Some things you're better off not knowing.
Most celebrities refuse to read anything about themselves on the Internet for that very reason. They claim we're a nasty mob with a mean streak and nothing nice to say. They're right. If they were to read even a tiny percentage of what's said about them on the Internet, I have no doubt that mental illness and suicides among them would climb much higher than they already are.
What most celebrities don't seem to know is that when we're not spewing forth our endless "opinions" on them we're busy attacking each other. No one is safe. It may seem like a united mob while it's attacking, say, Britney Spears' mental health, Lindsey Lohan's rehab, or Amy Winehouse's latest bout with anything, but it's not. This seemingly united mob tears itself to bits with the same ferocity it unleashes on the famous.
Five people awaiting the next celebrity fiasco to get all frothy at the mouth over killed time one night frantically unleashing their pent-up venom on me. Lest you dare think I'm exaggerating, here's a link, and here's some choice quotes:
Wow a completely retarded, ignorant blogger.
Great knowing I'm not the only person who HATES people like this blogger. What a fucking Drama queen.
Funny, he claims adblock plus doesn't work (it does) yet in his screenshot of buttons the ABP icon is clearly shown. His article is full of lies and oddities [just for the record, I am a "she"].
How did I come to find out about this? Well, I almost didn't. That's why I said some things you're better off not knowing.
The person who posted my rant to Reddit did so over three months ago. When I went searching for backlinks last night I finally learned what went on in my absence. The person who posted it is not a real-life friend of mine, but he used to design graphics for my other blog. He meant well.
I'm glad I knew nothing about it.
I'm angry enough about what went on over my post without it being a current topic that I feel I must respond to. If I had jumped into the Reddit threads that day even half as outraged as I am right now, no matter how right I was and how wrong they were, they would simply accuse me of being "defensive" and ask me what I was so worried about.
The only things I would have wanted to respond to are their lies and character assassinations. While knowing nothing about me, they put me down as a "fucking drama queen" simply for writing a passionate rant.
They also said I lied about my inability to install AdBlock Plus, but AdBlock Plus was updated to work with Firefox 3 as I was writing the post, so I wasn't lying.
The only post I ever succeeded with on a "social-sharing" site was this one. I submitted it to Digg under my own name in early 2006. It did well, but the comments were another story: laden with angry AOL employees and snarky trolls who wanted to tear me down for writing it.
I think the almost-3,000 people who eventually Dugg it were too surprised by the animosity of most commenters to respond to them. Even I didn't know how to handle it.
Since the story was made popular the same day I signed up for Digg, and since Digg was the first "social-sharing" site I had ever used, I got a crash course in just how rotten "socially-minded" people can be. Between the comments and a story about me by Matthew Ingram seething with lies and inaccuracies, getting Dugg felt like one of the worst mistakes I ever made.
After what I saw on Reddit last night, I don't ever want my writing to become "popular" again. The only way I can handle the nastiness of the mob is if I don't know it's happening, or short of that, if I simply refuse to acknowledge the naysayers and insults. But is that realistic? Or even possible? Who knows.
Some things you're better off not knowing. Maybe we can learn a lot from celebrities, after all.