First of all, I’m so sorry!!! It’s shitty to hear mean things about yourself, and there’s something even worse about hearing mean things about yourself anonymously. I think it’s because when it’s anonymous and we don’t know where and who it’s coming from it’s easy to put those words on ourself. They could be coming from anyone so they’re probably coming from everyone!!!!! So that sucks bro. I feel you!!!!
My first piece of advice would be to stay away from the anon meme! I know that’s a tough one because there’s something so addictive about reading wank. I don’t know why that is either, maybe because it seems like such a trainwreck we just can’t look away.
So if you absolutely cannot stay away from the anon meme (and no judgement here, I promise! I have been sneaking peeks myself, despite my better judgement [and fear of seeing my own name there]) then my second piece of advice is to remember to try and put it into perspective. I don’t think there can be THAT MANY people going on there just given the rate at which comments are posted.
Plus… and here’s my real point of contention with the anon meme: literally nothing seems to make them happy. Like if you’re bashing thehoyden and twentysomething then I have no idea what would please you at all. Probably nothing! I’m gonna go with nothing.
Reading the anon meme made me feel really disheartened too for the reason that I mentioned above. They seem to hate everything and it seems like there’s no pleasing them, so it’s like well fuck, if everything is terrible then why am I even going to try and contribute to the fandom? if everyone hates my stuff then why bother? I get that feeling, I definitely do. and because everyone is anon (duh, it’s an anon meme!) it just makes them seem like one nebulous blob of an entity that speaks for the entire fandom, rather than a few individuals speaking their own opinions (which, I’ll mention here to try and prevent any backlash: they have the right to do. I wish they wouldn’t do it so meanly, but that’s my opinion, which I also have the right to express!). But it is just a few people! They’re not the borg, they don’t speak for all of the fandom.
Don’t give up! Keep writing! Keep doing you! If you want to message me off anon I’d be totally happy to talk to you that way too. Hang in there!
fuck the anon meme.
Also, “they’re not the borg” — I am DYING. <3
speaking as someone that folks on the anon meme would happily murder to death with a zamboni and the weight of jack johnson’s patriotism (<- because of the irony), all of this is correct! anon, the bad news is that… people have the right not to like your writing, and they even have the right to be assholes about it. the idea behind the anon meme is like, “if you come here, you know what you’re getting into.”
when it’s suddenly you, well—all of a sudden reading wank isn’t so addictive. it’s kind of terrifying? because, wow. people are putting serious energy into hating you. like, is that going to fuck up the cosmic scales of whatever that keep my life from turning into derek hale levels of terrible? is black magic real? will the kids in my second grade class ever forget that i peed my pants at recess and tried to blame it on the sandbox, a tactic i admittedly did not think through? and other questions.
but HERE’S THE THING, and this is amazing, this is the best thing that the internet has ever taught me: like, who cares?
"shut up," you say to your computer. "ofgeography, shut UP, you are the WORST, saying ‘sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me’ is A TOTAL SOCIAL FALLACY AND YOU KNOW THIS, YOU WANT TO BE A FUCKING SOCIOLINGUIST.”
which is true!! sticks and stones can put you in the hospital but words can turn your own brain into a weapon that does nothing but smash at you all day hahahaha everything’s fine look at how normally i am drinking this coffee and crying silently at my desk!!!
no, it never feels good to have people be assholes at you, and never will feel good to have people be assholes at you. but the good news about the anon meme—and anon hate in general—is that you don’t have to be part of it. if people want to dump their hate there, let them dump their hate there, because. who. cares. remind yourself that everyone who ever did anything wonderful had people hate them for it. do you like michelle obama? PEOPLE HATE MICHELLE OBAMA. do you like sidney crosby? PEOPLE HATE SIDNEY CROSBY. do you like the nice barista that always spells your admittedly complicated name right? PEOPLE HATE THAT BARISTA.
other people’s vitriol doesn’t change who you are. it doesn’t make you, or your writing, or your value as a person, any less good or worthy or loved. the hardest thing in the world is to learn that the words people label you with are their words and their labels, not yours. the internet, like the world, is a fucked up place based almost entirely on performance. who you are on the internet is not all of who you are—it has no nuance, and it’s all carefully curated. making a judgment based off someone’s internet presence, their writing or whatever, is like walking into someone’s kitchen, looking at their shiny appliances, and saying, “yep, you’re a great cook.”
a stove does not gordon ramsay make, and a blog or a piece of writing or whatever does not a person make.
someone calling you a dumb bitch or a terrible writer does not make you a dumb bitch or a terrible writer. i mean, we’re all works in progress, etc etc etc, but you’re the only one that gets to dictate what those improvements are and should be.
here’s what it boils down to: never, ever, ever, ever, ever read your own press.
Here I am going to sum up the anon meme for everyone: “You should only like and do things that I enjoy. nothing else is allowed.” - anonymous
There, you’ve read the whole entire thing so now you can happily never check it again!