You don’t have haters

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Troll, hater, bully.  All words that are thrown around the internet on a regular basis.  Too often if you ask me.  More and more I am seeing the words used when someone has a differing opinion to another person.  This opinion usually strays from the norm.

‘Hater’ however seems to be used predominately by women, usually when a friend of theirs is faced with someone who disagrees with something they have said or done.  Contrary to what the use of the word suggests, it is not something that is restricted to teenage girls.  People who use the word ‘hater’ are usually under the assumption that the disagreeing party must surely be jealous.  One of those times that to assume really does make ass out of u and me.

This train of thought has really brought the standard of online discussion to a new low.  The minute you voice your opinion on something, you should expect that there is going to be at least one person who is going to disagree with you.

The simple act of disagreement does not make a person a troll, bully or hater.  Someone who sees your opinion and asks you questions about it, or presents their counter opinion is not doing it because they hate or are jealous of you.  It is only once the argument dissolves into personal attacks or name calling that a person is being a bully.  A person who can debate a topic well attacks the facts not the messenger.

Writing a blog leaves a person open for all kinds of differing opinions.  Having this space comes with a price, the minute I hit publish it becomes my words, shared with the world.  I have to be completely behind these words, believe in them 100% to be able to hit publish.

My words may be different from yours, my views a little more skewed, but that doesn’t make them any less valid.  Don’t feel sorry for me because I disagree with your point of view, it’s just that, an opinion.  Don’t feel sorry for my child because he has a mother who has conviction in her words.  I am teaching him that it’s ok if you don’t agree with someone, just do so respectfully.

There are so many opinions in the world, no two people think exactly the same.  The world would be a pretty boring place if we did.  A difference of opinion is not offensive but calling someone a derogatory name for having one is.  How do I know I have won an argument?  When the other person stops using facts and resorts to childish name calling.

Do you think the art of discussion is lost?

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21 thoughts on “You don’t have haters

  1. kirsty mackenzie

    I definitely think the art of discussion has been lost
    I am a person who analyses all words thoroughly before they are spoken or written, looking for any remote thing that may hurt someones feelings, I find it a shame that others can’t do the same when talking to me and are often hurt by words. There is certainly a way to oppose an opinion, but first, is it always necessary to do so? I find with social media that people who have no real connection with a person or the subject, get in on the act, especially when they have the chance to get involved with negativity.
    I think the reason it has been lost is because young people are given the right to have social media platforms to play with before they are ready and often this is their only form of communication, and they are not communicating verbally so that any elder can correct them with good social etiquette, and therefore, they think it is the normal way to treat people, this is how we have gotten to where we are, it all comes back to teaching respect.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      Your comment about kids is so true. I have a few teenagers (family friends kids) on my friends list and it’s obvious that many of them have no idea about the real world consequences that their words can have. While we try to teach our kids about online safety and how to avoid predators, we then fail to remind them that the people behind the screens are people too and so should be treated like we would treat those in our offline life.

      Reply
  2. Angela

    It is all too unfortunate that you felt the need to publish this piece. To me it is just common sense and decency. The fact that it needed to be said really does show how much society needs to be educated in yet another way.

    Reply
  3. Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me

    I too make sure I am behind my words 100% before hitting publish. I welcome debate and discussion from my readers. So far, I have plenty of good discussion. I hope I never have to experience trolls, bullying or haters. It really is so common these days from what I’ve heard. How did it all end up this way?

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      I think that it’s always been that way. I used to frequent message boards when I was a teen and there was always trolls on there. I think the difference like with everything, is that more people are speaking up about it. A lot more people have access to the Internet now too, an access that should be treated as a privilege not a right.

      Reply
  4. Pinky Poinker

    I left a comment on a hugely successful blogger’s site disagreeing about something she had written. After a while I went back and apologised for disagreeing with her. What a back peddler am I? BUT the truth is I was afraid of being seen as a troll. This is an excellent point you are making Tegan!

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      That is where discussion is lost. I commented on a post a few months ago that I disagreed with, and I said why I disagreed with it, and the blogger and I didn’t have any ill feelings. I’d much prefer people feel that it’s ok to have their say, even if it doesn’t line up with my own, than get 100 comments saying ‘love this’. Blogging is about communication.

