Tuesday, July 21, 2015

On blogging & criticism


When you have a blog and write about your life experiences so openly and publicly, you are bound to receive at least some criticism, if not lots of it. Blogging is really not for the thin skinned. And if you're a female blogger, you'll get criticism about your appearance, life choices, and probably a few odd death/rape threats. Unfortunately, people loooooove to tell women how they should think and what to do - how to "behave" and how to react to their own life experiences.

In terms of writing, blogging is different than writing a book as it is done step by step, in real time. With writing a book, you get privacy - both personally and creatively - for the story to develop. With blogging, you get comments every day - and sometimes it can either enhance or take away from the creative writing process. Sometimes new comments will spark inspiration. Or sometimes new comments will mess with your head and give you a writing road block. We as writers already have a critical voice in our head monitoring our work - do we really need hundreds of others? And at what point do these comments become an actual distraction from our work?

A while ago, one of my masala blogging colleague's received serious backlash for an article she wrote and was quite upset about it. In reality, she did nothing but spoke about her truth and her life experiences, but for some of the readers, it ignited a firestorm which reminded them of their own negative experiences. The blogger took it personally, and it scared her back into her shell. Since I know her, I was aware that there were a lot of other things going on at that time in her personal life, which she could not reveal on her blog. Not to mention, she was struggling to write a novel, and the negative feedback made her so sensitive about her writing skills that she stopped writing altogether for several months. Sometimes readers forget that bloggers are people too.

It also reminded me of something I saw a few months prior. Flipping through my instagram feed, a famous blogger (like one who makes so much money blogging that her husband now works for her!) that I follow was posting pictures from their Spring Break trip to Hawaii. Her child was at some resort, riding a dolphin, and having a wonderful time. What caught my eye was the serious backlash that she was receiving in the comments' section. People were going so far as to call her a bad mother, tell her that she was disgusting, and all about the animal rights of the dolphin and animal captivity. A bunch of people unfollowed her and people even got into fights with each other in the comments section over it. I felt a little bad for her because she was on vacation at that moment and I hoped it didn't ruin her time with her family. I noticed later that she decided to issue a public apology to her followers about it. On that photo of her kid. Jeez.

I have faced criticism on my blog, on to how I should deal with my familial issues, ranging all the way to how I should raise my daughter. I clearly remember a reader telling me that I should not discipline my child because that would give them the message that I didn't love them. That particular reader had no children, and was clearly clueless to all the daredevil activities toddlers like to do, for example: attempting to jump off a 6 foot playground structure, just to see what would happen (yes, Maya did that!). Another time, I was berated by a reader who told me that I was so "fat and unhealthy looking" and that I need to get to the gym - that comment I received while I was on the elliptical machine at 6am, and subsequently had to stop myself from laughing so hard. Most recently, I received a message that I was a bad friend for not keeping in touch with my single friends after having a baby - when in reality, nearly all my single friends never responded to my texts after I had Maya - and therefore I had to make new friends. At that time, I was coping with postpartum isolation and I never felt so lonely in my entire life. Another recent crap comment I received was "why do you complain so much about your anemia when it doesn't bother you" on a particular day where my fatigue was so bad that I couldn't get out of bed (try doing that while taking care of a very active toddler!). And the most criticism I have faced on my blog is whenever I have thoughts about my experiences in India. On those posts, I am almost always told that as a Firangi I should "keep my mouth shut about India" because I'm just "an item girl", and have even been unfollowed over it. Unfollowed over my own real life experiences. But guess what? Month after month, I am followed by new people and my pageviews have been steadily increasing. The Little Engine That Could. So, no...I couldn't be bothered. And those who have unfollowed me are absolutely not missed. Sorry. Buh bye.

As a blogger, you share your daily thoughts and opinions about things that cross your mind. A lot of times, you can't fully explain the back story on a particular topic, or can't. I mean, who would read a 10,000 word blog post?! You expect your readers to trust & respect your unique feelings on a subject when it comes to those posts. Especially when it comes to family issues, there is a lot of baggage - enough to fill an entire novel (which you can buy in the future for $30 on the best-selling section at the bookstore, thankyouverymuch!)

