Fun on Friday: Never Read the Comments
When I first started writing professionally, one of my mentors offered me some sage advice – never read the comments.
I’ve not been particularly successful in following that advice much to my sanity’s consternation. Because I’ll tell you what – the comment section can be a brutal place.
Now, to be honest, most comments are innocuous. And some are downright helpful. I’ve been able to correct errors and learn new things thanks to some of my commenters. And of course, some folks just want to say I’ve done a good job. That’s nice. And it’s good for the ego.
But some comments fall into the category of “what in the heck am I supposed to do with this?”
For instance, about a year ago, a guy showed up in the comment section of an episode of the SchiffGold Friday Gold Wrap podcast to tell me he hated my voice, and that I sound like the Church Lady. What am I supposed to do about that? Get a voice transplant? That’s not a thing. I can change a lot of things – my voice isn’t one of them.
Along those same lines, if you do video, you’ll get a lot of fashion advice. A guy once commented on a video telling me that I need to “lose that necklace.” I mean, I guess I could. But why would I just because some stranger tells me to? What exactly makes people think that I am interested in their fashion expertise?
When it comes to looks, people can be downright mean. When I worked at a local TV station, I saw some of the emails viewers sent in about the appearance of the anchors and reporters – criticizing their hair, makeup, clothes, and even flat-out calling them fat. One time, one of our female anchors significantly cut her hair. We got literally hundreds of emails about her new hairdo, many complaining that her short hair looked awful. (Most commenters didn’t put it that nicely.) This raises a couple of questions in my mind. First, why would you even say that to somebody? And second, what was she supposed to do about it? Glue her hair back on? Seriously, what motivates a person to take the time to send an email to somebody about their hair.
Then there are the people whom I think are trying to be helpful, but end up being mean in the process. On one episode of the podcast, I talked for just a couple of minutes about bitcoin. My view of cryptocurrency is not quite as negative as Peter Schiff’s (but not nearly as bullish as a lot of crypto-bugs). Well, some guy totally disagreed with my take. That’s fine of course. And he made some fair points. I’m always interested in hearing people’s legitimate disagreements with my views. But it seemed like this guy was just mad because I didn’t parrot Peter. Where he really went off the rails was when he suggested, “Peter should fire your ass!”
Mmmm – OK. 100 percent agreement required. Noted.
But really — he wants me to lose my job because I don’t agree with him – or because I’m don’t toe the line as he sees it? That’s just mean. And this is a prime example of why my mentor recommended never reading the comments.
I’m always amused by the people who think they can do the show or write an article better than I. I get a lot of “you should…” or “you shouldn’t…” comments from people who have never hosted a podcast or written anything for publication. My knee-jerk response to these folks is – yeah – that would be great. You should start your own show and do x, y, or z.
In my work at the Tenth Amendment Center, I get a lot of comments from people who are just confused. I’ve been called a libtard, a fascist, a Nazi, a commie, a racist, a race traitor, a left-winger, a right-winger…I could go on. Obviously, I can’t be all of those things.
Then there are some things that are just – well – funny. Here’s an example from an email I got recently.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE ASAP!
We must get on record with our Government Representatives at all levels.
Here are things they use to make their self-serving political decisions;
1. Hand Written Letters.
2. Actual Telegrams (yes there still is a Non-Western Union telegram service).
4. Direct Phone Calls.
6. Complaints/Comments at Town Hall Meetings.
7. Comments/Complaints on their Websites.
Fire up the telegrams!
The final category of comments I’ll touch on are the ones asking for advice. At the TAC, I’m often asked for legal advice, and here at SchiffGold, sometimes people want me to give specific investment advice. I don’t do either. I’m not a lawyer. And I’m not a broker.
But if you do want investment advice, I will be happy to point you toward a SchiffGold precious metals specialist. These guys are trained pros. Just call 1-888-GOLD-160 or email [email protected]
Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the-wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.
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