11.06.13

THE HATE IS CRAZY

so there’s something that’s been weighing on me lately. i’ve questioned writing about it for obvious reasons, but i just decided it needed to be said. before social media and the internet, if you didn’t like a celebrity or someone in the public eye…what would you do? talk bad about them to your friend? read about them in tabloids? send them a letter they would probably never see? there were few ways that you could actually express your dislike to them and they would find out. right? now, celebrities put up photos on instagram or tweet something and get bombarded with hate. of course there are tons of awesome comments as well. but if you scrolled through the comments on people’s accounts with millions of followers you would be astonished at the hateful comments you’d find. it’s dark.

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it’s very strange to me. because sure, i have thought negative things when i’ve seen a picture. who hasn’t? but to actually write it TO that person? that’s just a whole different mentality. and we aren’t talking about standing up for what you believe or even constructive criticism. i mean these people will literally just say how ugly and disgusting you are and how much they think you should die. REALLY? you want that person to DIE? it just boggles my mind. why would you take a moment out of your day to write that to someone? it’s like they forget that they are even people.

and then let’s take it to the bloggers. not celebrities, but have a social following that would allow for a lot of opinions. i’ve seen it with friends of mine and even a little myself. people hatefully telling mothers how to raise their children. people that will comment on your weight or your looks. criticizing their every move. it feels like it’s only getting worse. so what do you do? do you engage with the hate? try your best to ignore it? it would be crazy to say it doesn’t effect someone’s day. can you imagine someone coming up to you when you are out at the grocery store and just saying “you’re a terrible mother.” and then walking away. how would that not put you in an awful mood? but instagram is full of that. it’s supposed to be a place where people can share and engage. my biggest question is, if you don’t like someone, why follow them? i don’t think the online world needs to be all cupcakes and compliments, but it definitely doesn’t need this. we are entering a new era completely. what are your thoughts on it? have you seen it or experienced it?

(photo by amy friend)

174 COMMENTS

Add your own

    jill says:

    hi bri, thanks for speaking up about this. i have often wondered the same thing about people posting negative comments. i was taught and try to live by “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all” it’s hard at times and i have been guilty of putting my foot in my mouth from time to time, but to write it on someones profile is just plain cruel. i recently reported someone for posting that they wanted to rape someone…do you believe? it just upset me so much i couldn’t not.
    so, on a lighter note: i think you are rad! oh and please come back to london with blogshop in spring 2014, thanks.

    rachel says:

    i am so curious about the people leaving mean, cruel comments. what are they like in real life? do i know these people? do i ever interact with them? are they living out some weird, awful, alter life through social media?
    the mothering thing really concerns me. motherhood is hard. who needs that? these women aren’t posting pictures of child abuse. it’s “inappropriate” pictures of shirtless backs, or culturally “insensitive” costumes. seriously, if that is the worse you can come up with on a mother, i’m pretty sure you need to give her a break.

    No matter what there is always going to be those people that want to bring you down with hateful comments. They are just not happy about life and choose to project it out onto social media. It is the easiest way to state your opinion without direct contact. My motto is “don’t ever let someone take away your happy” even if its for a second. We especially see it more now with all the bullying via social media etc. So sad but this is the world we live in. Everyone has their own story.

    Chelsea H says:

    The only conclusion that I’ve come to is that the people who make these comments must be truly sad people who are fundamentally unhappy with their life. The kind of vicious and vile words that they write come from jealousy, shame, or misery; maybe all three and then some. The people who are mostly satisfied with their lives and following bloggers for the entertainment and enjoyment of it always seem to keep it positive. I don’t think that makes words hurt any less though. It’s a shock to the mind and heart when people are so purposefully hurtful. I think you and the other bloggers I follow are awesome and inspiring and I appreciate all of the hard work you put in to your content. 🙂

    AMEN!! If you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, you shouldn’t say it about them online.

    Erin says:

    I could not agree more. I feel awful when I read the hate that is bombarding social media. Thank you so much for writing this! Keep on keeping on!

    MK says:

    I agree 100%, it’s gotten to the point that I rarely read comment sections of popular articles or celebrities anymore. They’re so filled with negativity that engaging with them is probably what they’re hoping for, so I see no point in indulging them. I think all you can do is feel bad for these people who feel the need to try and drag others down into their sad, sorry little worlds.

    holly says:

    it’s been weighing on me too! its tough to want to be yourself or put yourself out there when people can just be so cruel, ya know? you don’t have to like everyone ( there is this thing called an unfollow button), but there is a fine line between criticism and baseless, hateful judgment. it’s one of the reasons i have cut back on my social media usage is because it’s been more rampant.

    but i agree with some of the people above – at the end of the day, i think it reflects on the people who write the comments. they have to be unhappy with themselves to write much of the stuff they do.

    luckily, it’s all a good reminder than no one defines who you are except you 🙂

    Anneli says:

    It’s everywhere, it’s awful and it’s exhausting. I don’t get it either. Makes me feel like resigning from the internets for good every now and then.

    Amy says:

    It’s surprising how hateful a lot of people are on the inside. I feel like they see the internet as a place where hate is more socially acceptable because they can be anonymous. Makes me wonder what they’re like in real life.

    Niki says:

    I have seen this and I think it’s awful. Not everybody is going to like everything, but to vocalize it takes it a step further. It’s not necessary and it’s mean.

    I have not come across negative comments on instagram yet (on my photos or others) but I have experienced it first hand on my blog in the worst possible way.. Almost 3 years ago my 2nd child was stillborn and I had someone write a comment telling me to just “get over it” because “at least I didn’t loose a living child”.
    I could not believe it! I still can’t!

    xanthe says:

    I don’t get it either. Too much time on their hands.
    Motherhood is the hardest (and best) job and people should support each other through it. Imagine if everyone just handed out compliments all the time instead of hate… how wonderful would that be.
    Just keep doing what you’re doing and forget the haters… xx.

    Dana says:

    you’re absolutely right!!!

    it´s soooo crazy that people do that.

    i think they can´t tell people in the face that things they do is not good or beautiful.
    but it´s so easy for them to tell people when they can hide himself behind the internet.
    that is cowardly.

    we all can do our best and dont be like this people.

    Love and Respect for everyone.

    warmly,
    dana

    I had a really negative comment yesterday and it’s one of the first I’ve really had. All of the decisions went through my mind…do I block them from my page? Do I delete their comment…or leave it up so people can see my response? Such a tough (and sad) situation. Thanks for talking about it!

    jaclyn says:

    Just the other day my husband and I were half-heartedly watching some gossip-news show and they were talking about how “FAT!” and “DISGUSTING!” Kim Kardashian got when she was pregnant. I was very surprised when my husband proclaimed, “What is wrong with people?! She was pregnant! Regardless of whether someone agrees with her fame, she’s still a human being who had a baby.”

    I was like, “right on, brother!”

    Seriously though, the hate needs to stop. And as isolated as we may *think* celebrities are, I can’t imagine opening up your instagram and seeing that 1000’s of people hate the outfit you wore, or think you’re disgusting for eating pizza, or whatever it may be.

    Personally, I love when celebrities and bloggers share bits of their personal life online. It feels like a special treat but we need appreciate it, not critique it. That’s a favor they do for us, their fans, they aren’t obligated to share that stuff.

    kelsey says:

    the instagram hate drives me nuts. it’s so odd to write to someone and say how much you hate what they’ve done? why not scroll by and move on. i think people just have too much free time and quick typing fingers on their hands. not sure how to remedy that unless we have a cultural shift

    Kadie says:

    I have thought of this too. So often people exaggerate their feelings or opinions when they are not looking into the person’s eyes. I think celebrities, and bloggers for that matter, have an incredible amount of courage putting their thoughts and ideas in front of the public eye!

    Marisa says:

    I was JUST listening to an interview with Aisha Tyler (her podcast Girl on Guy) about this. She usually responds directly to the person, not in a mean way but just saying ‘hey i see you, that was rude’ way. She said most of the time people apologize or explain themselves. I think it would take a lot of guts to say hey that was mean! Haters are the weirdest thing, they are the worst on youtube, case in point the ‘am i pretty?’ trend? No thank you! Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s awesome!

    Elle says:

    Well said Bri. Who are these people??? How does anyone allow themselves to get that wound up about other peoples life choices. We are all different, if you don’t like what you see, move on, find something you can connect with positively. Don’t waste your words on being vitriolic and spiteful, what is the point? If there is one bad thing about the internet it’s that it’s given hateful people a more accessible platform. That said, although it may seem like there are a lot of those people, I think the truth is they ( the haters) are just more likely to comment here (where they cant be seen) than normal people.

    Kari says:

    I totally agree with you that the hate experienced on social media is crazy. You’re right in that people start blogs and instagram accounts to connect with people and share their story. Everyone needs encouragement and love, so if you don’t care for that person, then don’t read their stuff or follow them. I’ve always been appalled there’s an actual website to slam bloggers. It’s like taking the mean girls from high school who would just talk behind your back to a whole new level. I think that the same motto we usually exhibit in real life of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all” should apply to social media, too. It’s not rocket science. When you say mean stuff, it’s going to hurt someone’s feelings and just because you can’t see their reaction when they read it doesn’t make it any less true. Thanks for speaking out about this:)

    Tanya says:

    Yeah, a lot of people seem to have this idea of being anonymous on the internet, and with that, for some people, comes the feeling of un-punishability, so – anything goes. So, all the petty rage and envy gets displayed, just because they can.

    It always makes me feel very uncomfortable, since my own motto is to just ignore someone if they do something I don’t like. So, in my own ideal world, if a celebrity did enough things that enough people didn’t like, that celebrity would just fade into obscurity, since everyone would just ignore them. But all the hate and vitriol, spewed for wrong and right reasons, gets no one anywhere.