I am kind of used to people criticizing me - whether it is constructive or not. Besides my Indian family being an uber-critical bunch, we also receive a steady stream of criticism from random strangers about being an intercultural couple, and I also attended an arts college in which we would have "critiques" of our work, literally every week. Some criticisms will make you re-think your perspective, and others you just have to let go - because, let's face it - only you are walking in your shoes. When it doesn't make any sense, and it doesn't speak to you, sometimes you just have to mentally say "F*** off!"

Criticism tends to sting more when it comes from a loved one or a family member, but when it comes from random people who don't even know you? Well that, you just can't take personally...

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Dear readers, what kinds of things have you been criticised about in your life?
If you're a blogger, how do you deal with criticism when it seems so personal?

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45 comments

  1. Bravo for opening up your world to us, it takes a lot of guts....your candour is definitely one of the reasons I check your blog daily, wats the point if you want to paint a rosy pic? This is the real you is wat I feel every time I read your post, not some gussied up faux person who has a totally different life than wat she says..

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  2. I'll just ask you this. Is it ethical to publish something about someone who can’t give their consent which can be viewed by anyone and anywhere? Be it good or bad. Its been bothering me for months and when i questioned some of my favourite bloggers, I got some interesting answers. I want to know what's your take on that. Also blogs and social media like Facebook, Twitter are two different things. I'm overly sensitive so I know that I'm definitely not cut out for blogging and if I ever feel the need to rant and rave I'll choose Facebook or twitter instead of a blog because that way I can avoid the trolls and also discuss things with people that matter to me. It's not that I don't receive criticism there but people will be a little more cautious and non judgemental.
    Seema

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    1. It depends....I think you always have a right to tell things from your perspective, as it is your story to own. But if you are telling things from someone else's perspective, that would be fiction.

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  3. I read that famous blogger's instagram. Her instagram has thousands of followers, almost every move of her children's is documented endlessly for her blog and instagram, and she makes a hell of a lot of money from sponsorships and stuff. When this is her job why shouldn't she receive criticism for shoddy work (like not caring about animal rights in this case)? If my boss isn't happy with my work he would criticise it. Her readers are her customers. She can't cry "trolls" when the comments don't compliment her but be happy to accept money for basically voyeurship into her family's life.

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    1. So are you saying that just because people live a public life, that gives people the right to disrespect them and hurl abuses to them?

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    2. I am really disturbed by this comment on a lot of levels.

      First of all, as the above reader said, does being a public figure give people the right to be verbally abusive to said public figure? People can disagree, but common decency and consideration needs to be there on both sides. If you live publicly, do people claim ownership to your life?

      I doubt that "her every move" is documented. I myself only publish about 1% of our life. Even bloggers have a private life, despite how much they appear to live publicly. If someone wanted to document their every move, they would need about 5 blog posts a day.

      That woman was actually on vacation with her family. And I think "shoddy" work is relative. As is being a so-called "bad mother". People shouldn't be so quick to judge when we don't know. How do you know that the blogger doesn't support animal rights or what kind of mother she is? Do you know I was also told by a reader that I "should never publish pictures" of myself until I "lose weight". Do you know that I was told that I am "disrespecting my husband and ALL MEN" because I encourage my husband to change our child's diapers. I have been told that "your Indian family tasted your white slut vomit recipes and lied to you that it tasted good because you can tell it's shit". The sheer nastiness over the internet is absolutely out of control and unnecessary. It goes beyond simple criticism.

      And another thing, has your boss ever told you that you were a bad parent, or that you were fat, or ugly, a shitty spouse or a worthless human being? [these are examples of things people say] Is your boss allowed to say racist things or give you rape threats or death threats too? Does him giving you a paycheck that you have both worked for AND earned give your boss the right to say those things? I don't think so...

      And what's the alternative? Is it to hide? To keep the ups and downs of your life shut tight like a box, for protection against harassment and verbal abuse? Where is the common decency?

      And lastly, blogs don't write themselves. It is hard work to maintain a blog, so much so that many serious bloggers work from home. The majority of it is unpaid work. There is no such thing as "accepting" free cash. Honestly I think you should start your own blog and see exactly how it's like and then report back to me. Would love to know your thoughts when you are being called a bad parent by hundreds of people when you're on vacation for a trip that you worked your ass off for.

