Random header image... Refresh for more!

#MicroblogMondays 51: Turn it Off

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


I was listening to a recent Nerdist episode with Andy Samberg, and they touched on being tried in the Twitter court of public opinion.  Even as a sketch is unfolding, people are tweeting their opinions of it, and it influences the performer’s… self-esteem?  Work?  Future projects?  All of the above?

Who wants to be creative when creativity can bite you in the ass?

Anyway, Samberg admits that when he hosted SNL, he simply didn’t go online for a bit.  And Chris counters that doing so (shutting out that court of public opinion) shows how much we do have control over how we perceive our reality.  We can tune other people out simply by not going online.

Easier said than done.

If you knew there was a post written about you, could you stop yourself from reading it?  What if you knew for a fact that it was negative?  What if you knew for a fact that it was positive?


Are you also doing #MicroblogMondays? Add your link below. The list will be open until Tuesday morning. Link to the post itself, not your blog URL. (Don’t know what that means? Please read the three rules on this post to understand the difference between a permalink to a post and a blog’s main URL.) Only personal blogs can be added to the list. I will remove any posts that are connected to businesses or are sponsored posts.

1. Jessica 15. Parul | Happiness & Food 29. Shilpa
2. Tas IVFer 16. Isabelle 30. Geochick
3. One and Done? 17. torthú il 31. Sweet are the uses of Adversity
4. Middle Girl 18. Traci York, Writer 32. Aly @ Breathe Gently
5. Solo Mama 19. Naba 33. Kasey
6. No Kidding in NZ 20. Shailaja/ Moving Quill 34. Mrs. Gamgee
7. A Separate Life 21. Good Families Do 35. Amanda Goe
8. the bespectacled mother 22. S 36. Infertile Girl
9. Lori Lavender Luz 23. Loribeth (The Road Less Travelled) 37. Jamie
10. Anks 24. Just Heather 38. Mary Francis
11. Inconceivable! 25. A. 39. St. E
12. Failing at Haiku 26. Teacups & Typewriters 40. Suzy
13. Jen (Days of Grace) 27. gradualchanges 41. Vinitha
14. Turia 28. Paradoxicalsprite


1 TasIVFer { 08.17.15 at 5:54 am }

I don’t know if I’d be able to resist or not, but I do know I wouldn’t respond. But if I’d read something, I wouldn’t respond – except in my head. In my head I’d respond a billion times, not sleep, and feel twisted inside.

2 One and Done? { 08.17.15 at 7:18 am }

I’m not sure I would be able to resist. If I knew it was negative I would probably try to hold out but eventually curiosity would get the best of me. 🙁

3 Middle Girl { 08.17.15 at 7:39 am }

The live tweeting bugs the bejeebus out of me. But, that is now our world. So be it.

I wouldn’t be able to avoid reading anything about myself and I’m sure, being reactive to whatever is written, be it positive or negative. I would try if I were IN the moment of the thing, but with 24-7 cycles, it is tough to avoid 100%.

My son refuses to read reviews (and most things) written about him. I don’t know how it does it, but he does. I read everything I can find written about him–which he knows. Our deal is, I don’t tell him.

4 The bespectacled mother { 08.17.15 at 8:01 am }

If I come to know of a post written about me I will not be able to stop myself from reading it. If it is positive, I will thank the author of the post publicly. If it is negative, I will not respond but yes I will be affected inside and will need some psyching up to overcome it.
It has happened to me, although not in a post but in the Watsapp messages being exchanged between school friends in the school group. One said he liked to read what I write while there were 2 girls (both are mothers) who mentioned they do not understand a single bit of what I write. Frankly speaking, this talk was nothing but it affected me for some time. Not every mother is bound to connect with my motherhood and parenting tales was my psyching up thought.

5 anks { 08.17.15 at 8:53 am }

Now that is a toughie! I don’t think I’d be able to refrain. I would read it… ! For sure… wild horses couldn’t keep me away from reading it 🙂

6 A. { 08.17.15 at 9:12 am }

When I decided to pick up The Goldfinch @ the beginning of the summer, I read a bunch of glowing reviews from the newspapers and then some vicious critiques from the Old Guard of British-American literati (James Wood, etc.) who trashed it as “vapid” and “cliche” and “overwritten.” One went so far as to say that the nod from the Pulitzer committee was an indicator of the deterioration of intellect in this country. All I could think was – poor Donna Tartt, who pumped her heart and soul into writing the best book she had in her at the time. And in light of that, what gives me the balls to write a blog?? I’m all soft and gooey inside; I have little constitution for trolls and such.

7 Katherine A { 08.17.15 at 9:31 am }

Learning who to listen to and who to shut out has been a sort of life-long challenge for me. When I was 12, a couple of my ostensible “friends” spent a semester at school passing a notebook back and forth in which they tore people – mostly me – to pieces. At some point in a fit of apology and renewed friendship, one of them gave it to me. I read it. Of course I read it. And I can truthfully say I regret it, the stuff was so vicious and it handed me words and phrases I’d use for a long time to put myself down. It fed insecurities that took me a great deal of time to work through.