    Also, I think this culture really suffers from lack of empathy. I actually don’t believe these haters have some kind of Quazimodo sad lives. I think they are people we know, talk with at work, shop next to at grocery stores, etc. They just put on the “out in public” faces, and we don’t know what they do online.

    Anyway, thank you for this post – I wish there were more like that from more sources, and more often, so it would be more of a “things everyone should keep in mind” vs. “oh hey, this one blogger thinks so”.

    Emmie says:

    Interesting topic. I haven’t experienced it on my blog or Instagram yet (luckily), but I have noticed it on celebrities’ accounts. Just recently I noticed how many hateful comments Kim Kardashian gets on Instagram. If you don’t like her then don’t follow her!!

    Lauren says:

    With the amount of amazing original content that is posted on the internet daily by people like you, I can’t understand why people are letting themselves be distracted by the things they don’t like and missing all of the beautiful things that could be inspiring them.

    And side note about the parenting advice…I’m not a mom myself but I’ve had so many conversations with my mom about this topic…every mom thinks they know best. And they probably do….for their children. But everyone and every family is different. But there is nothing more annoying than (especially a first time) parent on their high horse, doling out parenting advice. I like to think that they learn and grow out of it.

    Katia says:

    Aside from the obvious, that “some people ARE mean and hide behind their technology to be mean”, I think a lot of the hate we see around the internet is from people who have some personal problems and feel a lot of anger – the same way some people might take it out on those they love around them, it’s probably actually easier and feels less destructive to lash out at people online who we don’t actually know. It’s shitty but it happens in real life too, to a lesser extent. We’re just opened up to a lot more people and personalities because of the internet. In real life if someone’s that mean we just don’t associate with them.

    xo
    http://kittysnooks.blogspot.ca/

    Alecia says:

    I’m sorry you have experienced this Bri. Thankfully I don’t have a huge following so this really isn’t an issue for me in my life (again I say thankfully).

    I think people like to indulge in their hate. Why hate and be bitter by yourself when you can do it in front of an audience and even find like minded people who spew hate the way you do. Hatefulness and jealousy are two very isolating and lonely feelings – so they feel the need to be heard and thus it gets attention.

    Look at it this way. People like to connect with one another. Now whether they like to connect over negative or positive things is their issue. I would look at those “hateful” comment people as a way to connect. Think about back in middle school where you connected with girls because you gossiped about someone else. I mean shit grown women still do that. Hair salon talk, anyone? I think people who spew such hate on such a large platform are extremely lonely and don’t know how to connect with humans on a normal level. Does this makes sense?

    I think giving it no attention is the best. If they find they can’t connect with someone on the matter, they will most likely not get so much satisfaction out of doing it.

    Hope this helps! All my love to you who have to deal with that negativity. I always feel like the light outweighs the dark. I know it isn’t easy to always see that, but you have to keep reminding yourself of that.

    Tracey says:

    The internet has bred some real nastiness. Occasionally I do try to speak up but I don’t always think it helps if there are a sea of comments, the people that are being ugly would have to read all of the comments to see it and what are the odds of that? In a smaller “world” like a blogger’s, there’s a better chance of it. Someone I follow did recently call out a very ugly comment directed at her and in the wake of the following discussion, that commenter DID return, express her embarrassment and apologize.

    Melissa says:

    I don’t get it either. I don’t understand why people follow celebrities they hate. However, regarding blogger comments- this whole movement of putting your life in the public eye opens you up for criticism and crazies. People have to know this. I actually get annoyed when all of the comments are sugar coated especially when a project or whatever isn’t that great. I don’t understand why you need a comments section. For validation? I dont agree with mean hateful comments but you are setting yourselves up for this. Why? Write a blog because you have something to say or show and turn off the comments!

    Aileen says:

    So glad you wrote this post. I always feel really bothered when I read hateful comments on blogs or social media. It’s fine to have different taste or disagree with what someone says, but to be so mean-spirited about how you express it?? Not okay. I think this needed to be said!

    meredith says:

    so glad you brought this to everyone’s attention! it stuns me constantly to read through negative comments by people who have usually never even met the person that they have such an adamant opinion on… however, with that said, i’m still forever inspired by all the positive things that stem from social media and think we should all try to focus on that side of the spectrum. it’s so great to see people lifting each other up from across the country and spreading so much love to strangers! and i’m so grateful to bloggers like yourself who continue to set that tone for this new era! keep up the great influence! 🙂

    Teri Roughen says:

    Hi Bri!
    my husband always says those people who have negative things to say are the people not doing ANYTHING! those of us who put ourselves out there are creating something, working our passion, discovering new things, being productive. Creative, hardworking, motivated people don’t have time or the mindset to write horrible things to others. So, YES! Ignore them and keep doing what you do because people like you and me and all the people taking risks and doing what they love are making the world a better place. And that’s really all we can do to combat any ugliness. xo your friend, Teri

    Susie says:

    Thanks for writing about this. When it it become “Cool to be Cruel”? I think it is important to put it out there that this is not OK!

    Lacey says:

    I totally feel you on this topic. I’ll scroll through instagram feeds and comments on celeb photos and it turns my stomach! With suicide, depression, anorexia, etc being so prevalent today, I do not understand why humans continue to bully and disrespect each other. It is NEVER ok. But it is especially despicable when done through the internet. I am convinced that these people would never say the horribly things they write to the celebs face. It’s cowardice.

    Tanya says:

    Well put – this bothers me as well. It seems the world is full of pitiful haters who feel the need to bring others down. They’ve probably always been there it’s just that now they have a vehicle to be mean and hateful incognito. I try to ignore them – don’t engage – doing so just fuels their unhappiness & rage. The good news is that the other 99% of readers out there are terrific, loving human beings. So like another commenter said “don’t let anyone steal your happy!”

    I just had to unfriend a bunch of people from facebook for this very reason. And these were people I KNOW who are generally very good people. For some reason they felt inspired to attack others openly on facebook and I’m bewildered. Is it the mob mentality? They see others doing it and get sucked in? I don’t know. But I’m trying really hard to counter it with extra kind and supportive comments to others. I guess those of us who aren’t caught up in the negativity need to spread even more love. So here’s a little to start the day…your blog is beautiful and this post was inspired. Thank you!

    Liz says:

    Hi Bri! I couldn’t agree more!! I recently quit following a friend’s feed as it just became too negative each morning. There is enough sadness in the world already … I choose to focus on the positive! Thank you for writting about this – hopefully

    Liz says:

    … hopefully a few will listen to your wise words!
    Peace and Love – liz

    Karen says:

    I appreciate you adding to this conversation. I know other bloggers have brought it up as well. My feeling is that the people who are so cruel to celebrities are most likely kids. Or at least young adults. For some reason, many young adults think it’s funny to be cruel and hurtful (Mean Girls). It is what it is.

    As for people who rip people in blogs, I’m not sure what’s up with that. I have seen people make negative comments (that are not personal or cruel) and the blogger gets defensive or dismissive and I always cringe. I imagine it’s difficult but it seems best to confidentially, objectively respond to criticism, but to ignore nasty personal attacks. I think the difference is that bloggers probably read most or al of the comments. I doubt celebrities do.

    Oh… and I have had people say nasty things to me in “real life.” It sucks.

    Laura says:

    It makes me sad that you even had to write this, Bri, but I’m glad you did. Of course, we won’t each love every photo or idea that people put out, but why voice such deeply mean comments? It blows my mind what people will say through the anonymity of the internet. Let me say that as a long time reader of your blog that I deeply admire your creativity, your drive, and your voice. Keep on, girl! xx

    Heather says:

    In today’s virtual world, I notice ordinarily nice people doing really hurtful things online. Much of its anonymity, people can type nasty stuff, hit send, and sit back. If they ever said it to your face, it would be very different scenario. My 12 year old daughter was getting cyber bullied by a boy in her class. In stead of responding back to him via text, she confronted him in class, asking him to stop bullying her with texts. She told me he turned beet red, hung his head down and said nothing. The harassment stopped. However this approach doesn’t always work in online situations. Best to ignore the haters. They are not worth your time and energy. Weak people would never say hurtful things to your face. They are cowards.

    Aleksi Poirier says:

    Bri – I completely agree with you! I am disgusted by people who bash on bloggers. Why follow them? Why do they keep going back to their site? I totally understand deleting mean or critical comments on blog posts from these people. I dont know how you can ignore them but I hope you know that people appreciate your creativity and enjoy watching your business grow. You are such a cute and relatable girl, someone that I could be friends with in real life! Just keep doing you!

    Korin A. says:

    Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you for saying something.
    ~k

    janika R says:

    Totally agree with what you say Bri. Why follow them and later hurt them with rude comments? Bloggers out there are trying to interact with readers and rude words can hurt them deeply. Let us just remember that they too are humans and have feelings too.
    For bloggers, it is best to ignore them.

    Megan G says:

    I completely agree with your sentiments. I think that we should try to build each other up and not tear people down, even on the Internet. The thing about the comments section on blogs/etc., is that it allows people to put on a mask of anonymity and say things that are extremely hurtful without any major social consequences. Just a few days ago, I was reading an article that shared appreciation for stay at home moms. However, the comments section was a lengthy list of hurtful, vicious, non-constructive comments degrading stay-at-home-moms. Being a work-from-home, stay-at-home-mom myself, I was extremely hurt by the comments and left the blog doubting my value as a sahm and as a person. We don’t need this kind of hate in the world or on the Internet.

