It comes with the territory. I write, I’m lucky enough to have some of it published, it enters the dark world of social media and well, readers give their opinions.
I do not have a thick skin. When I first started having my work critiqued on Facebook by strangers, I wanted to cry. I also wanted to respond with some strong language, find out where they lived, so I could confront them and tell them exactly why they were so ridiculously stupid.
And then I came to my senses.
The blog world is lovely place to be. In the blog-o-sphere people get to know you. It’s mostly a safe place with the best intentioned readers who are supportive, understanding and intelligent.
Published articles on social media are the opposite. For the most part:
- People do not read the entire article but, either skim it or just read the title, and assume they know exactly what it’s about and therefore can comment with a very strong opinion.
- Commentors do not know me or what I’m about. They assume I’m a brainless wonder with muscles who runs.
These days, instead of getting upset, I just laugh. Now, I would be lying if I said this was easy. Sometimes I have to stop myself from reading too many bad comments and, some days, a particularly harsh one will stay with me. But, for the most part, I let it roll and now, we can all laugh together.
Here are some of the best (meaning worst!) comments I have received on my articles or periscopes:
You see the issue with this one right away, don’t you? The article is about whether or not women should remove their hats at the start line of a race when the National Anthem is played! Not in general, not during a baseball game, but specifically at the start of a race.
Commence shit storm.
The following is a small fraction of the 100+ comments this post recieved. Most of them called me un-American and a lot of them questioned how I was raised and where. #merica
“Is this even a question? You call yourself a patriot? Sounds like vanity is playing a key role in what should be a no brainer. Shame on you.” – – She’s saying that part about vanity since I noted I would look like Eddie Munster if I took my hat off before a race start.
“Not sure how and where you were raised but this is America and we remove our hats when the athem comes on. Period.” No, I’m not correcting grammar because that would not be fun, would it?
“Not even a question and shame on you RunHaven for publishing.” I also love when they attack the publication.
“Do you also wear a hat to a funeral?” Um, WTF does one have to do with the other?
I think it’s important to note that I RARELY ever see a woman take her hat off at the start of a race and I have raced approximately 300,000 races. I’m not saying you bitches are lying but…you are. Stop it.
Women’s Running Magazine
So, this originally appeared in this space and the title was “7 Unhealthy Habits of A Healthy Athlete” and I was talking specially about myself in a place where you all know and love me. So, by changing the title and shooting it off to the masses, this happened:
“Can we please stop reinforcing bad habits and calling them good and giving more people reasons to be unhealthy?”
“I’m not buying that the author is as fit as she claims.”
“I love my thigh gap.”
“This article should just be titled ‘7 unhealthy habits people’ – – obviously you are either an editor or the grammar police, because that IS a much better title.
[Tweet “Best of the worst comments on #social #media. You have to read them to believe it! #bloglife #freelancewriting”]
Runner’s World Zelle
The overwhelming amount of comments on this article, and any article I post to this site, are positive. Which is why it’s even funnier when I got these two, the latter of which was written by A MAN!
“No ones business but hers. Some wouldn’t do it and some would. That is totally irrelevant to her life” – – I don’t even know where to begin with this one. The article is supposed to be motivating to other moms and it was obviously extremely relevant to my life. I am actually only now writing about things irrelevant to my life, like your comment, so perhaps you were predicting the future?
“Sprint? Olympic? Half-iron? Iron? Not sure how impressed I should be about this with an athletic woman” – – Dude. When you have a vagina, we can talk. However, while you still have a penis and have never experienced nine months of pregnancy culminating in having two humans cut out of your body, I will assume you are as clueless as this comment makes you sound.
Ah, the newest way to be insulted on social media is via live video. Like everything else I’m writing about today, I brought this on myself. If you don’t know what Periscope is, it’s the demon child of Twitter wherein any user can create an account and, with a few tidbits of info, can blast any kind of live video nonsense to everyone who follows you…or doesn’t, but has access to Periscope.
The only saving grace is that the videos only live for 24 hours before they vanish. Of course there are already sites set up to save every last one, or you can simply chose to have them saved, so really they live on forever like everything else on the web.
My very first scope was pooloside and yes, I was in my bathing suit but it’s a lap suit and nothing at all like a bikini. I was also filming from the waist up.
Anyone watching the “scopes” can type any comment they desire into the text window so you and everyone else who is watching sees it.
These were some of my first comments from the swimming scope:
“U r hot”
After encouragement like that, I did another one on what not to do in spin class:
“Can you please flex one time?”
“Damnnnnn grrrrlllll you so fit.”
Clearly, I was changing lives with my scopes so I did yet another one on cross training for injured runners:
“You run 20 miles at one time?”
“When I’m running I get a boner that won’t go away, can you help?”
[Tweet “The best of the worst #Periscope comments. Get your game face on! #socialmedia “]
So, imagine having to talk through these comments and pretend like you’re not reading them and that no one else is seeing them. It’s like trying to have a conversation with a toddler in a toy store. Not happening.
After that last one I figured out how to block the trolls and my scopes have been better for it. Perhaps a tad more boring but a lot more comfortable for all involved.
I love my job and I’m grateful that people actually pay me to write about running and fitness. The more haters gather ’round my words, the more they are being read and distributed. Hate on! I can take it.
What is the worst comment you have ever received, either online or in person?
How do you handle the haters?
Which is your favorite comment and why?