Mario Lopez posed proudly with his infant daughter on the cover of this month's OK! magazine, yet among the congratulations, the story was also met with less-than-charming comments from anonymous blog readers all across the web. Here is just a sampling:
"Mario is a dirty douchebag taking the credit and leaving 'fatty' [the child's mother] to cry in the guest bedroom while he was having a pretty picture taken. He's a creep. Why is he holding a Chinese baby anyway?"
"This baby looks DOWN-y fresh"
"Just what America needs - another Mexican"
"Yep that baby looks dead. And Mario looks as if he's real glad about it."
So who are these people? Judging by their screen names, they are probably bored office workers pretending to process your cell phone bill or allocate your rent check to the appropriate account. That is to say, if you passed them in the street or bought your coffee from them in the morning, they seem completely normal. Maybe that's because they are.
Blog commenting tempts the inner evil in every day people. When we are held accountable for our actions, which is the crux of human society, a person wouldn't dare say something for which they aren't willing to handle the consequences. Would you tell that burly bouncer what you really think of his face? Of course not. But with the advent of the anonymous web presence, the most disgusting of human vitirol rolls off the keyboard with ease. There is no face to see the reaction. There is no consequence.
I consider myself a hardworking, kind person and everyone who knows me encourages me to keep writing. However I have been ripped up and down by internet trolls who go by nothing more that screen names like, "do me". Apparently I'm fat (130 pounds when I'm not pregnant), stupid (I have a degree and can play a pretty sharp game of Scrabble, thanksmuch) as well as selfish, horrible, thin-lipped, big-nosed, ugly, pompous and, my personal favorite, a person who "finds high-end party invitations on the floors of Forever 21 dressing rooms".
I'm not alone. Apparently blog trolling runs rampant and is especially prevalent on female-authored blogs. The most famous example is ole Dooce, a blog authored by award-winning Heather Armstrong. Her nasty blog comments were so numerous and horrible that she created a separate website (with high-paying advertising banners) called Monetize The Hate. Hey, girl's making a profit. I choose to hit delete.
The thing to focus on as a blogger, especially a hated, female blogger, is that these comments stem from the emotions of the commenter and have nothing to do with you. Certainly there has been an uglier girl than me who has dared to show her face in the streets and yet I am the target of nastiness because the commenter had a bad day. Or bad life. Bottom line is jealously is an ugly emotion and some people are tempted to unleash it into the comments section of your blog.
Screw 'em and keep writing.