There will always be people that don’t like you. On the web, they just do it more publicly.
If you have never encountered someone who hates on you for what you’ve put on your blog, Twitter, or elsewhere on the internet– trust me, that time will come. It will not be long before someone comes across your site, reads it, and proceeds to try and get your attention by causing a scene or saying something that hurts your feelings.
The bad news is that you have to live with this. The good news is that you can get them to vanish if you ignore them, because they thrive on attention.
Despite this, prominent people on the web continue to give haters attention under the guise that they need to respond to everyone. This is nonsense. We choose who we want to give attention to the same way we reward positive behaviours and discourage negative ones in dogs. We don’t let them “express their personality” if that means they’ll bite us. Instead, we learn how to behave around them in order to get the results we want.
Despite this, haters will continue to come unless you drop off the map entirely. I’m not going to assume that these people are losers (as other people have), but it is clear that none of these people would behave this way in real life. There’s something about the disconnect between sender and receiver, when connected to the ability to read and write to anyone in the world, that can turn people into sociopaths when they’re surfing the web. Or maybe it’s them becoming their true selves, who knows.
The good news is about the web is that you have your own tribe, and you can choose to interact only with them, and never visit anyone else. They say this can lead to narrow political views, which means that you need to compensate by being broad in your search for knowledge elsewhere, but put that aside and you’ve got a good system for making sure no one has their way with you without your consent.
No matter what the size of your audience, you are a kind of micro-star who is, at least,Â famous for 15 people. So you need to act that way. My favourite example is the one where Tom Cruise gets hitÂ by a squirt gun during an interview. The response is priceless. However you feel about him, his response, “Why would you do that?” is perfect to address the situation.
I remember sending an email back to someone who had left a comment once on my blog. The answer was amazing: “I’m sorry, I was in a really bad mood last night.” Seeing the humanity in the situation worked. Try it.