BREAKING: You probably won’t agree with everything you read on the internet
@ Tulane Classifieds
I know, I know – I’ll wait a minute and give you the time for that to sink in.
I’ll give you those precious moments to lament to the gods, shouting why oh why is it when I post articles online not everyone hears the angels sing and cries tears of prideful joy (but like my Dad always does sooo…your loss).
I always post my articles on the internet. When you’re writing for free on the worldwide web, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by every other writer or post being shared out there, so by posting your own work you’re helping support and promote yourself.
When you start small, self-promotion is vital, and if you’re trying to be the one in a million in a cruel world of a lot of talent, there’s nothing more important than believing in your own work – except maybe getting it noticed. Cue the internet.
The first article I ever wrote, I was too embarrassed to post online. I didn’t want to seem needy, or in search of validation. It got around ten views, and I decided I was the worst writer of all time and should go back to the hole (really, a dorm room but what’s the difference?) I came from. I vowed I was never ever going to write another article ever again.
And then next week came and I wrote a new article. (I’m not proud of my puny resolve, but hey, miss me.)
This time I knew I was going to have to take a leap of faith and begin posting my articles online. It worked. Not only did the views of my articles leap from the tens to the thousands (which is going to be bomb when I apply for professional jobs as an English major SOS), but people reacted so positively to them.
I got private texts and messages, people coming up to me in class or at parties, and even professors asking to read my work or telling me how much they enjoyed it. And every time someone told me they loved my article, I felt more inspired for the next one. Ready to write, ready to share.
It wasn’t until I began sharing my articles (or other writers I enjoyed) on public pages on Facebook, things got cray. I started receiving comments on my articles that told me I was “unwanted spam,” that The Tab was “crap journalism” and I had “nothing of value to contribute,” and then they continued to block me from being able to see or post on their pages.
One person even told me they’re “dead goldfish could get an article published from The Tab.” Tbh he must be a really fucking talented fish.
I’m not saying I don’t understand the frustration of feeling as if I was trolling those groups with unwanted sales-like pieces of information, but I didn’t understand what made my articles such a nuisance they couldn’t be ignored.
I was posting once or twice a month on pages posted on multiple times a day,and each time I could be guaranteed that someone would send me an angry private message, a snide comment, or report the article to Facebook. What exactly is so harmful about writing about the General Chemistry class I attended that you’re going to click the report button? Are you afraid of your GPA in that class?
I don’t have an answer to the why’s of that semi-consistent hatred (almost as promised as the positivity from my friends and family), but I feel like it has something to do with the way that the internet and social media has given everyone a megaphone, a soapbox, or a pedestal to stand on. And for some reason, there are many among us who aren’t comfortable allowing everyone that voice.
With the constant flow from our computers and tablets and phones into our brains of 24-7 updates and entertainment, we’ve become desensitized to the true beauty of a platform that allows anyone to express and promote themselves; we’ve been told it’s dangerous, but we understand this logic by eclipsing the notion that it has given our entire culture the chance to be your own biggest fan. The internet allows all voices to be heard, and more than ever, we need that.
So to every person who has ever been personally offended or attacked by sharing something on the internet that seemed ultimately inconsequential (or by Regina George fyi) and radically neutral in such a chaotic world – keep doing you. The other people who get reamed out on the internet for sharing our voice, are here to support you.
Oh and to every hater? We see you.