As an adult, I’ve learned that there are some people who are allowed to point my not-so-sterling moments out to me. There are days I need that. But the people I allow to do it are ones who do it lovingly and carefully, not out of the need to put me down. So I don’t know if I’d read if it was negative. I think there’s a good chance I would choose not to do so.

8 nabanita { 08.17.15 at 10:07 am }

Oh I don’t think I can resist… Even if it affects me I don’t think I can go off social media completely! It’s bad, isn’t it?

9 Jen { 08.17.15 at 10:20 am }

If I knew the person who wrote it I’d definitely read it. But if it was a stranger… I’d try harder not to. Someone’s opinion matters more if I value the relationship I have with them.

10 Turia { 08.17.15 at 10:26 am }

Q. is amazing at tuning things out. He still hasn’t read a single review of his book, and he refused to read his tenure file (he had me read it instead to make sure there was nothing that required a response or an explanation). I just would not be able to do that. I know that any negative criticism would eat at me (I don’t handle it well), but I also know I wouldn’t be able to resist knowing what someone else had said.

11 Isabelle { 08.17.15 at 10:58 am }

Oh I don’t think I can resist anything that is written about me, positive or negative.

12 torthuil { 08.17.15 at 11:12 am }

I would read the post, whether it was positive or negative, and probably think too much about it either way. I think if I somehow got famous enough for people to be writing about me a lot, however, I would turn it off. I think you have to for your sanity. You post reminded me of this news story about Ryan Reynolds and the baby carrier: http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/ryan-reynolds-accused-baby-carrier-wrong-article-1.2269166 When I saw the picture, I thought: of course he’s using it wrong! as did a lot of other people. But can you imagine, as a parent, being told by 1000s of people that you are doing something wrong? even if it is true, it would be very upsetting. So I think we have to be very mindful both of how and why we comment on others and how and why we seek out feedback on ourselves.

13 Shailaja { 08.17.15 at 11:51 am }

I have had the misfortune of being written about, in a negative way and couldn’t stop myself from reading it. Suffice to say, my peace of mind was shattered for a whole two months afterwards. I still feel the pain on some days. Now, if I know something is being written about me, I would ask a friend to read it first and tell me. Would I be able to stop myself from reading it? Cannot really say. But I am getting better at tuning out social media and the noise. So I suppose there is some hope.

14 Traci York { 08.17.15 at 11:54 am }

Back in 2005, I was involved in a locally high profile court case, as a witness for the prosecution. I made the mistake of going online and reading what people were saying about me. All I can think is, thank goodness this happened in the relatively early days of social media – I shudder to think how the internet would respond if the case were being heard today.

Here’s a link to an old article about the case, to give you some persepctive – http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20050628/News/306289933

15 SRB { 08.17.15 at 12:57 pm }

Whether is it positive or negative certainly makes a difference. I can (unfortunately) recite the negative things written about me by heart, but the positive things seem to slip away like smoke. So… that’s a whole other kettle of fish. At any rate, I have managed to stop reading the places that negative have/might come up, but that took the better part of two years. No idea why I was so addicted to it, but I was. I used to really care, but I don’t anymore. Something I think about a lot, but can’t seem to write about.

16 Chris { 08.17.15 at 1:18 pm }

It’s not creative, but I happen to know a former friend writes about me periodically (and is spreading all kinds of horrible lies, it’s really awful and ugly and I get very upset every time I read any of it) So, I don’t read it. I know it’s out there, there are people who sometimes tell me when there’s something new and I steadfastly avoid reading any of it because it only upsets me, and I have absolutely no control over her delusions. My husband can’t believe that I can KNOW this is out there and not read it, but I then stew about it and get angry and hurt and…well no, I don’t need that. So, I’m definitely of the nope, not going to read it.

17 Shannon { 08.17.15 at 3:38 pm }

While I believe it’s never a good idea to put too much stock in other people’s review of you, I’d probably be a little guilty of checking them anyway. I’d try to hold out for a long as I can, maybe distract myself with something before finally caving. But I do make it a point not to respond to gossip about me and to try and reciprocate any good feedback that I may receive. Some days are easier than others 😉

18 gradualchanges { 08.17.15 at 3:41 pm }

This is an interesting question. My husband is an artist and when his work is being reviewed he doesn’t read the reviews because he knows a negative review will just make him feel upset. So he doesn’t read them. I’m not sure if I could do that… but hopefully I’ll never have to figure it out!

19 illustr8d { 08.17.15 at 4:30 pm }

I am a delicate flower, so I would take a break from Twitter. That said, I am well aware that there are just a bunch of angry, ****** out there who are destructive forces in the world. There are very loud racists, homophobes, misogynists and so forth. And trust me when I say from experience, none of them can stand me. Also, I feel as though people make very superficial judgments on next to nothing. There were people condemning Harry Potter who had not even read the books. I will say, I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea and I’m fine with that. But still: no. No reading for a little.

