I’d like to address the subject of haters.
Strictly defined, a hater is someone who hates. While the dictionary would have you believe that a hater is someone who hates a specific person or thing (such as a “man hater,” a “tomato hater,” or a “British humor hater”), I feel we’ve developed a whole new breed via the internet. A hater is now someone who hates…everything. It’s their primary emotion. They have to hate.
Let me back up my position here. First off, Matt Walsh has written a spectacular blog article, defending a fit woman for her victories from the haters who claim she should be drawn and quartered for challenging the excuses of others:
Maria Kang is in shape. She’s proud of it. And she’s tired of hearing people claim they can’t get in shape because they have kids. So she took a picture of herself (obviously in shape), with her three kids, and the tagline, “What’s your excuse?” And haters got all up in arms about it – because they had excuses they felt were worth defending to the death.
Now, let’s get something straight. If I post something positive, it’s intended to lift. If I post something positive about myself, it might be a little proud or even egotistical, but still. And if I post a challenge for people to drop their excuses, I don’t expect fence-sitters everywhere to volley rotten tomatoes at me just because I’ve found a passion. I don’t expect that your passion matches mine. I’m just excited I did something awesome. And if you’re offended – you have every right to ignore me. I’m not attacking you.
The funny thing to me isn’t Mr. Walsh’s article. (Actually, it is rather funny, but that’s his sarcasm.) The hilarity begins with the comments. The first 10 comments or so are haters, defending their hard-won hatred of Ms. Kang, explaining why they have every right to hate a total stranger who has the audacity to succeed where they have failed, and then unintentionally rubs their noses in it by showing up on their Facebook feed.
The bulk of the comments are replies to these haters, until the whole thing becomes an entangled pasta bowl full of jealous, spiteful linguine, all wrapped up until nobody even mentions Mr. Walsh anymore. The hate snowballs until people don’t even realize they’re becoming the complaint of the article.
As a Mormon, I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen this. My husband just read me the comments from a BYU study about food. Within a few comments, people are accusing BYU Mormons of fabricating studies, causing the American obesity epidemic, and preaching against the evils of seeing alcohol being poured. The comments get taken over by arguing over the comments. It gets funnier when someone addresses the concerns of the hater, and the hater comes back with a completely different accusation. The logic goes kind of like this:
“That green shirt you wore yesterday was hideous!”
“Um… I don’t have any green shirts. You must be thinking of somebody else.”
“… Well, I cut the grass!”
Aha! Got you there! Wait – what?
Look, haters. Knock it off! I like a good debate. If you give me a good debate, I’ll be pleased to share my opinion with you. In fact, if your logic makes sense, I might be impressed. But if your idea of a good debate is, “Well, you disagree with me, so you must be wrong,” then I’m not going to spend my time arguing with you. When you give me the time of day, I’ll return the favor. Until then, I’ll just shrug and walk away. ♥