      Recommending a book to you - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22571552-so-you-ve-been-publicly-shamed

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    3. Being open and public does not make abuse okay. There's also a big difference between criticism, dissenting viewpoints and outright troll behavior. Someone criticizing is not really a troll, trolls are much more maniacal and ridiculous. Criticism can be healthy at times, it can keep us in check, let us know when we need to work on something and helps us become more culturally and socially sensitive to those around us, but it should not have a hateful tone or be disrespectful. That's why we often use the term "constructive criticism" whereas it is helpful and not destructive.

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    4. Ok so let me get this right? You say it is ok for her to be trolled and verbally abused because she is a public figure? And gasp? Make money out of her blog? As if bloggers that make money doing what they do are committing a crime for which they should be punished by destructive comments with no constructive criticism attached to it?
      It's ok to not agree with a person, their choice of picture, their lifestyle or even work choice. it is sure as hell NOT ok to make comments that are only meant to hurt. "You are a terrible mother and I hope you die" is a troll comment, nobody deserve that kind of crap. If one doesn't agree with something there are better ways to say it such as "I don't really like how you shared a picture of a dolphin because they are endangered animals I truly care about". One is dumbassery at its finest, the other is a constructive criticism.

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    5. I concur with API & Cyn,
      If you choose to be a public figure orperchance become a celebrity - that does NOT make you public property.
      Public figures & celebrities are human beings & are to be treated with a level of dignity & respect, just like everyone else in this world.

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    6. I don't know about this famous blogger, but really no one has an obligation to blog. Why blog in the first place ? And why should internet be different than the world in general ? If you do something noticeable in your neighbourhood, you will get good and bad feedback, that's life.

      My advice is don't blog about issues that are sensitive to you if you can't handle criticism about them... that is why I personally don't blog about my private life, and especially my children. Take care. (Padparadscha)

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    7. @Pad - In that mindset, no one should have an "obligation" to do any Arts whatsoever - no one should write, paint, illustrate, photograph, make music either. And what a boring world that would be, if nobody told their story and their relationship to the world through the Arts.

      As an artist, if I didn't have a creative outlet, I would literally die. My blog for me is an extension of my writing, an extension of my creativity.

      The problem is not me talking about my life - the problem is the misogyny on the internet, and the vilification of women's presence online, and the extreme judgement towards mothers. I have seen it on this famous blogger's site as well, and she was only sharing a photo of their vacation (here: https://instagram.com/p/0GVBBayGbe/ ). She is not at all a controversial blogger. She doesn't even talk about anything deep!

      What would be the alternative? To hide? And whom would that help? Not like mixed couples are at all represented in the media as it is.

      Plus, we are not talking about "sensitive" issues here. In fact, when I talk about the most boring, non-controversial topics, someone thinks it's ok to leave me a note that I'm "so ugly". It is about people leaving rude and mean comments, like "you are a shit mother"; "your Indian family hates you"; "you are stupid"; "you are a white whore"; etc. These kinds of things that bloggers face silently are ridiculous. Nobody would show up to a book signing and say that to an author, nor go to a gallery and say that to the painter. It is the anonymity of the internet that fuels this hate towards women, it is in fact much worse than what you'd experience "IRL". It is sickening.

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    8. No one has an obligation to blog just like no one has the "obligation" or right to hide behind a screen and leave nasty comments. You don't like the blog, move on and find one that is best suited for your needs and mind set. This garbage of "if you put yourself out there..." and "freedom of speech" goes too far at times. I read Taza's blog and find it funny and refreshing. Just like Ameena's blog. Talk about funny!!!

      Some people are just jealous that some of these blogs are very successful and bloggers can make a decent living from them. Also, I think that some people resent the fact that some of us western bahus have the freedom that a lot of traditional bahus don't have of saying no, I don't like it, I won't do it and enough. Bitterness shines through from some of the comments from many postings in the past. Isay don't pay them no mind and let them stew in their own misery and suck on a lemon :) Continue posting and especially, replying to comments Alexadra.

      Millie B

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    9. The many women crafters and artists' blogs I follow don't have trolls. On the other hand artists face a lot of negative comments in real life, and they move on.