    Brittany says:

    It’s so terrible the way total strangers tear each other down, seemingly out of boredom. I can’t even comprehend being so cruel to people and in such a cowardly way. BE KIND, people. It’s so simple! I just hope I instill enough love and goodwill in my children as they grow, that they avoid being a cyber bully in their teen/ adult years, and instead use technology as a force of positivity.

    Good topic! I agree 100%. I have a really hard time when I’m following someone in the spotlight on instagram and see the most mind blowingly rude and obnoxious comments. I feel like social media is meant to be a positive thing: to meet new people, to share common interests and to uplift people. I know it’s not meant to be a negative thing or to be used negatively to bully or put people down. I think a lot of the times it’s people being jealous of what that other person has or how fantastic they look. I guess it comes down to people will always abuse things, but people that understand the power of positive social media need not engage and just keep their heads up! Thank you for sharing!

    allison says:

    You are absolutely fabulous for writing all my thoughts down and sharing them with your blog readers. I wholeheartedly agree.

    Do I sometimes judge someone’s outfit, their parenting, their coffee choice, or how a stylist agreed to cut their hair like that? Sure. To my best friend. In her home. Where no one can hear us. Taking your negativity to the web is unwelcome and just plain rude. Why is it ok to be rude on the interwebz when you would NEVER say what you’re typing (oh, um, it’s not).

    I’m a big baseball fan, and tweeted a congratulatory msg to the RedSox and Red Sox Nation last week, someone completely random (who does not follow me) replied “your fat. lol” UM WHAT? Not only does that have nothing to do with baseball, that’s a personal attack and very, very hurtful. What caught me first was actually the improper use of “your”, but that’s besides the point…I cried. Deleted and blocked the gentleman and went to bed. Who does that? That is not ok!

    Damaris says:

    It’s pretty baffling. I often come across those comments and wonder how that celebrity/blogger/chef/stylist/etc do it. Probably the thing they have to tell themselves is the “it comes with the territory” line and try to brush it off and move on. Because social is very much an amplified form of how people are in real life, I think those same people that write hateful comments under an athlete’s picture, are the same people who are rude/condescending to waiters, shoved people into lockers at school and threw popcorn at someone’s head at the movie theater. You can’t stop hate, you can only spread good around and hope it infects as many people as possible and continues to carry over. It’s tough, because we do live in a pretty dark/ugly world, but for all the hate/ugliness, there is also beauty and love, and I want nothing more than the latter to shine brighter than the former. Just keep writing/creating/doing what you love… it’s all you can do. The one thing you shouldn’t do is let the hate stop what you love to do most. It’s cheesy and sometimes it sounds simple, but I think many times it’s the only thing you can do.

    Susie says:

    Such a timely topic! I have a few friends who are going through this with their very popular instagram accounts. Haters, vicious comments (not just from women) on each an every post. Now I am not someone who believes in just because you post or are a semi celeb everything you put out there deserves praise and OH MAH GOSH YOU ARE SO PURTY. I feel thats what that little heart button if for. You like it or don’t. I was raised (as I bet a lot of us were) if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all. Are there exceptions to this? You bet! If someone posts something hugely offensive, could it be dangerous or hurting someone else – maybe that is a time to speak up. Are you posting a rude comment out of dissatisfaction or jealously in your own life? (I have my own little green monster – we just have our own private talks) I think blog posts and articles, such as this one, where the article sets forth a call to action for the reader to discus their opinion is the only place it is OK to say how you really feel -in an adult manner OF COURSE. I feel we could all use a little more kindness, encouragement, ect in our day to day. As a photographer – if i see another photographers photo that inspires me I SAY SO (even though inside I am so jealous I could spit – I wish I had taken it!) Be a good neighbor, teacher, reader, friend.

    Mallory says:

    The internet is full of information. They’re are “scientific” studies to prove something is the best way in parenting. It’s a bit contradictory. People think that because they’ve read something on the internet, they have a vast amount of knowledge on the subject. Parenting is where I see the most of this.
    It is also so difficult to discern tone. Whenever I leave a comment I worry if someone will read it wrong, and am careful not to sound negative. There are certainly times when people are most definitely intending hate.
    A picture is a snapshot of a moment; we don’t know all that was going on, and we’d do better to remember that.
    Thanks for posting this! I think it’s important to get the conversation started and hope to make a change!

    Teryn says:

    I totally 100% agree. I was actually just recently “bullied” on Instagram by my fiances ex girlfriend. She made 3 different fake IG accounts just to keep spamming all my pictures calling me a fat whale.

    Did she not have anything else in the entire world better to do? These people don’t realize what they are doing. I am confident in who I am and I wouldn’t let her moronic hurtful opinion of me ruin my life, but some people don’t have that strength because they just keep getting beat down. No wonder the suicide rates are climbing daily. I suggest you, and everyone for that matter, wath the doscentary BULLY. It totally opened my eyes to how serious bullying can be and what it leads to. Parents of kids who have hung them self at only 12 years old due to social media bullies. It’s serious stuff and I think not many people talk it seriously.

    I also agree, why follow if you don’t like someone’s life or someone’s parenting? It’s a waste of both parties time so just leave them alone and carry on with your own life! Had to rant, this bothers me on a daily basis.

    Megan says:

    i hear ya. i’ve included a link to an article below about how instagram has become this black hole of depression and self loathing…..vicious cycle…….it’s hard when you see all these people on insta with things you want or that they look like their lives are so perfect. i understand how the hate can happen, but i agree with you in the fact that it seems so strange and off-putting that someone could go that extra step and share those increasingly negative feelings with such an insanely large group of people. why?!?! whyyyyyyy????

    I actually stumbled across this article while reading bigBang studio and she included with the article a little thought from her mom:

    “I think my mom put it aptly when she said, a short while after cruising through the feeds on my phone, “aren’t all these dinner parties and picnics a bit oppressive? One shouldn’t spend too much time slutting around on this thing or one might get terribly depressed. Now unload the dishwasher.” Guilty as charged and RIGHT AS USUAL, MOM.”

    article link: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2013/07/instagram_and_self_esteem_why_the_photo_sharing_network_is_even_more_depressing.html

    TJ says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I have experienced this a few times already from blogging and it really is the most hurtful thing. The fact that there are even websites dedicated to calling out peoples mistakes, flaws, commenting on looks and their character. It’s just sickening. There is a world of difference between constructive criticism and hate. The thing I hate the most when people make negative comments about celebrities or even bloggers is that “they knew this came with the job”. I don’t think people sign up for having their character attacked. We do what we do for either our jobs, side jobs, something for fun. No one wakes up in the morning saying, “Oh boy, I hope someone bashes me today”. People really need to take a step back and think. If this person is annoying you, then why are you looking? If you don’t like a celebrity, then why are you on their Instagram? Reading their magazine covers? Writing to them? Is it just me or does that not make any sense.
    Anyway, thank you so much for being so open and honest. We all need a little dose of reality every now and again.
    Thank you!
    xo TJ

    http://www.hislittlelady.com

    Amanda says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    I remember once on your instagram you posted about the Wayne White documentary and how inspiring it was for you, and I was so excited! It cracked me up to see how you had painted the f-word on your nails, and overall it was just a fun post that made me smile (which I think, is what social media SHOULD be doing).

    But then there was someone who posted a really negative comment. She said that you should be ashamed and that you should “speak like a lady” and a bunch of other really rude and unnecessary stuff. I was immediately bothered. I felt so defensive. It’s like, hey Wayne White is AMAZING and if he wants to cuss he should be able to, because that’s who he is! And the same goes for Bri! Just because you are a blogger doesn’t mean that you can’t be human. Its okay that some people will disagree with you, or Wayne White, or anyone else. But I don’t think that means that you should be personally attacked. That’s just wrong.

    So i guess in a roundabout way what I’m trying to say is that I really admire people who are real, wether it be online or in a documentary. So thanks for being a REAL PERSON. It sucks that some people react with negativity, but we’ve got your back! forget the haters!

    Thanks for making a blog that’s full of positivity.

    <3

    ngs says:

    I have been thinking so much about this lately! As the online voice for an organization, I am always taken back by negative comments. My initial reaction is always, hello, we’re a nonprofit who just wants to make everyone’s lives better, what is wrong with you?! But then a step is taken back and calm reaction is in order.
    On a different note, I do not understand why people feel it’s ok to say things like “die” and “go kill yourself.” It is out of this world. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online. Don’t be a coward.

    Erika says:

    People can be so terrible. If you don’t like a blog, don’t go to it. Simple as that.

    Kimberly says:

    As both a full-time blogger and a mother of two, it is so disheartening to see how the Internet/social media allows people to spew hate with no consequences. It’s happened to me personally and I’ve seen it happen to other bloggers who I really respect & admire. I choose to address any negative comments that are on my site but I try to handle each one with a measure of grace & understanding – I never want to be the kind of person who strikes back or stoops to that level because then I’m just perpetuating a vicious cycle. As a parent, it’s something we have to think about as our kids get older too – not only raising them to be compassionate towards others but also to teach them resiliency should they encounter negativity like this.

    i think the world is getting crazier. it’s just so easy for people to hide behind their computers and spit out hateful things – and people spend less time in the real world and don’t develop the social skills and politeness that you would in person. i haven’t experienced much internet hate but i have had the odd nasty comment here and there over the years and it takes you aback when you read it! i always just delete.

    i think engaging with the negativity is specific to the case- sometimes it might be best to delete the comment and block the user. actually i was on oh joy’s instagram the other day and she had posted a photo of ruby riding a turtle’s back and a few people got very upset – and she responded really diplomatically and i admired that – and she said to email her to discuss. (however i think there are some mega crazies out there who you definitely wouldn’t want to engage with at all!)

    oh and i just remembered reading on oh happy day – someone posted in the comments something like “enough pinatas already – can’t you be more creative?” (laughable!! OHD is SO creative!) and jordan responded “the best thing about having your own blog is that you get to post whatever you like!” with a happy face… i liked that response a lot.

    great topic post, bri! and on that note … you have such FANTASTIC style! xo

    Tish says:

    I love what Dooce did regarding the trolls that were taking a toll on her happiness: She created a site dedicated to the negative comments she received. If people wanted to play in that bad energy they could click there and all those lovely clicks would score money for Heather’s charity of choice. Clever way to flip the script.

