Yesterday on ew.com, I read a staff blogger's review of an episode of a TV show I happen to like (I've done this numerous times before, and the result is often the same). The review was decent and respectful, but the reader comments ranged from appreciative of what they'd watched, to scathing cut downs. One even wrote, "Worst. Episode. Ever." At that point, I was pissed off and stopped reading. I'd allowed other people's negativity to get to me, and I didn't need it.
See, the problem with so many of these websites is there's no accountability for comments. People select aliases, write whatever nasty comments come to them in the moment, and take no ownership for their words, ideas (if you could call them that), or energy.
So, here's the best advice I've heard, which, as far as I'm concerned, applies to bloggers and commenters who write any damn thing they want to, sending their negative venom out into the world and thinking they're somehow benefiting the planet.
Steve Jobs, the late CEO and creative genius behind Apple, said it best:
"...What have you done that's so great? Do you create anything, or just criticize others' work...?"
Being clever, insightful, and smart is one thing. Being bitchy, nasty, and insulting is something else altogether. There's a fine line. Don't go over it. No one wants your negative energy in his space.
Focus on doing something creative. Learn just how tough it is.
And in case my advice and Jobs's questions don't hit the mark, remember what I hope your parents taught you:
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."