      I'm not even talking about freedom of speech, what I'm saying is as it's impossible to stop the never ending criticism and madness of other people, if it's bothering you, then learn to protect yourself... There is this Tamil writer, Perumal Murugan, who decided to stop writing because a mob came to his house and threatened him... I can't understand why he published his controversial novels under his real name in the first place. As for making cherished pictures and memories (what I refer to as sensitive issues) accessible to total strangers, it's inviting trouble, in my opinion. (Padparadscha)

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    10. " As for making cherished pictures and memories (what I refer to as sensitive issues) accessible to total strangers, it's inviting trouble"

      I find that statement a bit disturbing because it is in way to many way similar a statement as the ones plaguing women regarding rape : "Oh she was wearing jeans, a skit, a dress...she invited trouble" we would all agree that in the case of a rape it would be called victim blaming to put the fault on what the woman was wearing or even where she was or at what time.

      So why is it ok to say that a blogger invites trouble posting family pictures? Are all men who see a woman wearing a skirt going to rape her because she was "Asking for it"? Or is it just going to be the sick individuals with a dirty mindset and control issues?

      Similarly, are everybody online going to make "I hope you die ugly whore" comments simply because she posted a family picture, or is that a privilege of the troll who is a mentally disturbed individual?

      The fact is that trolls, just like rapists are individuals who get a sense of power and control doing what they do. Belittling and degrading women/bloggers make then feel big and important. They act on their own thoughts. And as much as a rape is not due to what a woman was doing or wearing. A blogger is not responsible for inviting trolls in posting something specific. The problem is that there is little regulation on the Internet and trolls can get away with it even better than with rape in India.

      I once had a troll that told me to go die because I was a slut and ugly, after I posted a recipe. I didn't know food pictures were "asking for it" and sensitive.

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    11. I don't think you're all getting what papardascha is trying to say. A man who intends to rape will do it regardless of the woman wearing a skirt, overalls or even a saree. You should make sure and do all you can to avoid getting into a situation like that in the first place. There is no such thing of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Abuse, threats of any kind are uncalled for and living a public life isn't a licence for anyone to abuse. But when you choose to put up pictures of your family and blog about your personal life you're doing it at the risk of your family's identity getting stolen, using the pictures for God knows what... The possibilities are endless. And when the audience is global just imagine what risk you're taking. Your views are your own but sometimes writing ill things about a certain community or person even if they're true is sure inviting trouble. It's almost as good as speaking on a public platform. This is why many bloggers use an alias not because they're afraid of trolls but sensitive topics could easily land you in deep shit.
      Lara

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    12. @Pad - Not really Pad, every single successful blogger, regardless of genre, gets these kind of nasty comments. They just don't talk about it. I participate in a few women's bloggers forums and every female blogger is targeted - even food bloggers, arts and crafts bloggers, everyone. That is why you will notice that once a blog becomes successful, several bloggers don't post for months - it is solely because of trolls and rude comments. People just can't stand successful women (in whatever field they are in), especially on the internet.

      @Lara & Pad - By that logic, one could also be "inviting trouble" if you step outside your own house. Every woman is technically at risk, the second you leave the house you could be stalked by a lunatic. Your pictures could be stolen from LinkedIn or facebook itself. Does that mean we should hide? No. It means we need to demand a safe spaces in the public sphere - both online and in real life.

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    13. You're still not getting the point MM. There is no fool proof way to avoid all that. Safe? What are you talking about. There is no safe place on this planet. Be it Paris, Basel, Chicago, Toronto, Seoul, or Mumbai there is no place devoid of Crimes. Recently Australia and NZ were ranked as the most peaceful and happy nations to live in because crimes are a rarity. My sister who lives there tells me its all bullshit. The media works differently there. Rape murder and abuse happens as much as any other city in the U.S. Why just recently in Sydney an Indian I.T engineer was killed in a remote place in the dead of night while returning home. The sad thing is that her killer is still roaming free. The Aussie police didn't blame her but still they told she could have avoided that situation by taking a different safer route despite knowing drunkards hung out at the park. Her colleagues say she could have left early when she had a choice but she did it at the risk of her life. Would she have reached home alive if she left early and taking a safer route? No not necessarily. She could have met with an accident too or a mentally ill person could have shot her in broad daylight.! But she didn't go all out in safeguarding herself and that's what I'm talking about. She didn't take measures of that which she had CONTROL of. The cyber crime officers helped me when my email account was hacked but when an idiot troll took my friend's pic from a social networking site and posted it elsewhere with some nasty things done to the pic, the officials didn't act when complained to them. They told me it was her fault for posting the pics and there's nothing they could do about it.
      Lara