    I’m not sure why social media has brought out our ugly as a society…Why does anonymity inspire hate? I have no answer unfortunately 🙁

    “If you don’t have nuttin’ nice to say don’t say nuttin’ at all” – That is how my mama raised me and for that I am grateful. So no, I’ve never lashed out at anyone on the Internet or even in person. I do speak my mind and offer constructive criticism (mainly in person) if asked for my opinion. People are dealing with enough real sh*t in their real lives and adding virtual sh*t just doesn’t seem right.

    **hugs and hi5s***

    lisa says:

    I think this behavior is so terrible and I’m always astonished when I see comments or tweets like this. We are so lucky that people share their lives/talents with us to inspire/entertain and if you don’t like it, you don’t have to look! This is a great post- I was just thinking about this recently.

    maggie says:

    The Internet is a wonderful and terrible thing. It’s no secret that people use the Internet as a sort of barrier between them and their target and they can still throw tomatoes. Quite frankly, it’s cowardly. Anyone who has tried to fix (or hurt me) via Facebook, Instagram, etc., I just can’t take it seriously because I know they are safe at home when they put out these thoughts.

    I think if you are going to put your life out on the Internet and on social media, you have to have a very thick hyde and know that when people are anonymous, they can be mean.

    Emma says:

    I read somewhere that it’s much easier for us to make connections with people over shared negative feelings rather than positive ones. Like, ” Man, don’t you just hate it when…” rather than ” Hey, don’t you love when….” Something about it being easier to relate to things people generally dislike, because finding positive ones takes more effort- perhaps that makes people lazy, and therefore more inclined to hateful comments than supportive one. I wish people would realize we create the culture we live in. We as a community establish the rules of what’s acceptable and what’s not, and it’s often a select few that express what many people view as unnecessary meanness. We are all entitled to our own opinions, I believe in that, but what people forget is that some things are better left unsaid.

    Maria says:

    Bri this came at the total right time in my life! Over the weekend I made my very first YouTube video for my blog and I was so excited about putting my baby into the universe! It went live on Monday and the reaction has been pretty stellar so far but there have been a few negative comments and I am struggling a little bit with not taking it personally. I think especially with blogging you are revealing a little piece of your personal self to strangers so it is hard when negativity creeps in.

    With that said I also think part of it is some of those people with negative comments would be too scared to ever try what you are doing (blogging, blogshop, collaboration videos, styling, acting as a spokesperson, etc) and so the negativity is actually a reflection of the frustration with themselves.

    You are so delightful and honestly one of the biggest reasons I decided to start my blog in the first place, so thank you for that! The negative comments for me have just inspired me to put more love back into the universe – wrote about what I am doing on my blog if you are interested 🙂

    Hugs

    Lindy says:

    It speaks loudly about the person writing the comment, and really doesn’t reflect the person being attacked. I think it is a form of harassment that SHOULD have the same kinds of consequences as though it were said in “real life”. These social media sites should have clear boundaries and control over this type of activity. I’ve thought long and hard about what that would look like but it’s pretty tricky. It worries me that so many people have such dark sides to them. I wonder about the root of the internal dialogue they have with themselves as they’ve said something hateful, and what they feel like afterwards. It would be interesting to have someone open up about their side of it. Might give some new insight for possible ways to change it!

    Kim says:

    For six months now I have had a girl posting nasty and rude comments about me on her twitter account. She posts and then deletes after a day and blocks me so I can’t report her. I have tried to get twitter to help but they don’t even respond. Now she looks at my instagram photos and makes hateful comments on twitter. I think she must live the most pathetic life ever but I wish she would leave me out of it. I hate that sharing photos has turned into a free range criticism party.

    Doris says:

    First, you are so ABOVE these haters, that’s why they are trying to PULL YOU DOWN to their level. People will say what they want to say. You have no control of that. But you have control on whether their words will hurt you or not. Words will only hurt you if you believe what is said about you. I once had to take a stand in court where the other party maliciously portrayed me in such a horrible description to win their litigation. It was very hard to hear, but I know I am not all the things they depict and described. And my truth, of who I am and the good I have done, and the lives I have touched supersedes the opinion of one little poison apple whose light will never shine as bright as yours.

    At the end of the day, Bri, these haters don’t pay your rent. They never buy your product, they don’t DIY your craft. There is a handful of them in the world. But there will always be buckets and buckets of people who think that what you do has made their life sweeter.

    There will always be one or two people who will say hateful words, but you should run with the thousands who say life is more wonderful now you’re in the world!

    stephanie says:

    It makes me so sad to think of what my children are going to have to deal with in high school, although they are two and 8 months, maybe the internet will spontaneously combust by then:)

    Chelsea says:

    While I totally agree that there will always be haters, and those that feel the need to tear other down because of jealousy, I do wonder, when did so many of them come into existence?! Maybe it is just like you said, it is now easier to vocalize your disapproval with the digital age, but I also wonder, maybe more people in general are just unhappy haters these days. It is sad really, and I wish everyone could be a little kinder already! Mankind can be pretty lame sometimes…

    Hello Bri 🙂
    I think its the 3rd comment I make in here, but im always following you. I think this kind of people is people who is dead alive, they feel envy about other succeed, they hate see happy people because they wish to be like this and they are not. But what to do with it? I know it doesn’t feel that nice when you know that the things you do are being anoying for others. But this is their problem, it’s a problem with themselves. You just have to keep going and inspiring others the way you do, and have clear in your mind without regrets that the problem is not yours. 🙂 Be thankful for all the people who vibe with your creativity and amazing way to inspire! 🙂

    Stephanie says:

    I really don’t understand what it is about a keyboard and a computer screen that makes people think it’s okay to be bullies. Anonymity is an odd form of courage. We see celebrities as figures of entertainment but they are real people, with real emotions that can be hurt just as easily as you and I. It really saddens me to see so much hate on the internet sometimes.

    Ashley says:

    This is one of the biggest issues I think we need to address about the internet. It’s so easy to hide behind anonymity or the computer screen to say scathing and hurtful things to each other. And the sad thing is, it touches on all subjects. You can’t ignore it or hide from it. Since there also no real consequences to online harassment, there’s no incentive for people to watch what they say. You constantly read about young teens who are committing suicides because of bullying online and the spread of rumors or innuendo through social media. I’m all for having free speech but this? What’s the point? To make someone else feel miserable? It’s crazy AND sad.

    On Frontline, they had a segment from South Korea about schools implementing an actual class to teach children on internet etiquette. They implemented the class because the harassment online was getting so out of hand that people were committing suicide. I think it’s a good idea for our schools to implement this – I actually wish we had thought of this as the Internet started but who knew it would get as vicious as it is now?

    tianna says:

    My rule is if it isn’t bringing something good into the world, I don’t say it.

    Brittany Carson says:

    I feel you on this post, Bri! I just wrote something about the negativity in social media on my blog the other day. Check it out! http://creativityarise.com/2013/10/23/daily-prompt-negativity-is-the-new-boss/

    Anonymous says:

    I think people behind the thin veil of social media and it’s ridiculous! It’s so upsetting because I stumbled upon an entire website / msg. board that is purely bashing bloggers- making fun of their content!

    For so many of us blogging is creativity & self expression. Why would one ever disrespect that! I’m a big believe in positivity!

    Meeta says:

    I have been reading your blog for awhile now and it is so cheerful, happy, and you obviously have a good energy about you! The negative comments are from those you are jealous from your happiness. They are angry that they don’t have your life. They want to bring you down to their miserable level because they don’t think you deserve the success and happiness that you have worked so hard for (which they probably don’t realize). Just keep doing what you are doing! There are more people who love reading your blog and enjoy your work than there are haters. 🙂

    Erin Haslag says:

    This is so poignant – thank you for so thoughtfully sharing! I fully believe the bullying that accompanies the anonymity online will eventually come to place where it’s not possible for them to continue doing it. 95% of the people being ‘haters’ online wouldn’t have the courage to be that mean, rude or spiteful if they saw you face-to-face. Keeping your negative, bad thoughts to yourself applies in life and online. Let the internet be a space of sharing, connecting, growing and celebrating!

    Kelly says:

    It all boils down to jealousy and people not feeling good about themselves. It sounds totally cliché, but it is said over and over for a reason. People who feel like their lives are shitty will go to great lengths to make other people feel like THEIR lives are shitty because then they aren’t alone in their shitty existence.
    And whatever that person has their own personal issue with is what they will project onto others. If that person has issues with their own looks, then everyone is “fat” and “ugly.” If that person feels insecure about their parenting, then other mothers are “bad mothers.” If that person wishes they were more fashionable, then they will criticize your outfits, and so on.
    What sucks for them is that they are missing out on a great opportunity to learn or be influenced by those people that they criticize. They are living in a tiny little world with closed eyes.

