Hello Ms. Sarah. This might seem like a petty question, but as someone who puts a lot of effort into the content she distributes online and talks candidly about her opinions religious, literary, and otherwise, how do you deal with anon hate or people spreading your posts around with nasty comments? Idk if this has happened to you inasmuch, but I assume it is part of internet discourse. You may very well be one of those who gives no fucks, but if you give any, how do you process them?
I used to have fucks, but a few years ago I made the mistake of poking the monster of the Hannibal fandom, was trashed by a lot of people, bloggers I followed and respected, made it all the way to Fail Fandom Anon…
It was an exciting nausea-inducing time! But as a consequence I have have armor like a goddamn tank when it comes to anonymous or unkind comments on the internet.
In shedding that anxiety, I also lost my tolerance for the kind of emotional work necessary to respect everyone and where they’re coming from in their personal journey. I just don’t have the energy to care about 10,000+ strangers’ opinions, that’s exhausting and impossible, statistically someone is going to disagree or dislike me. Nasty comments on reblogs aren’t arguments or constructive criticism—I haven’t yet had comments like, “the way this character of color is written is thinly-veiled racism!” or “this discussion of Catholicism is great, but lacking nuance RE: abuse survivors!” which would obviously be cause for real concern and evaluation of my opinions and content. Nasty comments and anonymous hate are just that, and my time and energy is too valuable to waste on them.
So I delete messages freely. I block posts. I block notifications. Sometimes just I’ll go away and think about a comment for a while and decide that actually, that’s a good point and I have something to say on the topic. But my policy these days is that I will only respond to that sort of thing if I think my response will be interesting to my followers. Hopefully I’ve said everything I want to say articulating my position, if people disagree that’s why they have a blog.
I also think it’s important to remember that your blog isn’t you. Maybe it’s a beautiful facsimile and you’re very attached to it, but it’s not you. So instead of seeing comments or asks as reflections of you personally, these are people reacting to a single facet, barely a facet, just a shard or fragment of a self that resembles your reflection.
And at the end of the day, that’s not worth any response but boredom.