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    14. @ Lara

      "You should make sure and do all you can to avoid getting into a situation like that in the first place. There is no such thing of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. "

      You know that there is a name for that mindset? It is called VICTIM BLAMING. It is sick, backward, and plain old idiotic.
      Women are NOT responsible for rape, or any abuse. The Rapist and abusers are. Plain and simple. Yet this crazy mindset persist. Nobody accuse a man who got mugged that he was asking for it, yet women did? Really? REALLY?

      Rapists, AND trolls for that matter have that one thing in common. They do what they do for the sensation of being powerful and in control it gives them. They don't do it because the woman looked or act a certain way, or in the case of trolling only because they posted certain picture or wrote certain topic. Troll don't even all read the blogs in detail. They just feel all important and have a sense of existence just posting. They are the troubled ones, not the blogger for writing whatever they do.

      like Alexandra said, I know craft bloggers and food bloggers that have been told to go die already and have been hurled abuse at, without posting a single picture of their kids. So it is not just bloggers blogging about family that get targeted. It's anybody that the troll perceive as a person that need to be brought down below their level. So anybody happy in their own life and having a successful blog is a target because these trolls are low lives pathetic little coward that can only feel powerful belittling people they know they will never meet.

      On another note, I can't believe that WOMEN perpetuate victim blaming, and think what women do or don't do is what land them in trouble, Please stop perpetuating that BS.

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    15. @Cyn How have you come to the conclusion of victim blaming? Did you even read properly what the earlier commentors have written. Do you really have a "way" to stop sick bastards out there from raping women? Or even men/women from getting stabbed? No, you don't. Women are in NO way responsible for making rape happen but if it means taking risks at the cost of "me" getting killed or raped I will most certainly not take such a risk in the first place.

      @Alex It isn't just females who are targeted. My friend got hate mail and even death threats for writing on sensitive topics. His blog wasn't even that popular but got famous when he started to write on patriarchy issues. He couldn't handle the abuse and hate and ended up removing it.

      Ayesha









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    16. It is victim blaming when you are suggesting women need to refrain from going out at certain time, or dress a certain way. The same way it is victim blaming to suggest a blogger had the troll coming for just blogging, or posting certain picture.

      Have you been raped? Molested? I have, I kicked my aggressors butt, actually trying to drown him as it happened in Egypt as part of a tourist in outing to go snorkelling, 50 boats on the reef, one sick bastard taking his chance on me. I am a strong swimmer, he gave up quickly. I could not report him though. Other story. my sister got attacked on the way back from her work, she burned her attackers face, he ran. It was in Switzerland and she reported the guy to the police. He never got caught. Neither me nor my sister would have done differently, avoided to go where we went. We just know how to fight. And I will fight every moron that suggest we should have avoided being in that situation in the first place. You don't have a right to tell me that as a woman I should prevent being raped, because if you do you are suggesting I was acting wrong and invited the situation on me.

      I say a big massive FUCK to that

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    17. @Lara - actually, I'm not missing the point. You're missing the point. How ironic is it when on this post that I am talking about rude commenters telling me how to behave and react......then along come commenters to tell me how to behave and react. WOW.

      The purpose of the comments section is to prompt people to share your own personal stories. If you can't relate to what I'm saying at all, then move on, as @Millie so rightly said.

      @ayesha - that is really sad about that Male blogger. It is really unfortunate. I probably would have loved to read his blog.

      Delete
    18. From, a very famous lifestyle blogger - http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2015/08/on-cyber-bullying-and-choosing-kindness.html

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    19. "Victim blaming", and rape (the new Godwin points ?) : how is that relevant to what I said ie why not face your emotions/limits and act accordingly to stop your pain ? You can't end your suffering by killing all "trolls", can you ? Many celebs don't post pictures about their family, because they have set firm boundaries to protect themselves. Others make different choices, because they can take the pressure involved.