    Jenna says:

    I guess I can’t add anything that hasn’t already been said here. The whole situation is just sad, sad, sad. I LOVE Instagram and blogs and it makes me so upset when I see negative comments on lovely feeds like yours, Bleubird, and other bloggers that I follow and admire. People spend their entire lives reading blogs they ‘hate’ just so they can then post about how ‘lame’ they are? I wish people would get a constructive hobby. lol LOVE you Bri! Keep on keepin’ on with the lovely photos, ideas and inspirations! xoxo

    Lauryn says:

    There are definitely some crazy people out there. I mean bat shit crazy people who are hateful and mean, but you can’t let it get to you. A lot of you girls are incredibly popular in the blog world and people are opinionated. You put your stuff out there for people to comment on and they are going to speak their minds. It can be good or bad. I don’t think that anyone should take it personally as these are comments made by people who probably have no idea who you are in real life. People are hateful for whatever reason it may be. It is always more important to focus on the good instead of the bad, but everything can’t be perfect all the time. You just have to brush it off. At least you can block the people who say nasty things on the internet. In person it is a whole different story.

    Hollis says:

    Thank you for this, Bri. I’ve recently taken to glazing over those nasty comments when I see them. I used to read them when I’d see them on blogs, Instagram etc, and get quite worked up. It’s like a car wreck, everyone wants to have a look, but you know it’s going to leave you feeling ugly inside. So, for me to remain positive and happy, I now avoid them, and make an effort to leave a positive comment to counter it. Ugh, it’s just so draining. If those mean people put the same amount of energy into doing something awesome, the world would be a pretty magical place!

    lisa says:

    Yes! Have you a noticed a sort of “gang up” mentality on social media? Very concerning. I think about this a lot as I have a magazine, and I see that when one person says something negative others jump on board right away. We deal with this by deleting comments quickly, blocking people (if need be)and keeping a list of offenders. Going forward I would like to better options for this situation, like repercussions for the offender.
    THANK YOU for addressing this…

    joy says:

    I’ve seen it plenty of times on Instagram and it never ceases to baffle me. At the same time I’m not surprised. This negativity/spite/hate has always been out there, but people have computers and cell phones to hide behind now. Bullying and hateful/rude comments are easier to deliver with no consequences. When you’re online there’s no physical confrontation with that person, you can type whatever you want and with a click of a button it’s on there – better yet you can do it anonymously! I’ll never fully understand how some people can be so cruel but it’s starting to make more sense why people feel they can get away with it. It’s the same thought process that goes behind gossip. Of course it’s easier to talk bout someone behind their back when they’re not around, but does it make it any less wrong? If we’re really honest with ourselves we all do it on some level or another…Some people just go to greater lengths, use harsher words and have less restraint when it comes to the words they choose.

    Kerry says:

    It breaks my heart a little every time I see a nasty comment on someone’s blog or instagram. I understand how difficult it is to put yourself out there, to take a risk at creating something unique and posting it for everyone’s judgement. It’s scary and gutsy, and when someone says, “that’s ugly, you’re ugly,” it is so sad, and so very unnecessary. At least, for every rude hater, there’s tons of others who are on your side.

    joy says:

    I’ve seen it plenty of times on Instagram and it never ceases to baffle me. At the same time I’m not surprised. This negativity/spite/hate has always been out there, but people have computers and cell phones to hide behind now. Bullying and hateful/rude comments are easier to deliver with no consequences. When you’re online there’s no physical confrontation with that person, you can type whatever you want and with a click of a button it’s on there – better yet you can do it anonymously! I’ll never fully understand how some people can be so cruel but it’s starting to make more sense why people feel they can get away with it. It’s the same thought process that goes behind gossip. Of course it’s easier to talk bout someone behind their back when they’re not around, but does it make it any less wrong? If we’re really honest with ourselves we all do it on some level or another…Some people just go to greater lengths, use harsher words and have less restraint when it comes to the words they choose.

    The hate IS crazy. But there are a lot of crazy people and things that go down in this world, just turn on the news. Hard not to get discouraged by it all, but I’m also thankful we live in a world with people dedicated to putting good work and words out there to combat all the negativity!

    Anonymous says:

    A friend of mine is a wife to a famous musician. Seeing wishes that her husband would just die already? It hurts her. And their children. All I can think is that these people are just thoughtless. So, don’t waste your thoughts on them.

    Hopefully this will cheer you- Louis C K on mean social media, and cell phones:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbYScltf1c

    Amanda says:

    Some people are just so unhappy they choose to spoil all the fun!! I feel we can only hope that they learn if you keep spreading negativity and bad vibes, that is all you are going to get in return. It is such a wonderful feeling to just be happy for people and to not judge- Just know that there are so many more people benefiting from the stories and tips you share-haters will be there but don’t let them stop you!

    Lizzie says:

    Oh, Katie @ Grow. Cook. Sew. That just broke my heart to read that. I’m so sorry that someone said that to you. I can’t imagine the pain that must have caused you. Wishing you all the best.

    L

    lauren says:

    Bri & friends! Louis CK did a great bit on ‘hating smartphones’ which through a phone, when many of us would never do that to someone’s face, because we would see the pain we caused them in their eyes.

    I could try to type it to explain it better, but you call and check out it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5HbYScltf1c

    lauren says:

    Oops — just realized someone posted the same Louis video! It’s a goodie.

    Thank you so much for writing this. Hateful comments are something that have been weighing on me for awhile. I think the negative comments have gotten completely out of hand. I can’t even read comments on stories anymore because they make me upset and angry. Clearly these are people who are miserable in their lives but they are cowardly and use the anonymity of the digital world as a platform for their negativity. Don’t let them spread that negativity! As hard as it can be to do, ignoring them and not giving them any notice is probably the best way to go. As you can see from all these amazingly supportive comments, the lovers outweigh the haters!

    Daisy says:

    Omg, yes!! I was just thinking about this last week! I’ve seen that a lot and I find it hard to believe that people will actually bother to follow or even leave comments on pictures of people they don’t like! It makes no sense to me. I just feel that if celebrities (or anyone actually), get these type of comments, the best thing to do is ignore them because they obviously don’t play an important role in your life, so why listen to them? I hope you’ve never received hateful comments like that Bri and if you ever do, don’t let it affect you. ***Sending positive vibes to everyone***

    Jenn J. says:

    Hi Bri,

    I think it’s great that you’re addressing this topic. Unfortunately, I think sitting behind a computer and cell phones have allowed people to forget their manners. I’ve stopped reading comments on news stories because people say such terrible things. I think it’s super important to remember at the end of the day, we’re all human and words can hurt. I’m trying to be more mindful of not passing judgment simply because I don’t walk in another person’s shoes every day.

    Thank goodness the positive people outweigh the negative ones in most instances!

    Peace and love to you!

    Sera says:

    Great post and totally with all the other commenters about how strange it is people write these things. I’m one of these that still struggles being comfortable commenting on a picture of someone I don’t physically know! So commenting negatively to a stranger is beyond me!

    But the real purpose of my comment was to say that is a truely beautiful photo you’ve chosen for this post. Score!

    shawnee says:

    oh bri, thank you for writing this. i just DO NOT understand some people! like, why the need for negativity?! i believe in promoting what i love instead of bashing what i ‘hate’. i cut people/friends out of my life when they are negative and bring me down, and to see it on people’s social media is horrifying and cruel. after all, what we see online or in the tabloids is only a small part of that person’s life. and who are we to judge?!? we are not. a lot of the hate is jealousy in my opinion…some cant handle seeing great people do or achieve great things… even though the people have worked hard! it breaks my heart for those who have to deal with this. if i find something to be not interesting or not something i’d do, i move on. and forget it. and keep discovering those that i do like. i think you’re so great and very inspiring. keep it up, bri. xoxoxo

    Brittany says:

    If you can’t say something nice …

    Really though, the reason I rarely post on our blog, or IG, or FB is because my life, and my husband and children, are too precious for me to lay on the altar of twisted humanity. I love reading other blogs, to see creativity and triumph, but the vitriol and back biting negates nearly all of my desire to reach out.

    We all cringe when a teen commits suicide as a result of bullying and yet we fail to acknowledge the backbiting and nasty comments adults make through social media. Why can we not celebrate the success and happiness of others? Their light in no way diminishes our own. Light begets light. And frankly, the world could use more light.

    Mleissa says:

    It’s very sad and speaks volumes. Popular Science recently closed all commenting on their posts because of this. How sad is that? A respected science publication had to close their comments because too many people were incapable of having a productive, thoughtful, constructive debate about something without it turning hateful or into personal attacks. I too wonder who these people are that feel the need to do things like that on-line. I can’t even imagine being a teenager today – what they must go through!

    joanna says:

    yeah, its brutal. its like, magnified ‘grown up’ bullying. a big lack of filter, heart and class.

    Anonymous says:

    while i totally agree, celebrities and celebrity bloggers are putting themselves out there and therefore should expect the best and the worst. while this does not condone someones jealousy and hate, unfortunately, the world we live in can be cruel. i do not know why people waste their time with cruel words of intention and hate, probably there own insecurities and pain in their own lives, but sometimes i wonder that too about all the praise people get as well. celebrities i follow on instagram and even politicians where i have read hate, as well obsession and trying to get attention. you are right, we are moving into a different era. it is weird to me to think i lived my early twenties without all this social media, and i am so thankful for that- it can be toxic and intoxicating. it is way easier to criticize behind a screen then to one’s face- and frankly, it is shameful.

    Stephanie says:

    The social media era, allow people to be mean just because they are feeling hidden behind their phone, computer or other device. It’s like high school again and again. I never really understand mean people, and how they hate someone to feel more important or more happy. Hate is hate there’s nothing happy about it. It’s just sad…
    thanks for the though share, I can’t agree more

    Becca says:

    Thank you so much for posting about this — it’s incredibly timely. Recently one of my favorite designers posted on Facebook claiming that someone on etsy copied one of her designs. Since I’d seen designs like hers all over etsy, I wrote to say that hopefully it was a fluke and not a copy. I didn’t think I was writing anything controversial, but I got slammed with all of these crazy Facebook messages that were pretty out there, many of them passionately attacking me. I’m sure in real life all of those people who messaged me are perfectly lovely, functioning humans who would never use those words to someone in person. It’s so ironic that when people use social media to write scathing things, they are reworking a tool that is meant to bring people together. Social media wipes away what you have with real human interaction — emotion, facial expression, understanding of consequence, etc. The best I feel we can do is act with kindness and respect no matter what the circumstance. I don’t think trolls are going away anytime soon, but the less we get pulled into the negativity, the less power they have over us!

