So, I have been playing around with various ad managers out their (Facebook, Instagram, etc), to try and get more feedback on my blog, as well as just get more eyes on it. I tend to see pretty far reach, high impressions, a reasonable amount of clicks, but not very much engagement with either the ads or the blog post linked to the ad. So, I tried to go a bit more informal with my ad copy and just straight up asked people if they would be willing to check out something I wrote.
Well, I got what I wanted. I received a comment not long after I started my campaign. The comment was poking fun at my ad copy and how if that was any indication of my writing ability, they most certainly would mind reading anything else I wrote. It was the sickest of burns, to be perfectly honest, and had it been directed at anyone else, I probably would have laughed. However, because it was pointed at me, it felt like the worst possible thing to be said. I wouldn’t call it a hate comment, personally, but I could see how others might see it as one. Now, in that vulnerable state, there were many things I could have done, but I think I did what was probably best, and I want to share that process with you today:
Step away for a bit
I had a notification on my phone about the comment. I read the comment, felt horrible, then closed my phone, and did other things. Did the comment go away? Of course, not. Was I still feeling horrible? Of course, but it would have only gotten worse if I sat there and stared at it. When faced with negative or harsh criticism, it’s very easy to dwell and lash out. When you encounter it for the first time, I implore you to shut it off and walk away. Now, I wouldn’t suggest this in every situation where you face criticism because, ultimately, it isn’t productive, but when you first see it, you’re feeling vulnerable, and those emotions are guiding your action, it’s definitely best to just look away. We can look at it again once you’ve had time to process.
Do not delete the comment or respond negatively
Your first instinct is probably going to be to delete the comment, which is totally understandable. You are on social media. People will read this comment. You don’t want to fan the flame by leaving it there, but in reality, by deleting it, you may just do the one thing you are trying to avoid. They won’t be notified when their comment is deleted, but if they are following your post, they will notice their comment is gone when they check again. You will just be giving them more ammo.
It’s the same thing when responding. Don’t give them anything to work with. If you can’t respond with kindness, then just don’t respond. It is easier said than done when you are in the moment. However, you have to remember that you are on social media. People have opinions, and they can express them however they choose, even if it hurts your feelings. If you respond negatively, it will make you look bad, not the person you are responding to.
Consider, is it really a hate comment?
It is very easy to say every criticism is a hate comment. However, that is not only counter-productive, but just not true. Just because it rubs you wrong doesn’t mean it’s a hate comment. Just because the comment isn’t in agreement with your own opinions doesn’t mean it is a hate comment. Just because it is pointing out flaws in your work doesn’t mean it is a hate comment. Can critical comments be harsh? Sure, but that does not make them hate comments. When you have taken some time away from the comment, try and ask yourself, “is this really a hate comment?”
If you can, respond with kindness
I think most people comment negatively on ads because they don’t think the person putting out the ad is an actual person. I felt that this time around. So, I responded by thanking them for their honesty and ended it there. As of writing this, I haven’t received a response. Maybe I have only enticed the person to respond negatively again; maybe they will appreciate that I responded and took their words into consideration; maybe they didn’t care one way or another, and I am just wasting my time dwelling on something so insignificant. Either way, I have not made myself the bad guy. So, if you feel compelled to respond, I recommend you respond kindly, above all else.C
If you find criticism to be too stressful, don’t market your work
This is the internet. You want people to read your work. You want to get published. You want to get better as a writer, then you have to be open to criticism. It sucks, but that’s the nature of the beast. You will be faced with hate, hate disguised as criticism, and criticism you feel is hate. You will experience it all, and, of course, it won’t all be bad. There will be good times. You will receive praise, but you should never go in thinking that the world is going to be kind to you. It probably won’t be, but it’s all in how you handle it that matters.
Everyone, stay safe, be as kind as you can be, but please keep writing.
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