I can vividly remember the first time I read something about myself online. I was in my first week as the weekend sports anchor at WIS in Columbia, SC. This was my second job, but my first with a regular anchor shift at a #1 station.
There was an entire thread on a local fan site devoted to me and boy it wasn’t pretty. “Who is the new girl on WIS?”…”Why can’t we have a HOT woman if we have to have a woman doing sports at all?”…”I’ve seen her. Looks like WIS hired an ugly mancow.”…Ugly. MAN. COW. Can’t make this stuff up…
Today I laugh about this. At the time, it was very hurtful. I made the mistake of taking what random people were saying on the internet to heart. As hard as it is, you HAVE to ignore this crap.
In an age of facebook, twitter and e-mail, it’s easier than ever for a viewer to send you a nastygram. People lose their minds on the internet and lose sight of the fact they are talking about human beings. You have to remember that whenever you read something hurtful about yourself.
(You should also remember that when you read something nice about yourself. Take that with a grain of salt too.)
Here are a few tips for dealing with this kind of thing:
-Respond to the person. It’s amazing how people react when they realize you are actually a PERSON and not a robot reading the news. If they hated your dress or your tie, be really nice and thank them for the suggestion and thank them for being a loyal viewer. Can’t tell you how many times I have written “Thanks for watching!” when I really meant something else. This can also make you feel better because often times they will write back with some sort of weak apology or they will be really excited you responded in the first place.
-Print out the email or the nasty post and save it for later. It’s hard to just ignore this stuff, so print it for a laugh in 5 years. Show it to your friends who will likely laugh now. Having a good laugh and realizing how absurd something is can really help you feel better about a ridiculous insult.
-Do not google yourself or read the comment section on your website. Unless you are looking for news tips, you should always avoid the comment section. I once did a story about a little kid with cancer and the comment section turned into – a debate about my looks. Delightful! It’s simply not worth your time or energy.
The main thing to remember is these people are usually pretty jealous of your millionaire paycheck and the limo you take to and from work each day. You are living the glamorous life they can only dream of!
They obviously don’t have a great grasp on THAT reality, so why should a comment about how you look/speak/dress mean a thing?