    Lynda says:

    Hi Bri, this might have already been shared in the 100+ comments but it’s too good not to share again. It’s a wonderfully hilarious song dedicated to all of the haters.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz2jbCJXkpA&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PL19D20FFAE7DC6F4B

    Zara says:

    This is something I’ve wondered myself. What’s the point of being so hateful and negative? People that do this must be miserable, trying to spread their hate around. That old saying, “misery loves company”. It’s sad that it’s becoming normal to expect to see such hate. I think that the internet is creating a disconnect from ourselves, the world, the life happening around us. You see it everywhere, people gathered together at a dinner, the park, at home, etc.. But staring into their iPhones, iPads, missing out on the moments that are happening right there in front of them.

    Alison says:

    I think anyone who intentionally (and very strategically) places themselves in the public eye needs to realize they are in it for good and for bad. It’s sad, but I think that’s what you open yourself up to. It can’t all be one way (which I know you know).

    This is great that you addressed this. This is one of the reasons you are my favorite blogger! Just by speaking out you’re helping to make a positive change. It reminded me of the quote from Gandhi, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”<3

    Much love!
    xo, Billie Denise

    CHICKYTHING says:

    Girl, these are miserable beings who think they get a kick out of bashing people. Do not let them affect you in any way. Misery loves company and they do live in a sad, sad world that they want to drag people who are happy with their lives in it with them. Just laugh it out, I say. That means you’re big enough that they spend precious time of their short life talking about you, may it be bad or good. Savor it. It’s better than being invisible.

    Nastassja says:

    Thank you Bri for posting about this. It is so sad to see what many people think is acceptable when it comes to how we treat our ‘neighbor’. It is nice to see all the many comments of those who agree with you and your wise words.
    I wish more people were like this crowd.

    CHICKYTHING says:

    oh I would love to have bashers one day. Makes me think that I’ve made it 🙂

    Gina says:

    The best thing I can think of is just to do something nice when you see something negative and try to tip the scales back the other way. It’s what you would do for a friend in the real world so it makes sense to do it in the virtual world as well.

    Most of us don’t comment on things at all even if we like them. We just click on the little heart in the corner or enjoy the post and move on. So just remember, for every grumpy jerk posting mean things on the internet there are a lot more happy people who think jerks are silly and wrong.

    Natalie says:

    I could not agree with you more! Whatever happened to “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” And I agree with another commenter that I could be friends with this group of people! Such lovely, kind sentiments in the comments! It’s refreshing.

    Lynda says:

    Oh it’s so sad :-(. I think internet trolls just don’t realise that there is an ACTUAL PERSON behind a blog. Sometimes I think the culture of celebrity invites trolls to a point, as attention is what it’s all about, and unwanted lunatics just come as part and parcel of attention. If anyone trolled my blog or Facebook page, I would unequivocally delete/ban them. Particularly on my blog which is my little part of the internet and where I am paying the bills! This beautiful and glorious video talks about internet trolls and how to deal with them with such elegance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IJyRAUxtAQ&feature=player_embedded

    Jamie says:

    I notice this all the time as well, especially in talented or beautiful people. I really believe that people who write negative comments are really just feeling bad about themselves and unfortunately people are being attacked for no reason. We have to remember to stay strong and decipher what is real criticism and what is just a person being cruel. I am glad you brought up this topic 🙂
    #hatersgonhate 🙂

    Jamie
    http://www.candystilettos.com

    Kinga says:

    Bravo! It is a difficult topic and I am happy that more and more people choose to talk about it!I guess social media makes it easy for people to be mean and cruel because they can hide behind their phone, behind their private accounts and their closed doors. Just a simple rule people, that I’ve learned from my parents and trying to teach my daughter: don’t do things to others that you wouldn’t want others doing to you!!!!

    Kristy says:

    I think people who write nasty comments must get a kick out of it. It must make them feel good. Obviously they are not happy if they need to bring someone down to make themselves feel better. It’s a classic bullying scenario that would happen in school. However in social media they can do it without accountability and almost autonomously. So people who would never have been bully’s in their life can express their nasty side. Maybe it’s someone who hides that side or maybe it’s someone who has been bullied and this is how they deal with that. I feel sorry for these people. They make me sad for them. We should as a community stop giving kudos to people who speak their mind; it’s almost like they are seen as genuine and honest if they just let loose with however nasty their thoughts are. Someone needs to tell these people they are not honest, not genuine, they are sad.

    Ariel Arnson says:

    I totally agree with your post -and it is nice to see so many positive people replying and all with additionally positive things to say!
    It’s so pointless to be mean to someone by saying they’re fat or not pretty. I totally agree that if you don’t like someone – celebrity, blogger, then don’t follow them. If we as a culture spent as much time critically discussing real life issues that are brought up in politics and world news, things that affect women’s rights, healthcare, genocide – something completely unfathomable for someone like me who’s been blessed to live in a safe environment – I think we’d all be more caring, relevant and appreciative. Things like what Kim K’s wearing is just supposed to be a distraction from the hardships of ‘real life,’ a little sunshine of frivolity. Sure I’ve been jealous of her $$ from time to time, but it encourages me to work harder and do better, I don’t think about calling her fat or something dumb. When people project that kind of negative energy, it is a reflection into their feelings about themselves and their insecurities. But it doesn’t make it any easier for others to take. And it is never okay to wish physical harm onto someone. I hope that positive oriented people like many replying here, continue to stick together, stand up for each other, and push away hate with love and kindness.

    People will always be negative…you just have to keep moving forward and proving them. Negative folks don’t affect me as much (I guess I’m overly confident) but I think building a strong backbone is key. This way when you are approached with the naysayers…you can tell them “to go straight to hell”. Then they will learn to keep their pessimistic attitude to themselves!

    Lynne says:

    I actually had a long conversation about this exact subject yesterday! You know how people in cars can be super mean and aggressive to other drivers, things they would never do or say to someone. I think instagram and bigger blogs start to be this way. It’s as thought the other person isn’t human, they are just an entity. What I don’t get is why someone would want to read a blog or follow someone on instagram if they don’t feel good about it. It’s like they are looking for outlets to spew their anger/hate on. They enjoy those feelings. It’s so sad for them and so hard to understand.

    austin says:

    I wonder what responsibility bloggers have in this, just about every single one takes no responsibility for the fact they are selling a product. It might feel different because they are selling themselves but unfortunately that is the product. Bloggers sometimes will push a product, then we see them NEVER use that product, I think its okay to ask, hey why are you trying to sell me a product you don’t use yourself. Bloggers remind me of reality stars, they put themselves out there and they know they won’t be loved by everyone, then when they get some criticism they take to twitter that they are being bullied. The annoying factor is sometimes if the readers don’t enjoy a certain post or wonder why there has been 3-4 sponsored posts in a row, the blogger will then act offended, as if they owe nothing to their readers. I feel because they aren’t as big as celebrities and don’t have that kind of management and support and seemingly are on their own, they have no one saying “hey, maybe it isn’t so bad to act humble once in awhile. If you post something majority of people have a problem with it’s okay to say sorry and move one” I recently saw a blogger post a halloween costume a lot of her followers were offended by. Instead of just saying sorry and ending it, she went to her blog to defend her decision and then made remarks like she didn’t have time to read the links, people were sending her as useful information on why this topic might be offended. It was so smug. She may have lost followers, I don’t know, but people definitely had a right to bring it to her attention. I also want to add majority of people were very polite, and politely said they were offended. I think because we are living in a social media world, it is our responsibility to be responsible for our actions. Do I think you are going to please everyone? No. Do I think if this is your job its okay to listen to public opinion sometimes? Yes. The public are their customers. This job might be unconventional, but it is a job nonetheless.

    Sarah says:

    Thank you so much for posting about this! I can’t wrap my head around the hatefulness that is spewed on social media. People are so quick to hide behind a computer screen and type terrible words that they would never say to someone in person. If you do not like someone or what someone has said, don’t follow them! Don’t look at their accounts! I cannot fathom their mental state but it is very sad. I wish there was some way to have comments screened for abusive material. Life is short. Live it with the intention of spreading love and encouragement. It is much more fulfilling!

    Tonya says:

    I’m glad that you posted this because it is always an issue for bloggers or those in the public eye and I absolutely think we should be over it. This hate is flat out bullying. There’s constructive criticism and then there is deconstructive criticism. I actually used to know someone that did this, she trolled design and political related articles and blogs. Once I found out that she did this I lost all respect for her.

    Natasha says:

    This is actually my first comment on any blog — pretty much ever. I’ve never felt compelled to share my opinion out of intimidation of wanting to say the right thing to the people who put in great effort to produce content. I can’t image the effort it takes to do it with malice.

    As a designer myself, and like any creative field, it takes a backbone to take on criticism. Often negative criticism comes from a place of not knowing how to react. Instead of it affecting you I would take it as a compliment that your work triggers emotions in people to react in a way that maybe will help them reflect inward (well, hopefully). People who make the effort to write a negative comment have proof of their insecurity in the trail of anger they leave. In the end you’ll have proof of your impact. You’re doing nothing wrong.