      And to be quite honnest, humourless rants about trolls are so boring to read... just like rants about taxes and mosquitoes, bitching and boasting lol... (Padparadscha)

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    20. Namaste Padparadscha, didn't you use to troll Sharell's blog big-time? You know she was getting hounded so badly by trolls that she had to quit blogging. You yourself took part in that. Glad to know you find it *boring* when you yourself take part in such atrocious behavior.

      Delete
  4. Dear Alex,

    Love this post, very true!! People really fail to see the nuances of life, nothing is black and white. I think all bloggers will understand this post (many non-bloggers will not lol).

    Lots of love as always,

    Lauren xx

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    1. Thanks Lauren, I know you understand! <3

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  5. This is oh so very true - and it's something I'm struggling with as well.

    I keep joking with my husband that I'm going to turn off comments on my blog/YouTube channel and just keep creating stuff - so that I still get to do what I love (creating things) without having to worry about people's reactions.

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    1. I honestly dream about that too. When I was on vacation, I got my cousin to moderate comments for me and it was the best thing ever. I have dreamed of outsourcing my comment moderation to somebody else and then just replying to them once a month. But then I would be scared for that person, what if they see the nasty comments and kill themselves?!

      It is hard because there are not so many mixed couples out there, so the comments section I wanted to be a forum for couples sharing their experiences.

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  6. Ohh Alex .. dont disturb yourself by these people ..
    these are such people who dont have anything really to do .. they just criticise others .. they cant see people happy .. they want to down who are growing .. so u should be happy n proud youself ..dont tke it negative ... .. .. people who are going to achieve something they find lots of constarint (negative force ) .. .. u r sharing ur life experience (other bloggers also ) ..readers should resp[ect their opinion .. i m indian ..live in india but i love ur talks ..u share ur experience ..what the bad about dis ...cant understand why people think like this ..i also read one or two such comments by others in ur blog who tell u why u talk about india .. please ignore them .. ur life is sourrounded by ur love ones.. dont disturb urself for whom even u dont know ...
    bbye

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  7. So so true, every bit of it. There is some toxic stuff out there. I am not a very popular blogger, so I haven't experienced this, and definitely not on such a disturbing level. But I keep reading blogs and see how nasty people can be.

    There's this fairly popular Indian blogger who has a personal blog. I was following a post of hers where a woman just kept berating the blogger for her life choices. It was of course obvious that the person who left those comments must regret her own life choices subconsciously because her comments were hateful as well as full of envy.

    Can't you just block the comments that give you random unsolicited advice, useless opinions etc.? Or do you do that already?

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  8. This is so, so true. There is so much toxic stuff out there. My blog is not very popular so I haven't experienced much of it first hand, but I do keep reading blogs and have seen how nasty people can get.

    I remember following a trail of comments on a fairly popular Indian blog. The blogger mostly writes about her personal life and this woman would just keep commenting about her life choices and say how irresponsible she was. It was very evident that the woman leaving these comments had some serious issues and was grudging some of her own life choices. The comments would be full of envy and hatred. The blogger told her off, and she kept commenting with different names.

    I don't know why she compulsively kept commenting if she though the blog was so terribly useless.

    If I get such comments, I would be very affected. I am very bad at handling unsolicited advice and useless opinions. You are really brave. Don't you block comments about your looks or personal choices? Or do you do that already?

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    1. Gah! Trolls!!!! They always comment under 5 million aliases!
      I block them, but they still keep coming. On some days, I am immune. But if something in my life is bothering me, or if I am stressed, it can hit me where it hurts. I am not immune on all days, so I try to go offline more on my more sensitive days. It is unfortunate because the best part of the internet is that it can make you feel less alone in whatever struggle you're having. So sometimes on my sensitive days, I can't check my email, because I don't want it to affect me. And that in turn, in a way, isolates me a bit.

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    2. Oh yes absolutely! I forgot about trolls making up new names. arrgghhh. If someone just intends to hurt you, they'll find a 1001 ways to make it happen.

