On New Years Day I received a comment on one of my blog entries about Donald Trump. The person who left the comment was called Lang and their comment read:

“WOW! Just read this article. You really are a sore looser. Please consider re-visiting that mental hospital as I think you were released too soon.”

Perhaps I should have just ignored Lang but I replied with “Ah, my first nasty comment. You really are an asshole. Please reconsider personally attacking people for their mental illness because you disagree with them politically. I see you take after Trump in that regard.”

This was the first nasty comment I got on my blog but it certainly wasn’t the first nasty comment I’ve gotten on the internet. I’ve gotten a million and one of those. A year or two ago someone called Ruby directed a series of nasty, misspelled comments at me and she ended it by saying “Girl needs to get a life. Hell, a job.”

In one of my favorite internet comebacks of all time, a friend of mine who we’ll call Bernie replied with “How kind of you to share those opinions. In my opinion you need to get some empathy, manners and maybe a spellchecker.”

When I told Bernie about what Lang had said, she said it sounded like Lang needed to get the same things Ruby needed to get. A lot of people could stand to get some empathy, manners and a spellchecker but unfortunately we cannot force anyone to get any of those things.

When Ruby first told me to get a job and a life another person said that telling someone who has a mental illness to get a life and a job is a personal attack and quite low. Yet another person responded to that by saying that you can’t be expected to know if someone has a mental illness, what she said didn’t constitute a personal attack because she didn’t call me a fucking bitch and it could have been much meaner.

I can assure you that when you’re feeling insecure about your inability to find a job, being told to get a job is plenty mean and I felt personally attacked even if I wasn’t directly called a fucking bitch (and I did have other profanity hurled at me.)  If you’re unsure if someone has a mental illness and you’re considering making a shitty comment to them, a good rule of thumb is to play it safe and not make the shitty comment because you really shouldn’t be making shitty comments to people who don’t have a mental illness either.

As we can see from Lang, there are people who will deliberately insult you and personally attack you because of your mental illness. People like Lang really, really suck. There is a lot of stigma surrounding mental illness. A lot of people suffer through mental illness in shame and silence because they’re too afraid to speak out about it. Comments like the one Lang made tend to increase the shame and silence surrounding mental illness. They make the mentally ill even more afraid to speak out and thus the suffering associated with mental illness is increased as it becomes harder to find a support network.

I, however, will not let people like Lang deter me from posting the details of my mental illness. I’d prefer to focus on writing in a way that will promote my own self growth and will help others who have experienced similar struggles, not on writing in a way that will keep me safe from the bullies, trolls and assholes of the internet. Bullies, assholes and trolls tend to go after vulnerability. The details I reveal on this blog make me vulnerable to insults and personal attacks. You know what I say to that? Whatever. What those people think of me really doesn’t matter.

My most recent blogs have focused on the books I read in 2016. I’m not as in to TV as I’m in to reading but I did watch two shows last year- Orange is the New Black and Fuller House. If I was going to write about the life lessons I learned from one of those shows, you’d think it would be OITNB, not Fuller House and if I was going to learn a life lesson from any of the characters on that show, you wouldn’t think it would be the character who didn’t say much of anything besides “Whatever”. And yet I did manage to learn a valuable life lesson from good old Duane.

I saw a Yahoo article that dubbed “Whatever” the most annoying phrase of 2016. I agree that it’s pretty annoying but it does have its uses and I think Duane was on to something with the “Whatever” philosophy he developed as a motivational speaker.Imagine how much better, easier, and less stressful our lives would be if instead of feeling so hurt, angry and embarrassed by some of the things that happen to us, we just responded by saying to ourselves “Whatever.”

I think the nasty comments made to you by the bullies, trolls and assholes of the internet are very whatever worthy. I also think I’ve made some progress when it comes to developing a thicker skin. Those comments made to me by Ruby really stung, as did many of the other nasty internet comments made about me. Lang’s comment didn’t really hurt my feelings though. I realized it was much more of a negative reflection on Lang than it was on me. Whatever.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “When Online is Out of Line (Part 1)

  1. I’d say…Just ignore the nasty comments. There’s an internet saying ‘Don’t feed the trolls’. By replying to their comments, you are just giving them more reasons to continue trolling. Ignore them and they’re gone.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s