    Jamie B says:

    Bri I am so glad you wrote about this! Just last week I shared a post on my blog about how I have changed my eating habits in an effort to be healthier and some anonymous reader posted a very hurtful comment bashing everything I was doing. It was completely unnecessary and like you said if you don’t like reading my blog don’t follow it. I eventually wrote a post thanking all my awesome readers for their support and asked people not to post hateful comments because they are not constructive and there is way too much negativity on the internet already so I would like to keep that off my blog. It just makes me sad how mean people can be and for no reason.

    Alex says:

    yep, definitely experienced this. not very badly so far, i’ve been lucky. but i had an anonymous reader post that they thought I posted too many pictures of myself (in a much snarkier way) i mean, it is MY blog, and it’s a style blog to boot, so yes, there are going to be several photos of me. i just didnt understand why the person even bothered to follow my blog if it annoyed them so much. and then to also let me know they disliked it. i think people forget there is an actual human being on the other side of the computer, with real feelings. it’s sad. i just dont relate to it. even if i thought something mean, i would never voice it.

    this whole post makes me think of Jimmy Kimmel’s mean tweets segment. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hcmz74AaXHs
    at least we can laugh it off.

    August says:

    I think people who leave nasty comments are similar to those who drive with a regular case of road rage: it’s a way for people to vent when they don’t have high risk of real personal confrontation. I think it comes down to displaced anger and a way to vent because they don’t have a healthy “voice” of their own in real time.

    kate says:

    so glad you touched on this. I am no celebrity by any means, but my boyfriend is a fantastic photographer and has accumulated a ton of followers on instagram. we travel a lot and he is usually taking photos of me and sharing them to this huge crowd. And I’d say probably every single photo that he takes of me there’s a least one person that has something negative to say. this happens in general with every photo he posts, but when you see a portrait of yourself and someone comments and says ‘she’s ugly’ or whatever, it does affect you a little. i know i’m not ugly and this is probably some 12 year old kid being stupid, but still. why? why say that? i mean they have to know i’m a person and can read right? I am always compelled to write something like that to them but end up pretty much where you are… is it worth it? I’m just feeding it right? So i just ignore it. But I totally agree, how has it come to that? that people think saying horrible things to people is okay? especially people on instagram that aren’t celebrities but use it solely for sharing their art? crazy to me.

    Angela says:

    I am completely annoyed by a certain “famous” reality family, but I don’t follow them or find it necessary to give them energy by speaking about them online. MY reality is that I do not have to watch them or follow them on any social network. That is my choice. Their choice on how they “live” their lives is theirs. Being mean because you don’t think someone can see you or get to you is 1) stupid 2) cowardly. You could say the same about some “celebrities” who want any sort of attention negative or positive. Have your say(in your heart) and keep your mouth closed. That’s a short summary of a scripture I think I want to live by.

    Emily says:

    I would like to say thank you so much Bri for calling attention to this. I don’t understand why common sense isn’t enough to know this is not cool, but some etiquette needs to be established because this ish has gotten OUT OF CONTROL. And it’s not just on the internet, I think it’s leaking into real life mentality. For example, I’m an artist, and recently I had an open studio where strangers were able to walk through my personal workspace and see my paintings. Granted, I do not expect everyone to like my work, but there were a few people who walked into my studio, made an ugly noise of rejection and turned around and walked out. Unfortunately, the internet in general has trained some people to think that everything in life has a like button next to it, that everything is up for criticism. What ever happened to manners and common decency?

    I cant even imagine being on the receiving end of something like this and luckily, I have mostly avoided it. The perks of a wallflower I suppose 😉

    But I do remember finding a “forum” style site that literally bashed certain bloggers repeatedly for the tiniest things. I was blown away. SOmeone takes the time to read blogger’s post, then went to this site, and complained about them.

    All I walked away thinking was 1) are these people employed? Because I don’t have time to do something so unconstructive. and 2) they must be so so so miserable with themselves. I pity them.

    I may not approve or like everything that every blogger does/makes/etc but they DID something. They took the time to create something, photograph it, write about it, share it.

    I remember my neighbor making fun of my running habits [I alternate walking and running]. And it took so much strength to bite my tongue instead of saying, “yeah, but what did you do?”

    Adinda says:

    This is a very difficult subject because, whatever you say or do, haters will never stop. And it’s too much energy consuming to change your ways to try to not get these haters to response. So what to do?

    Although it effects you when someone says something to you so harmful and it seems so hard to ignore, I think this is the only thing you can do. You should keep in mind that these people probably have something else on their minds (since happy, positive people would never do something like that right?) and are looking for a way to ventilate their feelings. Social media is a very easy way to do that.

    Keep in mind that they look like fools when reacting with hate on people like that and in the long run you are the winner. How sad and depressing this sounds (that this is the world we live in) I think it’s the only way to survive when you are a leading blogger (etc) in the online world.

    But we, 99% of all the non haters (look at all the comments, so many), love your work so never let these idiots get to you! -xadinda

    Katie B. says:

    I believe people with tremendous insecurities and lack of compassion are the ones posting hateful/horrendous commentary on social media. If these people are given the opportunity (in this case, a comment section) to exert a sort of power over someone else, unfortunately they take it.

    I feel bad for bloggers and celebrities who have to block out that kind of negativity and ridicule on an everyday basis but it is more unsettling that kids are growing up seeing this absurdly hateful language being thrown around so casually.

    Erika says:

    Hey Bri – I completely 100% agree with you. I actually wrote a post about this a few weeks ago (http://allthingseblog.com/would-you-say-that-out-loud/). REading the comments on Twitter and Instagram for major celebrities (and even big bloggers like you!) make me so so sad for them. The disconnect between people’s real selves and their online personas is vast on occasion and that really blows my mind. Thank you for speaking up about it!

    Natasha says:

    I’ve seen people say some horrible things to bloggers that don’t have anything to do with what they disagree with and what they’re commenting on. It’s horrible.

    jackie says:

    only hateful comments are cowardly. the internet’s allowance for anonymity really enables people to say things without understanding the effect they may have; everyone thinks they’re an authority. i think not having only super perky comments is necessary for growth as long as they offer constructive criticism that has logical reasons of support–even if it’s an opinion. these blindly hateful commentaries also follow a lot of the younger generation with social media and i get anxious for the future if my niece or baby cousins ever face this or participate in that kind of behavior.

    Carol Bird says:

    Good on you Bri for floating this issue. I think that everyone on the internet needs to set good examples and display good manners. I read stuff on the internet sometimes that insults my soul and I choose to ignore it. I think that every decent person is shocked by the negativity of some people…all we can do is be true to ourselves. Keep up the good work. xxxx

    chelse says:

    I am not usually someone that ever comments. I love to read and look but not voice my opion. However I think this is something to talk about. It is not ok to hurt people and belittle them. I work with teenagers all day and what I notice is that everything is done behind the scenes. It’s like when we were little and passed mean notes to our friends. But their notes are seen by hundreds or thousands and they feel no shame. It makes me sick inside. I know this is not just kids, but if we do not teach kids or start getting back to the basics we will have a room full of people who cannot face each other or communicate unless they are in a empty room typing to their phones. We need to uplift and help every person we can. If we do not like someone or feel they have major problems telling them they are terrible will not help. We need to love them and help them and only then will they become their better selves. Nothing is solved with hate. Nothing

    Michelle says:

    Hey lady, so sorry if this has happened to you! The Internet is a crazy thing. Being able to dialogue with others without looking into their eyes allows for some crazy comments. The anonymity gives people a boldness that they would not have in a face-to-face dialogue. That’s why I stay away from comment boards.

    Unfortunately, when you put yourself out there as a blogger, artist, whatever, you are going to get some crazies hating on you. So sorry! It’s so lame. Most people that are hateful like that are pretty miserable themselves and are probably pretty jealous of you.

    Hugs!

    cianne says:

    Bri – I completely agree and realize this is a serious topic, but it TOTALLY reminded me of this Jimmy Kimmel clip…. I think a lot of celebs especially have pretty thick skin.

    http://9gag.tv/v/1384

    (haters gonna hate)

    I found a re-pin of a DIY dress form tutorial I wrote on my blog with a horrible comment written in the description that went something like “OMG LOOK AT THOSE SAGGY BOOBS ARE THOSE NIPPLES OR A BELLY BUTTON”. All in caps. I put a comment on the pin, told her I was the person who made the dress form, and told her it took a lot more guts to post a mold of my body on the internet in hopes that it would be helpful to other people than it takes to make fun of someone anonymously on pinterest. I received a huge and obviously heart felt apology from the very embarrassed girl who admitted she would NEVER say such a horribly mean thing in person.

    I think people just don’t really think they’re saying those things to a real person, as ridiculous as that sounds. And somehow I also think people feel allowed or even expected to hyperbolize on the internet.

    My feelings were really hurt (and honestly I can never look at my own boob height the same way again!) but after the truly beautiful apology I got, the whole thing is finally funny to me now.

    nicola lynde says:

    I couldn’t agree more. I love that social media, and our closeness to each other allows interaction with those congenitally out of reach, but it upsets me that it’s opened the door for outright negativity. There’s such a big difference between discourse, and being critical, which is such an important part of society, and outright hate. As an avid commenter on news sites, I love a good discussion, but I’m always shocked when other commenters resort to personally insulting others who don’t share their view. I don’t when we got to this point where it’s completely okay to hide to behind a computer and hurt others, but do wish a bit more consideration was being given.

    Andrea says:

    The hate blows my mind. Sometimes I see thing’s the “popular people” (celebs, bloggers, ect.) post and think “you know that’s probably going to be controversial why are you posting that?” But to your point… if you’re following that person then you should be interested in their taste, and style and all. I may see a photo I’m not into from someone I follow but I’ve never felt compelled to scold them or put a nasty judgmental comment because that’s craziness.

