grab some test tubes, run to the Lab and get back to work curing cancer, cleaning up the polluted oceans, and conquering humanity’s never-ending losing battle against death!

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“This is sucky journalism! The author quotes the subject directly, but she doesn’t know what he was thinking when he made those offensive comments!  Maybe he meant it differently than the way it came out.”

Admittedly, I am not a mind reader.  As I have said, I am only a writer.  Because I am only a writer and not a mind reader, I can only quote people on what they say, and not what they’re thinking.  I cannot comprehend, because I do not read minds, what made you think I was a mind reader, but obviously you’re not a mind reader either, or you’d know that already, now, wouldn’t you?  Being, as you are, a mind reader and all.

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“I hate this article because it is dumb.  Also I hate fat people and this author is crazy and she hates men and she needs to get a life.”

Wait – you didn’t read it at all, did you?  You wrote a comment, but you didn’t even read the piece you’re commenting on!  Listen buddy, I taught reading comprehension to 12-year-olds for nine months, you think I don’t know when someone didn’t do the assigned reading?  If you were in my study group, I would give you and F and send a note home to your parents for putting forth zero effort in my class.  They would ground you until you brought your grades up, and you’d avoid making eye contact with me in class because you blame me for failing you, even though you earned that F all by yourself.

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Bibbidy-bobbidy- BOO HOO haters.  Guess what?  I’m not only not reading your comments anymore, but your comments actually have the opposite of their intended effect!  The more time you comment and share my article (that you still haven’t bothered reading, BE HONEST), the more popular it becomes!  If you really wanted to hurt me, you’d gargle with that Haterade and rinse my name outta your mouth!  See?  The internet really is magic, after all.

9 thoughts on “Never Read The Comments

  1. Ugh, one of my freelancing friends has written a few articles for…xoJane, I think it is? and they are encouraged/required to read and respond to the comments on their pieces.

    I COULD NEVER.

    1. I love reading xoJane, but their comments section is often just a group of people unleashing their frustrations with the world on someone who just wrote a piece about her best friend being abducted as a child? SERIOUSLY. The "It Happened To Me" comments always surprise me. It'll be like, "It Happened To Me: I Got A Hangnail" and the comments will be like "Oh you poor dear! Sending #prayers." then on "It Happened TO Me: My College Boyfriend Attacked And Raped Me On PCP And Kept Me Prisoner In My Dorm For Three Weeks" and the comments will be like "OP need to get a liiiiiiife omg get over it snore also this grammar is terrible and why is this written in passive voice?" The commenters also viciously revile the entire staff, so most of the comments are hoping for the deaths of the xo editing team. Classy.

  2. This isn't just a great read, it's a great Monday morning read. I'm fresh off my weekend internet binge feeling lousy after reading way too many Jezebel comments that this gives me life. I also just watched that Younger episode where Hilary gets a promotion and every media outlet is ripping her apart in the comments. So true, Meg. So true. Bippity Boppity SLAY. As always, you're my favorite.

    1. Thank you! What's so bizarre is that comments HERE and on Femnasty are always supportive, encouraging comments from people who related to the piece and/or enjoyed it. Those positive comments did not prepare me for blogging for a major magazine, and having a suddenly wider audience of people who…mostly number 3, read the title and looked at the featured image and decided to assume what the article said, and comment about how stupid I was for writing about it. the Non-readers are by far the most infuriating: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all, and if you DIDN'T READ THE ARTICLE, don't post a comment about it!"

  3. Seriously. Stay OUT of the comments. It's the worst. I don't even write about serious stuff, but I still get comments that are ridiculous, mean, and stupid. My favorite are the ones that are like, "I know this is your opinion, but I don't see how any actual human could hold such a ridiculous opinion." I'm glad the trolls aren't keeping you away from writing though!

    1. It's also nice to know that I'm not the only one. Recently I wrote the most innocuous post for BUST and the first comment on Facebook was so awful that even the founder was beside herself.

    1. Mean I can deal with. Am I ugly? Am I a bad writer? Am I not funny? That's your opinion. I can't abide stupidity, though. I'm talking about the ones who don't read and the ones who expect me to solve a problem or the people who tell me complaining won't solve anything – like 1) it is not within my power to solve this problem 2) you're complaining about ME now so STFU and 3) if you don't READ, you have no right to complain.

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