I is for Ignore.
As a blogger I’m putting my life and art online for anyone who finds their way to my corner of the internet to read. Because I’ve decided to make my life so accessible, I have to accept that I may run into people who, well…just don’t like me or find me interesting. As much as I tell myself that “Anonymous Commenter #17” is just a sad little person with a lot of pent up anger and immaturity, it still stings when they say mean things about my appearance or personality. My first instinct is to lash out and say, “no, YOU ARE! So THERE!”, but the adult in me quickly yanks me back down to earth and I realize that the only way to deal with this negativity is to ignore it and move on.
I’ve recently been dealing with some pretty intense negativity on the internet and I’d like to say that I’ve just ignored it, but honestly it really put me in a funk. While I didn’t fire back with negative comments and cruel remarks (that’s just not my style), I found myself wanting to hide from everyone who was calling me ugly (and other names I won’t write on my blog). I felt a little like I was being cyber bullied and it made me thank my lucky stars that Facebook wasn’t around when I was in high school.
After weeks of letting the nasty comments get me down, I decided enough is enough. I had kept quiet knowing full well that they would eventually move on if I didn’t give them more fuel for the fire, but part of ignoring these types of comments is also not letting them bother you.
Easier said than done, but I decided I was focusing my energy on the wrong things in life. I needed to focus on my wedding, my fiancé, my friends, my work and my art. I also needed to focus my internet browsing on positive, confident women like Amy and her Summer of Self Love campaign.
Kaelah who is always challenging people’s flawed ideas of feminism.
Sara who is brave enough to be honest about the struggles of motherhood.
By ignoring negativity I am taking back the power, being the better person, and discouraging their behavior by not giving them the reaction they are hoping for. And that feels way more satisfying than throwing insults back and forth behind the safety of our computers.