a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Sunday, January 29, 2012

How To Deal With Anonymous Commenters.

It's no secret that any sort of blogging whether it be fashion, lifestyle,cooking, or photography brings about commenters. With the internet being the incredible abyss of information and resources that it is, various unique visitors are brought to our blogs each and every day. Some of these visitors who don't allow allow their true identity to be discovered, I like to call 'anons.'

There are two types of anons. The kind ones, and the mean ones. Fairly elementary school, right? (If only everything in life could be separated between just good and bad). Here's a little about both:

The 'Kind' Anons.
Kind anons can sometimes be even nicer than regular blog followers themselves. They don't flood your comment box with the all too common, "awwssommeee blog! Check mine out plzz and enter my giveaway. Kissez!" Because anons don't give their names or the link to their blog (if they have one), a blogger doesn't need to worry about the evils of spamming. Additionally, some of the most heartfelt comments I've ever received have been from kind anonymous commenters. Without the fear of being judged by giving out a name, kind anon commenters let their true feelings and kindness radiate and leave a blogger feeling simply on top of the world. A kind comment from a stranger can make a blogger have a revelation that what they write about does affect others.

The 'Mean' Anons.
Ahh, but to everything good and beautiful there must be something evil and ugly to counteract, and that would be mean anonymous commenters. I've never really understood the mentality of mean anons. Why would you purposely set out to diminish and bring down another person's self esteem in a place where he or she has found safety and solitude? Why can't mean anons take the hint that 'if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all?" I've gotten my fair share of mean anonymous comments in my days of blogging. Receiving a comment as simple as, "u look soo fat in dis dress" can ruin my day, let alone anyone's day even though it is a silly, meaningless comment. No matter how hard any of us try not to let mean anons get to us, deep inside we know that underneath all of the misspelled words and horrific grammar that it bothers us. Mean anons seek to tear a blogger down in any way they can and make all of the silly insecurities we think about ourselves resurface. Mean anons are usually just sad people who jump around from blog to blog and write the first mean thing that comes to their mind. Most people think that anonymous commenters are long time readers, followers, or stalkers of their blog, but contrarily they are usually just lifeless losers who happen to drop by once and never come by again.

So how DO you deal with anons? The kind and the mean ones?

1. What if it's your first time receiving a mean comment? Don't sweat it. Know that you are not being personally attacked by this mean hearted soul. He or she has their own problem(s) (whether it be self-esteem issues, anger, or jealousy), and is taking it out on you. There are hundreds of thousands of other bloggers like you who also receive mean anonymous commenters, so don't ever feel like you're alone. All of us are in this together!
2. What if you're wondering how to reply to an anonymous commenter? Obviously you can't go to their blog and leave an answer in a comment or email them back, so sometimes it's helpful to set up a formspring account where anyone can ask a blogger questions. All an individual has to do is send in a question, and the owner of the account will receive the question, anwser it, and post it onto their formspring where the commenter can be properly answered. Additionally, two less effective ways are to address the comment in your next post, or to post a comment in your own comment box. Both ways are suitable, but the original question asker is less likely to see the anwser.
3. What should you do if you receive a mean anonymous comment? Coming from experience I've had; do.not.address.it. If a mean anon takes time to bring you down, what is the point in wasting your time to succumb to their level and reply back? When I once tried addressing the mean anon in a post, the commenter just keep egging me on and on for quite awhile and was relentless. By ignoring the commenter much strife and stress on your point will be avoided.
4. So if you shouldn't anwser it, what should you do? There's a couple options you can take to dealing with a mean comment. One option like I previously said is to ignore it, but I've found an even better method is to delete the comment. Having that negative energy and person on your blog hosts no benefits to you as a blogger or person. You'll just obsess about the comment and keep going back to it and thinking about it. By simply deleting the comment you delete that negativity from your life. In a few weeks, you won't even be able to remember you had a mean comment. Additionally, if the comment is threatening or creepy make sure to report or flag the comment to the blogger team.
5. What can you do to prevent anonymous commenters? Anonymous commenters can be prevented a few different ways to your preference. Under your blogger settings, click on 'comments' where you may customize whether you allow anyone to comment, only users with a blog, or only users who provide a name. I know when I first started my blog I made it so only blog users could comment and I found that it made me feel better that when I clicked to see my comments I wouldn't see anything negative pop up.
6. What can you as a blogger do to stop mean anonymous commenters? Stand up and speak out. We bloggers as a whole can stand up and stop the hate, negativity, and fear that goes along with anonymous commenters. By supporting each other with kindness, consoling each other when it comes to mean comments, and talking on our blogs about strength in not submitting to what mean anons want (to make us feel bad) we all can defeat those who want to bring us down.

Hope this perhaps helped you all is some way, shape or form. If you have anything that you all use to deal with anonymous commenters, let me know!

With much love, Lauren.

P.S. Speaking of replying to anonymous commenters. To the anon who asked the other day my view on sex, here is my anwser;


Amber Schmidt said...

I think this is amazing, Lauren.
I know how sickening of a feeling it is when I see a rude, anon comment pop up in my 'to be moderated' box.

The best thing I've found to do is, the second I can tell it's less than kind, just delete it that way I can't even read the words or obsess over them.

If it's constructive criticism, I'll usually publish it and reply in my own comment box.

Again, amazing post, and you're an angel.

Charmaine said...

