It came to my attention last week that there was a person or two who weren’t too fond of my recent Tongue-in-Cheek article in the Rooster. This isn’t news to me, I often get insulted in @replies on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. The keyboard and social media have been a great catapult in the world of behind the keyboard critics. A computer screen allows people to say things online they would never have the guts to say in person. I don’t blame these people so much though, because Lord knows I have shot off my fair share of ill-advised tweets and rants too…
It has become tough anymore for me to write an article, give an interview, or speak my mind and not get some kind of push back; If those things include any real opinion, ESPECIALLY a theological statement, I’ll get ten times as much push back.
I tend to go through a little routine when somebody is insulting or disrespectful. I don’t respond right away; instead, I click on their names to see a little more about them. In doing this, I’ve noticed something pretty interesting that I think it says a lot about people in general:
I’ve NEVER been insulted or disrespected by a person who has more followers than the number of people they follow themselves.
What I mean is, the people who are doing the insulting are following a lot of people but people aren’t following them back. Statistically, they are being influenced by more people than they themselves are influencing.
And when I say never, I honestly mean NEVER. It’s never happened.
This is not a scientific process of course, but I’ve learned something… I’ve learned not to be a reactionary. Negative people in my experience, tend to be habitually negative. Its a pathetic little habit they probably picked up in High School and now its so ingrained in who they are its impossible for them to change.
Do I want to fight back? Yes. Do I sometimes want to tell people how stupid they are being? Yes. Do I want to show people how un-informed and shallow they are being? Yes. Do I want to be a jerk to the people who are being jerks first? Absolutely. But I’ve stopped doing that. The reason? In the long run, it accomplishes NOTHING.
Negative people tend to stay negative. They are addicted to their role as a critic.
I have spent a lot of time in my life being a critic. Truth be told, I love my role as a Critic. It gives me power. I like power. In certain areas like fashion, music, even politics in the right circle, it can turn into mania, an obsession – MY obsession – fueled by the high of feeling and being … “right.”
(read more about this specific concept here: Critic vs Creator)
Being negative may feel validating, but it has an extremely short reach in terms of influence. Being negative simply gets you attention, but has no weight, no action. Its simply fluff. Negativity is a bark without a bite.
Accepting criticism is important, and I think sometimes giving criticism is important too. But there is a big difference between giving criticism and simply being a hater. And dishing it out in a public sphere is not only out of place, it is petty, and honestly – its childish, in the same way a child throws a temper tantrum in a crowded store when they don’t get their way.
The person being criticized in public will never feel respected and if you’ve taught them anything, you’ve only taught them that you’re simply an asshole who thrives on drama and enjoys throwing mud.
I get what you might be thinking next, though. Who wants a world where nobody shares his or her real opinion and we’re all just being falsely nice??
What I am saying is, if you want to be aggressive and an ass - go right ahead; just don’t expect people to want to listen to you for long. It may get you some immediate attention, but when people need sound advice, encouragement or wisdom, they won’t be thinking about you.
Bottom line is ignore the negativity, its not worth your time. Instead put your opinions into POSITIVE movements, articles, thoughts, and projects that have SUBSTANCE.
All in all – thank you to everyone who shared my recent Rooster article. Love it or hate it, you still SHARED it, so thank you for the support.
Questions / Comments / Hate / Etc – Holler@ruckusapparel.com