    Also- I’ve noticed so so SOO many hateful comments on pinterst which really blows my mind. For me pinterest is an inspirational tool I use for myself. If you are into what I like and want to follow along to see what I pin, awesome. If not that’s cool too we all have our own tastes. To see these horrible hateful comments on these pinned images just blows my mind. Mostly comments on skinny models. Like the pinner took that photo or is that person. Or comments like Melissa, above me, mentioned. That is horrible. I know it may be the cliche thing to say (and has probably already been mentioned in this comments section) but the people who feel the need to express such ridiculous thoughts and criticisms are clearly miserable excuses for humans and it always reminds me of who I never want to be or associate myself. If we let those people effect us then they win. Somehow the people with their heads on straight need to continue to rise above it and set examples of how decent humans should behave over social media.

    I absolutely agree, Bri. This was a great point. We, bloggers, really should talk about these stuff more often -hopefully, we’ll touch some hearts and start a process to help people get a little more conscious.

    Lindsay says:

    People can be mean. I think social media meanness can be kind of like road rage. On the road, you forget that’s a real person who makes mistakes but who is still a person who deserves respect. I’ve had drivers honk and tail me and flip me off all bc I got In their lane and they had to slow down! A stranger on the Internet can be a similar target. Also people could be jealous too. Anyway it’s sad.

    Sam says:

    I have been reading your blog for a while but have yet to comment. I chose this post to speak up because I completely agree with you. The internet has made it so easy for people to bully others (whatever their reasons may be) without having to own up to the consequences. They spit harsh words behind a screen without being able to really see how those words affect the other person. Humans are way too mean to each other in general but the internet has made it much worse. This isn’t to say that there isn’t room for constructive criticism and useful feedback, but spewing hate with no intention but to hurt one another is becoming way too commonplace.

    anastasia says:

    yes it floors me that people can write such mean things…its one thing to feel some sort of emotion even if its negative but to then say it and to say it to someone you don’t even know is just on another level! it says more about the person making the negative comments than anything else!

    Emily says:

    I’ve been thinking about this post a lot today, and I think the main problem is that people need to learn how to give constructive criticism, or say nothing at all. Hating to hate never gets anyone anywhere, and if you absolutely must say something, find a polite way of suggesting how it could be fixed. I completely agree with you that the internet CAN be a peaceful place without having to be all “cupcakes and compliments.”

    Emily says:

    And also, just to add to my comment before this, knowing when it’s your place to make a comment or give constructive criticism to someone you follow on the internet (but don’t actually know personally) is also essential. Sometimes it just isn’t your business to comment!

    PEARLSPEAK says:

    This is a great post. I think you have a point with your question asking, if you don’t like someone, why follow them? I feel the same. You choose what to consume on the internet, that’s the beauty of it. Why flame someone for posting things you don’t like when it’s their life? Hmph.

    Kristi says:

    My husband created a web series called Kid President with my 10 year old brother. They’re all about making the world more awesome, and bringing more joy into the world, but even they get absolutely horrible comments on YouTube from people that just want to hate on something. It’s ridiculous. It’s kinda impossible to fight the hate on Youtube but because of the nature of Twitter (being more of a dialogue), they fight it on there. You don’t fight hate with hate, though, you fight it with love. If someone tweets something bad about KP, my husband starts following them with the KP twitter account and tweets “I’m sorry you are having a bad day, can you guys tweet some encouragement to this person?” And the army of KP twitter followers immediately start tweeting encouragement to that person. It’s pretty amazing. (We were at 100% of changing people, but we’ve had a few crazies that we just had to end up blocking.)

    stac says:

    My mom and I were just talking about this! She explained that when I was in junior high, I only had to deal with a “bully” in person, but now our kids will have to deal with it in person and online, from any number of social media sites! I assume it is easier to have the “courage” (cowardice) to spew hateful words when you’re hiding behind a computer. I had a comment on a blog post from someone who had to repeat how I made a bad life decision. I thought my honesty in admitting I made a poor decision and learned from it was refreshing, but then the comment made me sad and regretful for sharing… I can’t even imagine how someone would feel getting a message saying they wished they were no longer alive! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, and thank you for choosing kindness!

    CeciliaKi says:

    Hi Bri! You’re absolutely right!! I’ve been experiencing it every day since a long time and in all activities also here in Italy, where I live. It’s not only against famous people. It’s people getting more aggressive one against the other. It’s because people are not enough happy? I don’t know. I only know that smiling and being kind to people does not always work. But doing my best to to be kind is what makes me happy and I won’t give up!
    Lots of hugs from Rome xxx

    dervla says:

    I’ve seen it, and it’s horrible. Why is it done? Is it the new way of bullying? Luckily i find that most people speak up in the comments and tell that person to lay off. But seriously – it can be so hateful.

    molly yeh says:

    i try to kill em with kindness. it sure is difficult sometimes. but it seems like people who leave rude comments are looking for a fight or are insecure… being nice to them avoids a fight, sets a better example, and maybe (hopefully) turns them into a lover not a hater!

    brooks says:

    I’ve read a few articles on Pinterest and Instagram discussing how the “de-elevation” of every day “celebrities” in turn makes gives us low self esteem. Especially as a woman, it’s the worst to see photos and photos of the perfect 3 year old bday, the most gorgeous cake, or the thinnest blogger and still feel like your cellulite and cake-in-a-box are okay. And what’s worse, it seems to come so easy on all these mediums–like that food blogger just *whoops* hand made a tart or “oopsies” re-decorated their entire room in an afternoon.

    Whenever I take photos myself (especially for instagram), I always chuckle to myself about how–no matter how fabulous my bouquet looks–what a disaster the rest of my house is. how, with the tap of a filter, my friends and I suddenly look sun kissed, or how, just out of frame, my bed is absolutely not made.

    I’d love to see more people “pull back the curtain” so to speak. to remind all of us that we’re not perfect, nothing’s easy, and we can all give ourselves a break. I love when you’re honest on this blog and would love to see more people do the same.

    That’s it. Off my soapbox for now 🙂

    ef says:

    At the end of Krista Tippett’s interview with Seth Godin, he addressed this issue. It’s interesting and worth listening to 🙂

    http://www.onbeing.org/program/seth-godin-on-the-art-of-noticing-and-then-creating/5000

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    andy says:

    Bri, I’ve been following your blog silently for about 2 years, and I have to say that you are an amazing person. Don’t you even think of spoil your day because those people that are not able to accomplish a tiny % that you have done.

    Casey says:

    I’m a fairly new follower of yours and I have to say that this post had to be written. The hate is an epidemic. I may not agree with everything that everyone posts, but I am not going to spew vitriol on someone’s profile. And if it bothers me that much, then I will just not follow them anymore.

    I think a big problem is that the internet becomes this shield that people hide behind while they deal with their own issues. A mentor once told me (after I received an unnecessarily hurtful review on one of my products) that some people have mental health issues. Not to generalize, but I think that there are so many people that do not know how to handle their emotions properly, so they lash out at others who happen to be online. And I think people can become obsessive without even realizing it. Then things just spiral out of control. It really is crazy!

    Thanks for the post 🙂

    beth says:

    One thing that helped me deal with random haters was an episode of the MPR radio show “This American Life.” The people telling their story came across as really nice, thoughtful, genuine, levelheaded and accepting people. Their story was about a fued with their neighbor who, for some reason just hated them and would bombard them with hate everyday. It a story about the progression of the hate and what they thought about it, them trying to process or understand it, trying to figure out how best to respond. I wish I could send you a link but I have no idea what it was called. Normally a story like this would be beyond frustrating and enraging for me because justice are respecting others are huge in my mind, so this neighbor is pushing all of my buttons. But actually it had a calming and peaceful affect because throughout the story it is clear that this family being hated on are incredibly good people. They give their neighbor the benefit of the doubt when they can, they make the situation more fun by laughing about how absurd the whole thing is. They have a laugh thinking of funny revenge techniques they could fire back, but the don’t do them. It becomes clear that the neighbor is full of hate and the family simple isn’t, even though they have reason to be and he doesn’t. I think people who hate on strangers (whether it is racism, sexism, hate for a culture, hate for a blogger, or hate for the nice family next door) do it because they are full of hate, not just for their target but for the whole world, and most of all for themselves. They don’t feel they deserve love or respect and they feel defensive and deny those things to everyone else. They are the least happy people. But the brightside is that there are so so many rational people who love themselves and are able to extend that self love into love and acceptance for the world at large. And these people are EVERYWHERE. I love listening to This American Life because it is always a huge reminder of how many sane and open hearted people their are out their.

    Kelly Sauer says:

    Oh I am so glad for you, using your voice to say this. Oh I’m so PROUD. Grateful for reason and love and care for others, and for you not being afraid to stand up for it.

    anissa says:

    Thanks for this post. Really. Thank you for standing up and saying your bit. It’s something that has been bothering me lately, not jsut with celebrities or my own blog, but i work as a social media manager for an organics firm and have been shocked at some of the comments we get through our facebook page. Most are cool but some are well, just rude, or mean. It’s like people don’t realise there are other people on the other end, behind the company logo. crazy. I just wrote a blog post called A call for Kindness based on this: http://growmama.blogspot.co.nz/2013/11/a-call-for-kindness.html

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    Dear Bri, first of all, I LOVE your blog. I think you are absolutely adorable. I used to be one of those people who wouldn’t ever leave comments anywhere, but then, like you did, I saw hateful things complete strangers were saying to one another on different social media outlets and decided to counteract the bad by saying nice things! If you received a mean comment, wouldn’t it brighten your mood a bit to get 10 nice and positives ones after!
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