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  9. My blog is 11 years old. I have seen quite a few trolls over the years. It hurts at first, until you realise that if all you are going to be blamed for is to be "fat and useless and deserve to die" because of that, they are the one whose life is messed up. I usually delete these comments, and on occasion reply with a snarky comment if I feel inspired.

    Each troll message I get makes me oh so grateful about my own life because clearly, it could suck more and I could be them instead. I have a blog while these trolls only exist through their nasty comments...how sad is that?

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    1. That's a really good way to look at it, Cyn <3
      xo

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  10. Very good post which addresses a lot of things bloggers have to deal with on a regular basis.

    I love the following statement because it is so true. 'Criticism tends to sting more when it comes from a loved one or a family member, but when it comes from random people who don't even know you?' When I first started dating my husband, I got a lot of snide comments from my sister's husband because he is Taiwanese. However, I believe that his rude comments stemmed from his own insecurity. I can block out the trolls in the internet, but it is harder when it is a person you see from time to time. I even wrote a blog about it recently which hasn't been published yet. Maybe my experiences and how I dealt with it can help someone else.


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    1. I would love to read it, I'm sure it will help someone.
      I agree, it almost always comes from insecurity....

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  11. I am not a blogger, but one rule I try and follow is that if I wouldn't say it to your face, I wouldn't put it in a comment. There is something about the anonymity of the internet that makes people think they can say anything to anyone. Personally I think that with trolls, whatever they write says more about them than it will ever say about you.

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    1. Absolutely Rosie, I agree. There is something about the internet where people have just lost all sort of decency to each other. A lack of compassion disease...
      xo

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  12. @alex

    this are problems most bloggers face when the write about their lives. a blogpost is afterall a viewpoint someone else may not agree with it or may add to it. in most of these blogs the cultural inputs come from the spouse's culture and may or may not be reflective of the culture of a diverse country like india. we are very similar but very different depending on our community. it is nolt criticism but an ovservation.

    i have also felt that many times the blog writer is intolerant of any criticism especially if it comes from a man. he is immediately branded as troll. there is some how a feeling that a man's point of view does not matter and they are nothing but nuisance. only if he agrees with the blog writer. this leaves very little space for different view points and discussions.

    the other thing is when the blog writer writes something critical about say their MIL or inlaws who are not present to put their own view point. we don't know them, our only source is the blog writer but people bring their own experinces and start criticising someone whom we have never met. this i find very disturbing. i cannot criticise someone's family member by drawing from my own experinces. i don't know whether the blog writer has taken them into confidence. does it not become a case of heresay or gossip or character assissination sorry to use a strong word??

    no offence meant i love these blogs just a few observations.

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    Replies
    1. True, but people have been writing about their lives and experiences since ink was invented.....why is it only a problem when it is written by a woman? And why is it a big problem when that woman has married into an Indian family? If we only talk about praises (and not struggles) about being accepted into the family, then is that not being dishonest?

      A few of my cousin-sisters have told me that they wish I could write what I write, my MIL also told me the same. These women are essentially voiceless by the social stigma. There are just not enough voices out there, IMHO, especially female ones. If they wrote a blog I'm sure it would be much more popular than mine! ;)

      I don't think every man is a troll of course, but there are some who come across as condescending and have an air of "let me tell you how to think", it is enraging. Or we as women are branded as overreacting when in fact many of us are emotionally intelligent and brave.
      If a man received this from a fellow man he would have an absolute fit.

      I have talked to fellow bloggers about the comments' section - many opt to keep it closed. For me, the purpose of keeping my comments section open is so that other people can share their experiences, not tell me how I should have/shouldn't have lived my life. Or even help each other with intercultural topics, if I'm not able to be online.

      Delete
  13. haha. I thought my comment didn't go through, so I retyped the whole thing. Now I see two of my comments saying almost exactly the same thing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Don't take it personally.
    Found this under the comments section of an Indian make up artist (http://www.beauty-traveller.com)-
    "Kindly pass the comments that are realistic or have some relation with the article. If you think you're passing your time and writing something that would hurt anyone's feelings in any ways then this site is not for you. Comments are to be strictly in proper,unabusive and ethical language without any hint of racism or discrimination. Please think before talking and keep blog environment fresh and clean."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a really good one. I may re-phrase that and use it!!!!!!!
      Thanks bibi <3

      Delete

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