Wednesday, April 11, 2012

2012 A to Z Blogging Challenge: Jerks

We all know at least one person who's a jerk. I'm sure most of us don't even have to think hard to come up with a list of people. Some people just seem to enjoy being nasty, rude, negative, and contrary.
The internet is a wonderful thing, but it has its low points, too. It affords people an anonymity that we don't have in 'real life' - you can assume a persona and choose to hide behind it. For some people it's like a power trip - 'ooh, because I'm anonymous, I can act like a jerk and not worry about what people think of me, or how it might affect me.' *insert evil villainous hand-rubbing and cackling here*
I've been lucky not to come across too much of this in the blogging world, but I've heard plenty of stories. One of the most common examples seems to be bloggers who write nasty book reviews, and authors whose replies are equally nasty. I won't go too in-depth on the subject, because I talked about it a couple weeks ago in one of my features called The Daydreamer's Ramblings - Bloggers Who Attack and Authors Who Bite Back. We're all entitled to our own opinion, but I don't think it's necessary to be a jerk in your reviews. It's fine if you didn't like a book, but you can tell us why without sounding like an ass-hat. 
In the post above, I mentioned one blogger in particular who appears to hate every single book she reads. How on earth does a person get such high standards that everything sucks?? Could she do better? I seriously doubt it, not with an attitude like that. She claims to love reading, but basically contradicts herself with every single review she writes. I had made up my mind that I would stop reading her reviews, but now I'm too curious to stop. I keep waiting for the day when she declares a book worthy of reading. I've had to stop myself on a number of occasions from asking her why she's such a jerk. 
Sometimes I wonder what she's like in real life - is she that negative in her every day life? Does she have any friends or has she alienated them the way she has online? She's one of those people who hides behind her anonymity - she has a made-up name and never talks about her personal life, or posts pictures of herself. For all I know, she's a sweet, mild-mannered person in her every day life, but uses the internet to become a raging jerk because nobody knows who she really is. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Do you know any people like that? Have you come across any real jerks online that you'd like to tell off?


  1. I have met PLENTY of jerks online, though I must say, not through blogging. I often find them in forums. :( It certainly makes you wonder if they are as vile in real life as they are online!

  2. The only online jerk I met was on a site where we get to anonymously review a sampling of each other's works. I put a sampling out a few years back and someone decided to review, ripped me to shreds in busying the review with things about how I was trying to be JK Rowling, how I would never be JK Rowling and that I should stop trying. No offers of what, about the sample, did or did not work for them or even the hint of what they would have liked to have seen. You know, an actual review of the sample. That was the only review I ever reported. And I had some not so ego-boosting reviews. But most dealt with the sample, not an attack on me or assumptions of what I was "trying" to be.

  3. I think some people misinterpret "review" with "criticize." They seem to think they are supposed to sound negative to be accepted. This is NOT true. I review plays and I'm as possitive as I can be. I write what I feel is working, and mention things that could be improved. But, I find that if I write about the experience of attending the performance, the reader can make their own judgement on whether or not they'd like to see it.

    Play off the Page

  4. I have had too many personal runs in with jerks, but I have seen stories and seen blogs posts where people act like jerks. Usually, I try not to get involved in those posts if I'm disagreeing w/ the person. Nothing but fighting tends to come of it.

  5. I've not met any in the blogging world or on the writing sites, where everyone seems extremely supportive, but I have had the misfortune to meet a few 'trolls' on some yahoo groups, who seemed to delight in stirring up trouble. Personally I just ignored them and didn't rise to their bait.

  6. I think people in cars can also fall into this category.

  7. Jerks? Yeah I know some. There's a group of Yahoo! writers, for example, who gossip about people in a "secret" Facebook group. (They're too stupid to realize that a Facebook group really isn't as secret as they think.) In any case, none of them have the balls to say what they say to the person's face.


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