With so many faceless ways to interact – Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook, IM-ing and texting – criticism is inevitable. Oversized opinions are on the rise as a direct result of being constantly invited to comment, like and comment again. They can be witty or ridiculous. They can be abrasive or passive aggressive. They can be amusing or hurtful. But no matter where you go online, they’re everywhere: haters.
A few years ago, you couldn’t just hop on Twitter and tweet Justin Bieber about how much he looks like a lesbian, or tweet Katy Perry about how awesome her boobs are. Twitter has broken that barrier, making the people who were once beyond reach just a tweet away. Celebrities now have direct access to their fans and what people are saying, which isn’t always nice. Just a few days ago Judd Apatow had his own little word war on twitter after an MSNBC host tweeted his thoughts to Apatow about This is 40, calling it a mess and asking, “What happened?”
Mr. Apatow responded to the tweet, and when most people are asking why someone of his awesomeness would even care, I think it’s rad. This is 40 (along with every movie) isn’t JUST Judd Apatow’s movie, it’s a lot of people’s movie. It’s his wife’s movie, his daughter’s, Paul Rudd’s and all of the other people that helped make it. Maybe Mr.Apatow felt the need to defend his family and coworkers. Or maybe even super talented, mega successful people with lots of money are just humans that are sometimes affected by haters, too.
Don’t let the term HATER be used as a crutch to shut down any constructive criticism. Constructive criticism offers legit and well-reasoned opinions. It’s the only way to learn your weaknesses and improve them. A hater, on the other hand, is someone who strongly dislikes another based off personal judgement rather than their own merit. A critic simply says, “This tea could use a little more honey.” A hater throws the teacup against the wall before ever taking a sip.
I have a slightly different view of haters after creating online content for years and hearing raw, not-so-sweet feedback on the regular. I appreciate haters – they make me think outside the box. If it wasn’t for my first few YouTube haters, I wouldn’t even have my television show. I created a character (LittleLoca) specifically to deal with my haters, which later ended up becoming very popular and built me a small audience. I quickly learned that I could recycle the negative energy I was getting into creative energy, because guess what? Energy is energy. If I have 20 haters, I want 30 more. Gimmie all that energy so I can make some magic! This doesn’t mean I reply to every rude comment or ignore every rude comment. I’ve just learned to put on my hater shades and let things inspire me, instead of eat at me and crush my heart. It’s much easier to live like that.
To do anything even remotely interesting in life, you have to learn how to handle criticism and hate. The bigger your success, the more haters (and lovers) you will attract. The people that don’t get it don’t matter. Never worry about validation, worry about your impact. Don’t take things personally. Don’t go buck wild and just start cussing people out. It’s easy to commit social media suicide by going cray cray. Keep in mind that hating on haters (or anything in life) too much turns you into a hater. When you do feel the need to reply to a hater, be creative and strategic, achieving a balance between the right to freedom of speech on one hand and respect to your online community on the other.
Here’s a little secret I’ve discovered: it’s very easy to flip some haters into a lovers. That’s because some haters are actually fans in denial and their hate issues most likely have nothing to do with you. You’ve just triggered feelings in them that they don’t have the skills to cope with, so instead they project. Most of the time they just want your attention and don’t know how to get it, like the little boy who has a crush on you and pulls your pigtails on the playground. When you give them a little lovin’, they’ll want to have your baby.
Bottom line is, haters are gonna hate and steaks are gonna marinate. For every hater, you have ten lovers. Just put on your hater shades, keep moving forward and don’t sweat the broken teacups, girl.
I’d like to end this post with a big THANK YOU to all the haters in the world – without you I would have never written this.
Image via Politico