I’ve been puzzling over what to write about today as I juggle assorted work responsibilities and dream about the kick ass mexi burgers I’m planning on making for dinner. I could regale you with tales of how I write a fight scene. I could talk about how my husband has apparently been body snatched as he told me this morning he’s considering grad school. I have half a dozen other ideas kicking around in my brain. But what I’m really thinking about is how a portion of internet users take their relative anonymity and use it as an excuse to be total asshats.
This isn’t about anything that someone has said or done to me personally. I keep a pretty low profile and don’t to much in the way of the controversial. It’s about stuff I’ve seen said on assorted blogs in the long comments sections when dealing with controversial topics, indie or self-publishing in particular. It is one thing to deride the entire idea of self-publishing. It is one thing to point to poor cover art or crappy blurbs or grammar or punctuation errors that should have been caught prior to publication. It’s one thing to gripe about an entire industry or group that’s doing something noxious :cough: Agency 5 :cough: It is another thing entirely to attack someone personally online.
Now I know I bitch at length about my boss. But I do so under a pen name in a forum where she’s never gonna hear about it. I may gripe about idiot students. But same deal. They aren’t going to hear about it. Because it’s one thing to VENT about crap, and it’s a whole other kettle of fish to maliciously be ugly to someone. Not saying I’ve never done it before. Certainly, I’m human, so I have. And generally I regretted it after. But in general I do my best to adhere to the “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” rule.
It makes me have a very poor opinion of human nature that there are people out there who use the thin guise of anonymity on the internet to ditch all their morals, values, and lessons of etiquette to be petty and ugly to other people. Particularly over something that does not affect them personally. One person’s success (whether you view their success as success by your own standards) doesn’t have anything to do with your own failure. If you feel threatened by someone who is doing things differently, it’s time to wake up and realize that it’s on YOU to do something differently. And that doesn’t mean trying to tear someone down to make yourself feel bigger. That’s just the behavior of a classless bully and we should all strive to rise above it.