Friday 9 January 2015

My Problem with Being Called a 'Hater'

There are few names that you can call me that really bother me, but the one that's being thrown around the internet a lot at the moment is 'hater'. It bother me for a few reasons, let me tell you why.

1)  It's dismissive

This is my main problem with it, by calling someone a 'hater', what you're doing is saying 'your opinion doesn't matter and has no value. You're hating on someone/something with no valid reason and probably just because you're jealous'.

Firstly, I'm not a jealous person. Sure there are things that other people have that I would like myself, such as perfect health, a great figure and perfect glowing skin, but that doesn't mean I'm jealous of anyone who has those things. I envy them and I look up to them for maintaining those things, but I'm happy for them.

Secondly, just because you make a comment that you may not agree with every little thing someone does or says, does not mean that you're 'hating' on them. No two people in the world are exactly the same, we all have our likes, dislikes and pet peeves, but that's the fun of making friends and getting to know new people. If we all thought the same and liked the same thing how quick to you think you'd get bored of life? I'm guessing pretty quick. I disagree with a lot of things that the closest people to me think or say, does that mean I hate them? Absolutely not, I love them unconditionally.

Thirdly, no matter who you are, what you believe (within reason) or what you choose to say, your opinion is valid. Your thoughts matter, the way you express them matters and you matter. To just brush off someones comment as being 'a hater' is very passive aggressive and kind of arrogant.

2)  It is quickly becoming every day language for some people

To be ok with telling people that they don't matter and their opinion doesn't count (see above) is a horrible thing to do, and could really affect someones self esteem. When we watch YouTube videos, read blogs or read anything online, the vast majority of it is just one person's opinion, and is told from their point of view. That's not a bad thing, but I think a lot of people really should keep that in mind. Unless you're watching/reading something based on facts and hard evidence, it is all opinion and therefore the viewer/reader has just as much right to theirs as the person they are watching/reading. If someone has comments enabled for their video or blog, they are inviting people to give their opinion too, whether that's good or bad, and as long as it's given in a polite way they should be free to do so.

3)  Blindly defending people by calling others 'haters'

This is something that I really don't understand. So many YouTubers that I watch have hundreds of thousands or more subscribers, and I understand that it's easy to think that you really do know these people, but you don't. They're not our friends, they probably don't even know that we exist, we are just numbers or comments. I'm not saying that they don't care about their subscribers, I'm sure most of them do, but with so many people subscribed to them it'd be impossible for them to know more than a few of us. So when someone says something in the comments along the lines of 'I'm not sure I like your hair in this style' or 'I don't like it when you collaborate with people in your videos', their fans go into attack mode. While they may not be the nicest of comments, they're not rude and they are simply an opinion which they're fully entitled to and entitled to express. To then virtually attack them is ridiculous. You don't know the person you're defending, they didn't say anything rude and their opinion is just that, an opinion. If you said 'I love your hair in this style' or 'I really like it when you collaborate with people in your videos', would you expect people who disagreed with you to gang up and call you names? No, didn't think so, it's the same thing.

A few months ago I commented on a video talking about someone in the public eye who had made more than a few racist comments, a few weeks later he made another video and apologised and said that he was drunk and didn't mean it. In a polite way I said that I couldn't accept the apology because it's something he'd said time and time again, so he clearly meant it, at least once. I was then told that I was a 'hater' because I was jealous of his fame. That's ludicrous! My worst nightmare is to be famous, I don't even want a YouTube channel, if I did I would have started one. All I want is for the ability to have honest and open dialogue, something that unfortunately seems to elude me online.

In conclusion; I think my main problem with the word 'hater' is that you're telling other people that what they think means less than what you think, and that's not nice. Before you call someone a 'hater' online or in person, please think about what you're really saying to them, and if possible try and word it slightly differently.

I wouldn't be surprised if I get some people comment negatively on this post, but that's ok. Unless you're rude or hugely offensive I'll never censor you, my comments are enabled and I expect both good and bad comments and will never call you a 'hater' for calling me out on something you disagree with.

What's your opinion on this subject? I'd love to know.

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