January 14, 2010

Being Thin-Skinned

The world is full of critics. This is a fact of life. Any one who has ever written anything original knows there are people out there who are just waiting to tear it down. Again, this is a fact of life that has not changed throughout history.

That being said, it amazes me how thin-skinned people are online. As I make my way around the World Wide Web, I quickly see how people are offended by what others write. It is baffling how anyone can get upset over a bunch of characters on a screen. Nevertheless, this happens on a daily basis.

My view on this is that most lack the esteem to be in the limelight. The Internet has allowed anyone to express their ideas in writing. Blogger, Wordpress, and others make it easy for anyone to become a "journalist" for free. However, just because one is able to express ideas does not mean that person is suited to be a blogger.

The same concept hold for online forums. Many will take offense when someone disagrees with them. This is asinine. Yet people do it and get defensive about their ideas. In the end, you get the chatroom "catfights" that make most logical people want to vomit.

Self esteem is something that I have regardless of what others think about me. There are many who like what I write while some detest it. Regardless of the outlook people have, I do not alter my style to suit them. Whatever their viewpoint, my esteem is not tied to it. That allows me the luxury of not having to defend myself against what they are saying.

Can you imagine the criticism that Bill O'Reilly, Katie Couric, and any President goes through? Unless you are a public figure yourself, it is hard to imagine. Nevertheless, we get a taste of it each time someone takes exception to what we write. The desire to defend ourselves is natural. However, I believe it is also childish and immature.

I believe you can tell the maturity level of one online by how they post. Anyone who engages in the "catfight" behavior with someone in a chatroom or forum is acting like a kid. So what if someone disagrees with you. That is life. In this country, at least for now, it is people's right to disagree. It is insane to expect everyone to agree with you all of the time.

The final point I want to make about this is how people tend to personalize what is written. I had more than a few contact me in an upset fashion because I wrote a post about them. The ironic thing is that all of them were referring to the same post. Now, how is it possible that I was writing about 4 different people at the same time? It is not. The fact is that my writing style tends to be general in nature which offers a big opening for one to interpret the themes to be about them. General human tendencies will fit us all in some manner.

At the end of the day, it is best to be thick-skinned about what is written online. There are going to be a variety of opinions offered on any topic. Even those who tend to get personal are revealing more about themselves than you. This is an important consideration. I resist lashing out at my critics because they are not worth my effort. My belief is they are worthy of nothing if they have nothing better to do than to bash me. If they think they can do better, let them. This is the attitude I have.

Those who read this blog regularly know where I stand on most issues. I share my experience with others so they can avoid some of the pitfalls that befell me. Those who want to claim that I am not real can maintain that opinion. My efforts are not done to convince anyone of my worthiness. I have that already based upon my personal experience with the lifestyle. Anyone who has a contrary viewpoint is free to move along. I will continue living my life regardless of what they think.

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