You know- aside from occasional times when it’s too bizarre, I just delete what little anon hate/trolling I get. Maybe once every few months at the most, I’ll get something, which promptly gets deleted. That and I’ll think about Professor Quirrell
But I thought I’d actually give a serious response today. Because this one… well. I’m a grown woman who has been writing for well over half my life now. I’m pretty secure about my writing, and even if some people don’t like it, I know others do. But what if I was younger, or a newer writer, or not as secure in myself?
What if you, oh anon, had sent this to a 13 year old who had just posted her first story? What if this was enough to drive away a young woman who just learned there were others who liked her choice in entertainment as much as she did? Because I’ve been that young woman- I was a couple years older than that when I first posted a story, and I’m so glad that the people who read that story were so nice about it. (Thank you, to that long ago group. You were all awesome in welcoming me.) But if someone had said that I needed to stop? If someone had that my stuff wasn’t worth reading?
Well, it didn’t happen, so I don’t know what would have happened. I might have doubled down and written even more. I might have deleted everything. I don’t know. I’m so glad it didn’t.
Because in real life, I don’t have many people who like the same things I do. Oh, here and there, but rarely with the amount of passion I have for my fandoms. I’m surrounded by people who sometimes like what I do, but more often don’t. The online community, though, has given me many friends who like what I like, as much as I like it. None of the people online have ever made fun of me for cosplay. No one online has ever said- to my face/screen- that I’m weird for being a geek. Not counting anon hate, any teasing I get online is affectionate. It isn’t always in the physical world. Sometimes, yes, but not always.
But I might have missed that community. I might have never gotten it, if, 15 or 20 years ago, I got a message like this one, or worse.
But that’s why anon hate is so awful. It discourages young people who just now found someone who likes what they like. It drives away people, young or not, who are already nervous about what they posted. It drives away the people who make our communities better. More diverse, bigger, more entertaining.
Anon, you need to remember that there are people on the other side of the screen. People that your hate can hurt. It didn’t in this case, but that’s only because you picked the “wrong” target. But what if you hadn’t?
That would have made our community a poorer place, and you might have hurt someone who just wanted some place they could belong. I hope, in the future, you’ll think again about trying to hurt someone, but it’s probably a futile hope.
Because that’s what you wanted to do, wasn’t it?