I Let the Internet Make Me Feel Bad for my Opinion and I’m Not Going to Let it Happen Again

A lesson in growing thicker skin

Yesterday I deleted an article that I published on Medium.

This was the first time I deleted an article (except for one that simply tanked) and I did it because I felt ashamed for my opinion. The negative reactions I was receiving linked my opinion with being a bad person. Or at least the way I voiced my opinion.

Maybe I was a little too harsh and didn’t properly think through how to voice my opinion in such a way that wouldn’t come off as abrasive to those who disagree. But does that make me a bad person?

Well, it doesn’t help that my opinion involved a well-beloved, fairly progressive, and recently canceled show. But does not liking something that is considered “progressive” make me a bad person?

I don’t think so. Yesterday I wasn’t certain.

Maybe I didn’t go around voicing my opinion in the nicest and softest way, but my opinion is still just that: an opinion.

Everyone has opinions about almost everything in their lives. My opinion was about a TV show. A TV show that is an adaptation of one of my favourite books. A TV show that took the characters and settings of my favourite book but almost nothing of the plot.

In anyone’s book, that would get it labeled an iffy adaptation. I had the same opinion when Peter Jackson decided CGI was more important than the story when making The Hobbit films.

But when I voice my distaste for The Hobbit movies almost no one cares. When I voiced my opinion — numerous times in fact — about the TV show, I was berated and made to feel like a bad person… because how could I not like a show that is so inclusive and diverse?? In spite of the fact that those AREN’T the reasons why I don’t like it, if I don’t like this show I must be an ignorant bigot. That’s the only explanation apparently.

Specifically, one person continued to heavily imply how bigotted I was and basically how my white privilege makes it impossible for me to understand the true heart of the story while simultaneously ignoring my actual argument and refusing to acknowledge and engage with that. She assured me that my narrow views didn’t matter, despite the fact that she didn’t understand nor tried to understand my views at all.

She’d decided who I was before she even wrote her first comment.

At the time it didn’t get to me. I even laughed a little at how ridiculous the whole situation was. But the comments stayed with me and festered like an infected wound. And when the actual article got similar comments — when my Medium articles never get comments — I just felt like absolute crap.

I can handle people disagreeing with my opinion. It happens all the time. But when it gets personal I tend to fold. I like to be liked. If something I do actively makes people dislike me, then it gets to me.

So I deleted my article.

It was an impulsive moment which I now regret. I’m not a bad person for not liking a show that many other people do, but somehow random strangers on the internet convinced me that I could be.

I should’ve stuck to my guns because that’s what it means to be a writer. Sometimes people won’t like the stuff I write. Sometimes I may have an “unpopular opinion”. I should just get better at ignoring the comments.

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