Wise, helpful thoughts and words. Also just read the link you posted to your thoughts about sex. I really admire that you have stuck to your morals and are not afraid to admit it. Society puts such an unnecessary precedent on sleeping around and getting laid, and the pressure this puts on young people to just get rid of their virginity is really deplorable. While I think it's important to live in a tolerant, sex-positive society (meaning we should have public discourse about the fact that sex IS happening whether we like it or not and keep people aware of their options), there are limits and people's individual choices should be respected on both sides of the equation. There is nothing wrong with not having sex. Smart girl, you really and an individual and I have a lot of respect for that!


leah jean said...

You are so sweet. My blog isn't popular enough to get any mean comments yet...and I almost hope it never gets any bigger just to avoid that issue. Thanks for the reminder that it doesn't have to destroy your self esteem.
LOVE your linked post, by the way.

life in a nutshell

Kathryn from Schoolmarm Style said...

I'm sorry you've had to deal with mean anonymous commeners. I've never had mean ones, just completely disgustingly inappropriate ones. I think you've given the right advice though.

Hannah said...

You're practically perfect in every way!
This post was really nice. Thankfully I haven't had to deal with any "anons." But when I do, I'll know where to go!
I wish I could find the time to comment on your blog more. But to make for my lack of love here it is; Your outfits make me want to better the way I dress and you inspire me! Also, congratulations on choosing a school! That must be so exciting. I hope you have fun and I really hope you continue to blog.
Have a great day!
With much love,
A Little Burd Told Me..

Kelsey Cole said...

Wonderful post. I also went to the link for your post on keeping your innocence, and just LOVED it! So beautifully written, and I agree with every word. I was a virgin until my wedding night, and I am so happy that I waited to share that special experience with my Husband.



Kirsten said...

I'm so sorry that you've had silly mean comments on your blog! How anybody could think of something mean to say about you is beyond me. I'm lucky enough to have never had a negative comment on my blog but having said that I've only been blogging since August, so I'm sure the day will come soon enough!

Jul said...

This is so true...a mean comment can ruin my day too, and sometimes it's hard to post photos if you know there's someone that could say bad things to you. But we have to keep on, right? :)

S Bee said...

I just love your insights on everything you write!!

Kezzie said...

I share your opinions on the big s by the way!
I've never had an anonymous meanie- in fact, I've never had an anonymous apart from one of those, "Link to cheap holidays" or something like that! I guess, I'm not on anyone's radar!
Good advice though, bravo! You are wiser and more inspirational than any other person of your age I have ever met (my friend Ruth is similar to you, I think you'd really like each other. She's now 22-3 but when she was 16-7 and I was 25 (doing my teaching training), we used to study together and she was such a good influence on me and we could talk about anything. Did help that her Dad was a pastor!

Have a lovely day!!

OrigamiGirl said...

I saw your anonymous commenter on sex the other day and was totally confused by it. Why ask a question, but be anonymous so you can't answer it? I would have thought that in normal life you dont ask strangers about their sex lives.

Also, I am trying to work out if I know above commenter! I am 23 and called Ruth with a minister for a Dad...Not that I remember the rest of it but interesting co-incidence.

gee said...

wonderful post.
i disabled the anonymous button.
i think somedays i could prob. handle negative feedback but in the end it is just easier to not have it.

Ulia Ali said...

Loved this post. My blog is very young at the moment, so I haven't really received negative anonymous comments.. I think if you get mean comments someone is obviously jealous of your success and popularity :D There is always positive side ;)

OrigamiGirl said...

Oh and btw... I have mentioned you and used a picture of you in my latest blog post. Hope you don't mind.

Miranda said...

I completely agree. I haven't really gotten any mean anons, but I have gotten spam and the like. I think you handle the mean comments very well and very gracefully!
P.S. The guest post is up! :)

Anna M. said...

This is great Lauren! I can speak from experience that the anon hate is the worst (There was a point in time where I got a great deal on my art blog) :(

For me personally I found the best way to deal with them is not reply back to them at all. They usually just want a response out of you, so it's best not to give them that satisfaction. Plus I mean, c'mon, you're really that much of a coward that you use anon to say the dumb things you want to say? Grow up, haha.

But your attitude is great, and you're such a beautiful and kind soul so you're definitively above them in every way.
I may not comment much but the blog is looking great, keep up the amazing style!

Unknown said...

I've gotten some weird and strange anonymous comments, they really freaked me out! Thanks for writing this post Lauren!! :)

Marisa Noelle said...

You are so right on everything here Lauren! I usually feel like I can laugh the negatives away b/c I think it is so absurd that people get a charge from leaving mean comments in the first place. It really says a lot about their character and who they are as a person. However recently I got a comment on my flickr that was very passive and basically made mention of my chest in a very mean way. "you look old and saggy". Wow, really? I think it's interesting how these commenters never have any bit of information linked back to their profiles. I kindly replied on that one saying thanks for the input but I'm a curvy girl and proud of it. Sometimes I think killing with kindness is the best thing.

Anyhoo, I love that you wrote this. It was encouraging to read and so well thought out. You are gorgeous darling gal...both inside and out!!

Charlotte Cantillon (Crowley) said...

I personally stopped allowing anon comments about a year ago. I agree with what you said- some of the loveliest comments came from anons, but I just couldn't handle it any more. I also got scared of people who knew me in real life commenting on my blog under the disguise of an anon and contradicting things I had said on my blog.
I had some really, really horrible anon comments and it just got too much for me. I just can't move on from that. I admire people who still allow anon comments.

Charlotte x

Patrick Hill said...

I'm sorry you've had to deal with mean anonymous commeners. I've never had mean ones, just completely disgustingly inappropriate ones. I think you've given the right advice though.

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