SOCIAL STUDIES If You Don't Have Anything Nice To Say… Zooey Deschanel

This is an Internet rant about Internet rants. This is a rant about anonymous, unconstructive, Internet meanness. It’s not because I think everyone should be happy and cheerful all the time. It’s just that I think people should be decent and respectful to each other.

Everyone has a right to individual opinions, but just because you don’t like something does not mean that no one else does. So, unless you have some really thoughtful and constructive criticism, why say anything at all? Or rather, why say it publicly? With the advent of the world wide web was born this conundrum; while the Internet has the fantastic ability to bring people of common interests together, it simultaneously gives people the ability to say all the nasty things they want, completely anonymously.

I have the utmost respect for true critics and writers who devote themselves to analyzing and appreciating art; this is NOT who I am talking about. Often the content of comments sections goes something like this (in Mad Libs form):

SouPerP1mp69: I hate (name of an artist/celebrity not in room)! He/she is (unflattering adjective) and (unflattering adjective) and someone should tell her/him that he/she should stop (verb/name of profession)-ing.

Well SouPerP1mp69, you lost me there! If I didn’t like sushi, would I say, “All sushi restaurants should stop making it for other people because I don’t like it”? No, I would not because that makes NO SENSE. If you don’t like a writer, don’t read their books; if you don’t like an actor, don’t watch their movies and so on and so forth. The people who are making art, successfully or unsuccessfully, have a right to do so and I can guarantee you that none of them are spending time making the things that they make for people who hate them.

So, why would someone go on a message board like a weird little sneak and write a bunch of mean stuff about someone? There are certainly artists that I don’t particularly care for, but do I publicly go and say mean things about them? No, I do not, because they shouldn’t care what I think, because they’re not doing it for me and if I don’t like it, then I am simply not their crowd. If people are supporting their efforts then I deduce that they have an audience of people who enjoy what they do.

It’s wonderful that people have different tastes. The word “opinion”, intrinsically, has no “right or wrong”, only “yours and mine”. People can buy into, surround themselves with and immerse themselves in whatever suits their fancy! So why rain on other peoples’ parades?

This leads me to my real point: what I want for our 1-month-old baby website HelloGiggles.com. I think negativity is the enemy of creativity because it stops people and shames people and that is not what I want for our community. I want this site to be a place where people feel comfortable and safe. I want this to be a place where people encourage each other instead of bringing each other down. And mostly, I want this to be a place where people identify themselves and stand up for the things they say and inspire each other to do better; write more, draw more, make more music, create more and share more. I will be darned if we don’t.

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  2. There’s noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made sure nice factors in features also.

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    Anonymous | 12/08/2011 05:12 pm
  4. Couldnt have said it better myself. Literally I couldnt. I think people should all read this before posting on anything.

  5. Just what I needed to read, bravo Zooey, you da woman!! Thanks for making my day…. <3 < 3 <3 <3

  6. haha its cool that you don’t hide behind an actors façade of being cool and not giving a shit about the little no bodies. Respect emotional woman

  7. You GO, Zooey! You make us happy and in the middle of every gruesome day, you manage to make us laugh or just “huh?”-in a funny way! This truly is a mean world in a gazillion ways, so I’m happy to see that so many others want to make it better….I encounter different cultures or ways of life at work and I get so aggravated that so many people don’t see each other as equals. Everyone is intimidated by everyone!! Get over it and be yourself…that’s pretty much what Mom taught me….ha!.Who woulda thunk…..
    P.S. I don’t tweet much and follow few, but I love my other positive people….Christina Applegate and Lisa Loeb….what, I’m a dork, now? heehee

  8. Preach on! Zooey, I adore you, your music, your ideas, your movies, and just about everything else I’ve ever seen you do. Thank you for being you. Thank for being different. Thank you for “keeping love alive”. We need more people like you in this world. <3

  9. I need more Zooey in my life :-)
    And my friends know it: http://i.imgur.com/Cxdcs.png

  10. I think this goes a long way to explaining, not excusing, bad behavior on the internet. Warning, NSFW word. http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/3/19/

    And don’t let some anonymous jerk get you down! You’re awesome :)

  11. People say this site is for girls and pansies. Whatever, I’d be a pansy if it means getting a peaceful atmosphere, entertainment and troll-free comment boxes!

  12. I feel the exact same way. I don’t see anything but mean and unnecessary comments EVERYWHERE online these days, and it’s so sad. Keep the love alive (:

  13. zooey, you rock. keep the love alive.

  14. absolutely true :) there’s no need for derogative coments or judgements. It just comes down to respect and narrow minded people attempting to make themselves feel bigger and better at the expense of others.
    Unless of course its between people that mutually insult and joke around in a certain manner, its sometimes just that kind of friendship…ya know :)

  15. I agree, if you are not fond of a certain artist or writer, or really any person, wouldn’t it be easier to steer clear rather than persecute them for who they are? And who are we to judge others? Whether they be celebrities on those obnoxious magazines they put right by the check-outs at the supermarket, or regular working types, they all deserve our respect. I really love it when influential people take a stand for what they believe. Thanks Zooey!! :)

  16. Thank you for writing this. Nice to read something like this for a change.

  17. Oh and P.s….I love coming to this site because A) There is NO negativity here. Its a very uplifting place to visit. If I feel down it picks me back up. Its a safe house.
    Just bringing my cursor over the three heads on the logo makes my day when they giggle.
    Cheers to many more moths of hello giggles.
    GOL
    -Kili Goodrich

  18. I would have to TOTALLY agree with this. There are always enough haters that bring us individually down in our lives, why have people on the internet do it too? How can someone think they are “cool” for bringing someone else down. Well guys it doesn’t make you cool, not at all. Plus all the negativity that sweeps through the internet and all around us is toxic. It starts to feed off of others and brings more people down. No one really deserves to be brought down. C’mon, is bringing others down productive? Is there something I am not seeing? Its foolish to hurt someone and words are very powerful. Just stop and think about what you are going to say publicly and ask yourself if it is something you should really say. Who wants to spend their life making other people hurt. Spread the love. Let’s get rid of all the hate.
    “All You Need Is Love.” The Beatles. (They’re some pretty snazzy guys)
    -Kili Goodrich

  19. LOL Clearly Zooey’s been bashed WAAAYYY too many times.
    Yeah Zooey you tell those nasty kids how MEAN they are on the playground… I mean internet. -_______-

    and also, everybody on this thread…………………….. -_______- Come OONNN?? lol

  20. online discourse, dummy.

    I think you are unfriendly (from experience) and I also think you are a mediocre singer and your film choices are laughable.