I had a conversation with a good friend a few weeks ago about the power of criticism, even when well-intentioned or trivial — and I said something sort of offhand that surprised me… even as I said it. I hadn’t realized how deeply some recent online, mostly anonymous criticism had affected me, and how much I needed to vent.
I told Jackie that I thought the hardest stuff to hear is the junk that you already secretly think about yourself. It’s a realization that the flaws that you hope and pray are only seen by you are, in fact, the same things that other people see.
The good news about analytics is that you can see what people are saying about you.
The bad news about analytics is that you can see what people are saying about you.
Last night, I wrote a 600-word treatise on the responsibility we all share when it comes to the Internet. I wrote what, in the light of day (well, as much light as there is at 5am), I now see was pretty much total bullshit.
We don’t share responsibility. It’s just not that heavy or lofty. The Internet is a free place — for better or for worse, we can all anonymously post whatever venom we want, and the truth is, I wouldn’t change that for a moment. I want the right to share my opinions, feelings and thoughts no matter how much they may offend or hurt others. And to that end, I have to acknowledge the right of others to do the same. To fight for that right and celebrate its use.
Do I wish that people took more time to reflect before hitting publish on posts or comments? Sure, especially when they seem to contain only superficial, mean ideas, without even a thread of true discussion or debate. Do I take it personally when people who remain nameless and faceless spew crap about me or my friends? Hell, yes. Does it bum me out? Make me consider getting out of the blog business altogether? Cause me to write 600-word rants?
More often that I’d like to admit.
So, the best I can offer today is a quote that helps me hold my head high, even when the right that I fight for is used to hurt people.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
And as a bonus…some other truly amazing quotes from our former first lady (courtesy of Pinterest):