So here’s the thing about attaching negativity to someone’s OP.
We’re all putting ourselves out there with each post we make, particularly when it is about a topic we are passionate about. We put our feelings and thoughts out there for all the world to see, to debate, to collectively squee over. But too often what lingers with us is when those thoughts and feelings are judged, put down, and dismissed. Even if a post gets 500 or even 1000+ notes, it’s the 10 negative reblogs that stick with us.
For myself, I have come to accept that panic and apologising and almost deleting every single meta thought is an inevitable part of meta-ing nowadays. Dismissive tags, vitriolic comments, and sarcastic anon messages made sure of that. I have some great peeps in the fandom that help me get over that anxiety every single time, but honestly, without them, this blog would have petered out a couple of months ago.
And I was reminded of that again tonight, when a post roared back into circulation as they sometimes do, and rather than giving me joy, all I could think of were those negative comments that were attached to it weeks ago.
And let me be clear, these are not well-thought-out counter arguments that intend to open a discussion. No, it’s those posts that either attack on a “I just don’t understand this person; what the fuck are they thinking” level, but also very much those tags and added comments that insist on insulting TPTB and the op in a “I dont think they think about it this much” vain. Those posts that start with “I don’t mean to insult the OP or be negative, but…”
I’ve seen people stop posting meta because of such responses. People whose meta thoughts should be welcomed, because our little meta madness numbers have dwindled significantly. I’ve seen new people to the show remonstrated for posting meta about a topic someone else meta-ed about 3 years ago as if there is such a thing as owning a topic. And all of this has left me pretty sad. Has left me wondering regularly if not to quit Tumblr altogether.
So as s11 progresses, could we try for a new type of discourse in the fandom? One where of course we can be critical, but one where we mainly aim to celebrate our shared enthusiasm for the show? I would love it if we can go back to a season 8 and 9 meta situation, where there was so much each week it was hard to keep track of it all. And there certainly is more than plenty of material in the current season to do this!