It’s been awhile now that I have been wrestling with this post in my mind. Though I have meant to pen this piece down, I have struggled to convince myself that this would not be a preachy or judgmental post hence never got to writing it. Recently I have been reflecting a lot about this trend and I think I may have had some breakthrough in understanding this in more detail. Well it all started in the year 2000 when I published my first book of quotations, even though it was on sale in the print format I decided to publish the book online for all to read free of cost. In the months following I received a great amount of positive feedback and testimonials from readers all around the world, some of it was just plain appreciation notes and some of them were emotional and heartfelt kudos. But then one day I received a very nasty email that was hurtful, abusive and a personal attack to my beliefs and I didn’t even know the guy. I was honestly taken a back and didn’t understand why anyone would want to hate me for writing a simple quotation book.  I could have understood and readily accepted the feedback if it was objective and if there were constructive comments either on style of writing, or just a difference in opinion but it was nothing of that. Anyway I decided to ignore that as just a bizarre incident and move on. It’s been 11 years since that incident happened and as I have lived through these years as an internet citizen witnessing the evolution of social media, I have noticed that the number of such haters have just gone up exponentially across the web. And these are not your every day critics but it’s just pure haters who won’t stop at anything to burn you down. So what exactly triggers such extreme reactions and behavior? Well here’s my take on it. Many of these people are just plain unhappy and frustrated with their lives and they cannot stand anyone else being successful and happy. They have this intense desire to bring all good things to an end. Their mentality being ‘If it didn’t work for me then it shouldn’t work for anybody’. And most of the times its not even personal but just a blanket hatred for people.  Another factor is many times it’s a group of people that belong to a location or an institution where their freedom of speech has been totally repressed for years. These people have usually struggled for a long time to find an outlet for their frustration or their unhappiness. Being online and many times anonymous makes it easy for them to break this repression, but because this has been festering in them for a long time, when it does surfaces it looks very ugly. Though this is a disturbing phenomena one cannot help but feel empathy for these people who deal with so much of unhappiness in their lives. The only way to deal with this is to take the higher ground and rise above it all. Smile and do your best always and stay focused on your goals.

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5 Responses to The psychology of haters online

  1. Swapnil Pal says:

    Sir, i believe that as the person moves higher in social as well as intellectual level, amount of hatred among people for the person increases. But this tide of hatred can be used itself to generate goodwill by not rebuting( rebuking) them but by seriously considering the facts( may be irrevelant) so that hate changes into admiration. May be you would be knowing this, but hearing it from some other person, makes one realize.

  2. Simon says:

    When people start sending hate your way you should start to get excited and happy because it means people are paying attention and you’ve arrived.
    Andy Warhol once said that he never read what critics said about him in the paper, he just measured the length of text- the more the better.

  3. Diane says:

    I have a family member who is always asking or impying, What have you achieved??
    Then, I give an answer. They snicker at what it is I said, as if to say no this is not good enough. Super bizzar behavior to have to deal with.
    I liked you article.

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