Everyday

When the internet bites back

It’s been awhile since I’ve written anything. There’s a reason.

The internet is a crazy place, but then again you already know that. You can find real things, fake things, good things and not-so-good things. In my previous life chapter, I wrote for a living. My stories were published online and in print. I never profess(ed) to be the best at it … but some of my ideas and articles stemmed from my own personal experiences. I learned a lot about the technical aspects of writing, and knew that constructive criticism from my editor and my manager would come in spades. However, the hard part that you have to steel yourself for is the ugly criticism β€” or when the internet bites back.

Recently, one of my stories that was published early last year was re-published on the same site. It was a fun story and a personal one, titled “10 quirky things about living in Germany.” It chronicled a few observations I had during my first year in Germany. It wasn’t serious, but it was written with the intent of easing the anxieties of newbies coming into the country. The first time it was published, it did well. The second go-round? The internet bit back.

The article was quickly decimated by keyboard warriors. To paraphrase some of the comments, it was some of the worst writing some readers had ever read, I was stupid and naive, and just wait until I write another article for them to rip apart. It took every once of my being to not respond and remind these critics that I’m an actual human. Was it my best article? No. Did I try really hard to shake it off? Yes. Did I succeed? Yes and no. I became a lot more self-conscious, but I’m writing about it … so there’s that.

It’s easy to rip something when you’re sitting behind a screen and a keyboard. Most of the time, you probably don’t know the person and you don’t put a face to the name. People can lash out and then hide quickly among the anonymity of the web. Being on the receiving end isn’t fun. My mantra since I joined social media is that I will not post anything on the web that I wouldn’t say face-to-face. I hope that maybe this will be the case for you too.

I needed to write this to hopefully clear it out of my mind, so I can start where I left off. I have so many stories and adventures I’d like to share with you. So here’s to biting the internet back, and hitting the reset button.

 

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2 thoughts on “When the internet bites back

  1. Welcome back Stacy…hoping this gives you a starting point for blogging again. I understand the bite. Although I don’t have a big enough audience to have had that happen on my blog (most of the people who follow my blog are family and friends!) I have made the mistake of reading comments posted about Jim when he was active duty. Oddly enough the worst ones were on a picture of him when he was in uniform, throwing out a ball at a New York Mets game….so much hatred and mean things said about him because people thought, in error mind you, that he didn’t know how to wear his uniform! After that I stopped reading comments under pictures of him but when the comments are attached to something you’ve written, they’re almost impossible to ignore! And I agree, in comments and in emails, if you wouldn’t say it in person, then don’t write it!!!!

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  2. Thanks Julie! This blog is pretty low-key … mostly just friends and family, too. The comments were on the European Stars & Stripes Facebook page. When they promoted it on there the second time, it was just flat-out mean and nasty. I tried not to read all of them, but it was kind of like watching a car crash in slow motion. The hard part is that I still write for them as a volunteer. I haven’t written anything for them since January, but I’m determined to not let it derail me. πŸ™‚

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