What makes you such an Expert?
What have you done lately?
Where are your writing credits?
You’re just another hack with a blog that still lives in their Mom’s basement!
If you’ve been keeping a blog long enough you’re bound to find these personal attacks in your comment section. It’s easy to get defensive. You spent time on that post. You wrote a couple of really clever turns of phrase, a few witty jokes and absolutely nailed your topic with a sharp, edgy, well thought out opinion. You think anyway.
You hit that publish button with the utmost satisfaction and a wry smile on your face.
“Get a load of this one Internet!”
You get positive responses. You get likes. You get shares. Your website traffic spikes. But inevitably not everyone agrees with what you wrote. Some offer a counterpoint that’s equally well thought out as a means of generating discussion and learning from one another’s point of view. At least that’s what this sort of thing is supposed to encourage right? I mean ancient philosophers like Socrates and Plato would have gotten hard if they had the means for global Socratic Seminars where we engage, communicate and educate. If only that’s what we actually used these platforms for.
Instead there’s always somebody who hides their venom behind a keyboard not necessarily shattering your well crafted post to pieces, but you the author. They attack you as a person with the aptitude of a schoolyard bully spewing the lowest common denominator amidst mud slinging insults and integrity questioning propaganda.
The worst part is it’s coming from a 30-40 something year old professional whose balls would most likely shrivel up during an in person confrontation. It’s the culture that social media has cultivated through the means of human nature’s battle between the good and the bad, the positive and negative, right from wrong, the kind and the assholes.
We’re never going to avoid them friends. We’ll encounter them everyday. And while it’s tough to ignore them I offer this cloak of safety from The French literary critic Roland Barthes.
Barthes wrote an essay called “The Death of the Author” regarding how audience interpretation, reflection and criticism should be directed solely on the text or work itself and not on the author at all. He argued the person claiming to be the author didn’t “author” the work. They simply regurgitated thoughts, other artwork, opinions, and life experiences to generate a new text of what’s been done. There’s nothing original about it. Even the words used aren’t new ones. They’re all the same words that have been used for centuries. Therefore, the author of any text, or artwork for that matter is the person comprehending it that’s regurgitated back again. Of course this takes away a bit of an author’s ownership and what exactly they intended.
But one could argue if Barthes is claiming that we are the author of what we ingest in literature and art than really those haters personally calling you out in your comment section aren’t hating on you. They’re hating on themselves! See what I did there?
What makes you such an Expert? Where are your writing credits?
What makes you such an expert? And what are your credits? The whole reason you get started in a hobby or career is to gain credibility. No renown author, musician or artist started off renown. They had to write and paint a lot of crap before they wrote something great! And there are even typos in the great stuff too.
I’ll always reply and engage with those looking for a discussion about what I write and vice versa.
You should too. It’s how we get better.
But the next time someone leaves a revolting pile of poo on the doorstep of your social media space, remember, it’s not you. It’s not even what you wrote. It’s them and how they interpreted it.
Don’t you feel so much better now?
Than blog, post, debate and create away friends!