I have been a member of Medium since April of last year and in the past six months or so I have seen a large uptick in the sheer amount of comments I read which are completely useless.
These comments are simply to insult the writer, demean them or bash the article they wrote with little or no validity. I myself have received some of these comments and it makes me shake my head at the individuals sending them.
It is very easy to tell that the person, hiding behind some random pseudonym name, usually has not even bothered to read the article in its entirety before blasting off their opinions into the cyberworld.
For me, the comments have typically revolved around articles I have written about relationships or familial relationships in traditional heterosexual relationships.
More than one person (man) has told me I must be some sad, lonely cat lady for writing such pieces.
The sad thing is that this comment (lonely cat lady) has been sent to me by more than three men now, so clearly insecure men all lob insults from the same shallow sack of intelligence. Also, why are women who own cats sad? I have never understood the stereotype.
My issue is not at all at being called out for problems in my writing, actually, I love constructive criticism and have received a lot of really useful feedback from readers on this site.
My issue lies with the individuals who quickly glaze your article, read a few highlights, make grandiose assumptions and then blast off at your character and article in the comments section. Where does my character come into the equation? You have not even met me, so to make an assumption on who I am from 500 words or less is concerning to me.
Have these comments ever made you feel shitty?
Have these comments ever made you hesitate before hitting publish on a piece of writing?
I am here to tell you that you are not alone, but we should not hesitate to keep working on our craft because of a few (asshole) bad apples in the barrel.
Firstly, see if their argument is even valid.
Some individuals have read short stories I posted on this site, taken from scrapes and snippets of my own life or others, and made assumptions about me as a person. They have not bothered to try and dig into the story, to see what the author is trying to subvertly articulate through the language.
When I see negative comments on these articles, where I can tell that they did not read the article in its entirety, I delete them. They are not posting or commenting for me to learn, to strike a debate with others or for anything of value, so there is no need for me to respond or allow their comment to live on my work.
Secondly, check out their writing.
Every single person who has sent hate my way on this site usually has five or fewer followers, two, one or no posts themselves and hide behind a fake name.
When these people post negative comments, I realize that they themselves lack the confidence or belief in their own writing to get a legitimate amount of content on this site, so why the hell should I care about their opinion?
I would definitely care about their opinion, if they were able to articulate it in a mature, respectful manner, but if that is a difficult feat for them, then I am not going to have a conversation with said individual: comment deleted.
In the beginning, I felt that every comment I receive should exist on its own.
I thought I was cheating or being inauthentic if I deleted negative comments from my posts. However, I (quickly) realized that if you are calling me ‘emotional,’ ‘bitter,’ ‘sad,’ it makes no sense because you are drawing inferences of me as a person from writing, which may not even be about me at all.
Comments such as these show that you are simply trying to hurt the writer’s feelings and not further explore the piece or challenge the writer and I do not have the time to fight in real life, with people I care about, let alone losers on the internet.
I still publish pieces I have written in an hour or less.
I still publish pieces that I am unsure of and wary of how others will perceive them.
I still publish pieces that I have not fully wrapped my head around because sometimes sending it out into the universe and getting feedback from others is exactly what I needed.
Use this medium (pun intended) for the exact reason you started with.
If you started to improve your writing, get your writing out there and learn from others, keep doing it and learn to block out the bullshit.
Medium is a wonderful site and I feel there are some individuals on here simply to make themselves feel better than those of us trying, but do not let them deter you because the greater population on this site are here to encourage, support and cheer on.