      Reply
  5. Pip (bub sweat and tears)

    Agreed. I’m always confronted when someone ‘argues’ with me publicly – but have to respect other opinions. It also takes a heck of a lot of effort and energy to hate which I’m sure one post or a point of view wouldn’t have time to generate (unless you were a certain politician campaigning at the moment) 😉

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      If I am completely honest I feel the same way, but I think that’s human nature. The difference is that now I tend to try and step away, think about it and then reply. Or I type the response I have in my head, and then delete it. It still feels like I am having my say but I am not engaging in negative behaviour.

      Reply
  6. EssentiallyJess

    Well put Tegan. It makes me really cranky how quick we are to accuse others of being trolls, when really they are just different.
    I think very differently to a lot of people, so I always try to be careful how I use my words. Obviously sometimes I make mistakes, as we all do, but all you can do is try.

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      So true Jess and I think that is what makes the difference between a disagreement and a troll. A troll doesn’t care how their words make you feel, they just want to make you feel like they do, miserable.

      Reply
  7. Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    So very true Tegan. The art of discussion and true debate has been lost across society – it’s sad that people nowadays can’t share a different opinion without being labelled a troll or a hater. Great post my friend.

    Reply
  8. Robyn (Mrs D)

    Well said!! You are totally right, there is nothing wrong with having a opinion!! If fact I think that sometimes it’s helpful to have someone disagree with you as it can give your a different perspective on things. And those that are haters should really just keep quiet – if you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all!! xxx

    Reply
  9. JodiGibson (@JFGibsonWriter)

    Totally agree with you on this one. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and to express it. Of course there is a right and a wrong way to do it and sometimes common sense, manners and decency are forgotten, which is a sad reflection on society. But I certainly don’t think that simply disagreeing is trolling or hating. Bully, trolling and hating are all the extremes of the situations and the terms should be used appropriately.

    Reply
  10. Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions

    Love, love, love this post! You are absolutely spot on, I hate it that people are econing so sensitive that you can’t have a difference of opinion without being called a troll or bully. It really devalues those words and I fear we are in danger of allowing the real bullies and trolls to get away with shit because we are so busy getting shitty at people who simply just don’t think the same way we do.

    #teamIBOT was here!

    Reply
  11. Kerry-Anne

    I’m not so sure the art of discussion has gone, its just that in the cyber world people hide while voicing their opinion. Its no longer in the lounge room or at the dinner table where consequences will be felt when tomorrow you face these people again, if you have resorted to rudeness in a discussion. Feeling a little pent up in emotion ( as a good discussion can do to you) in the face to face world it’s just not sociably acceptable to berate your fellow interactor rather than the topic. In the cyber world your mask can remove the social acceptable standards, for tomorrow you will not wear the cloak of shame ( you can even go so far as cleaning your slate with a new name in the cyber world and so there is no consequence for rudeness ) . Without consequences, game rules change and for some no longer exist. But, I think that says a lot about the person behind the keyboard. Sad that some adults don’t abide by society standards if they aren’t being watched. Sorry for the long comment, its a topic topic I’m passionate about from trying to join discussion forums 🙂 glad you opened up this discussion- and even better for no name calling by the participants 🙂

    Reply
      1. Tegan Post author

        You are absolutely right, a lot of people seem to forget (or simply don’t care) that there are people, just like them behind the computer screen. That is why when I say something, I ask myself, would I say the same thing if questioned in person.

        The little monster is the default picture if the commenting system can’t find a gravatar on the website you entered (or if you don’t enter a website). They change with each email entered 🙂

        Reply
  12. Alison

    Great post. Some people really cannot stand to be told they are wrong, or disagreed with. It’s unfortunate for them that I will always, always, without exception stand up and say what I think – although, only if I feel strongly enough about it of course. Your opinion is safe inside your head, once you air it publicly it is no longer safe from disagreement, or even derision if it is an opinion unworthy of respect. Disagreement is how we learn and grow and if you are not strong enough for that, don’t publish a blog, or stick to non-controversial pieces. Amazing how few people seem to be able to grasp this!

    Reply
    1. Tegan Post author

      But, but don’t you know they *need* to have their say, and anyone who then disagrees with this should have clicked away. Despite their comment, blog post or status being about something that they should have clicked away from. If people can’t handle disagreement without resorting to name calling then they need to disconnect their internet access and never leave their house again.

      Reply

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