20 Shilpa { 08.17.15 at 5:40 pm }

Would be sure reading the post, I know somewhere it would affect me but still can’t resist reading it

21 Geochick { 08.17.15 at 6:34 pm }

I would have to try to enforce a break, but I’ll bet that it won’t work and I’d have to read whatever was written about me.

22 loribeth { 08.17.15 at 8:48 pm }

Highly doubtful I could keep myself from reading, positive or negative. I got mixed up in an online kerfuffle 10-12 years ago. I was on a scrapbooking board (mostly moms on there, of course) & one of women gloated that she was “childless” — for the weekend. Which has long been a pet peeve of mine — because for some of us, childless is neither desirable nor something just for the weekend. :p I did not call her on it — but I did vent about it on another board I belonged to for childless women (both boards under the same umbrella site, which is now defunct). Which I probably should not have done. One of the other childless members decided to tell the scrapbooker she had hurt my feelings — and KABOOM! The others piled on… of course they “felt sorry for us” :p but how DARE we spoil their fun, etc. etc. The posts kept piling up — I was reading them on my lunch hour at work & I actually felt myself feeling physically ill. It was hard to focus after that. I don’t think I ever did go back to that scrapbooking board. It was hard enough to feel like I belonged there because I didn’t have any children, and that just clinched it for me. :p

23 Aly @ Breathe Gently { 08.17.15 at 8:55 pm }

I would want to know. What people can so ‘bravely’ say as an anonymous keyboard warrior always fascinates me.

24 Kasey { 08.17.15 at 9:15 pm }

I do not check Rate Your Professor. I do not want to know what students have to say, I’ve seen too many colleagues get caught up in terrible things that students have posted.

25 Lori Lavender Luz { 08.17.15 at 10:31 pm }

I don’t think I could stop myself. If I knew for a fact it was bad, my imagination would think of the worst things possible, and reading it would be a step up.

I might ask a trusted friend to give me the gist. That’s the closest i could come to not reading and also quieting my imagination.

26 Mrs. Gamgee { 08.17.15 at 10:47 pm }

I am a sucker for punishment, and I think I would read it, positive or negative. I think it would torture me to know that stuff was out there, being said about me and not knowing what it was. Probably not the smartest way to handle it, but I can just see myself not being able to resist reading it.

27 Amanda { 08.17.15 at 11:16 pm }

(All linked up)

Who wouldn’t read a glowing review? A bad? Where I used to work they post whatever reviews you got online up on the white board. It was slightly humiliating as well as me thinking back to “oh well they only said this because of that.” Negativity only breads more negativity. I would try my best not to read it.

28 Mali { 08.18.15 at 12:20 am }

I guess it would depend on the number of articles/reviews etc. If there were only a few, then of course I’d read them – and love them or be mortified by them accordingly. If there were a lot, I might be able to be more blase and ignore them.

29 Mary Francis { 08.18.15 at 1:55 am }

If I read something critical about myself I would feel it deeply, I think this is hard-wired in our psyche. It’s hard not to feel attacked. I don’t read much criticism of anything, actually, I don’t like seeing other people being hurt either.

There is a vast difference though, between honest difference of opinion and the dreadful anonymous trolling that happens.

Some trolls were brought to court in England recently. One, particularly, had threatened the worst kind of violence against a woman MP. What could such a person be like in real life? Pathetic. No life offline, the worst kind of sad, lonely loser. It’s impossible to feel any kind of sympathy for such a person, but it did give an insight into where the really nasty stuff is coming from.

30 St. E { 08.18.15 at 4:06 am }

I would not be able to stop myself. Though if I am in one of my tangential moods, I may get all zen and not bother with accessing it. But the other 99 percent of me, will like to read.

31 No Baby Ruth { 08.18.15 at 4:41 am }

I think I’d be incapable of not reading… I HATE uncertainty and I think it’s likely that, were it negative, it still wouldn’t be as bad as I’d imagined…

32 Vinitha { 08.18.15 at 5:20 am }

I will be reading, be it positive or negative! Of course the positive bit will help me in positive ways, and the negative ones, I won’t be a fan of them, but if I could understand how different the person is from me, then the effect of the negative piece won’t be drastic, I guess! 🙂

33 JustHeather { 08.18.15 at 8:23 am }

I like to think I could stay away and not read the comment/post, if it was negative, but I don’t think I could.

34 Jess { 08.18.15 at 10:17 am }

Ack, this makes me think of middle school (at least my experience). Maybe twitter is just one big slam book. I would hope that I could resist looking, or at least if I did look, that I could resist taking it personally. That I could be like Bill Nye reading his “Mean Tweets,” and turn it back on the mean people. Although sometimes you read criticism of yourself (as long as it’s not troll-y) and it can be helpful, maybe help you see a perspective that you weren’t open to or considering. The internet is just so mean, I feel like avoiding or developing a really thick skin is my best bet in this scenario.

35 Cristy { 08.18.15 at 12:45 pm }

Been on the receiving end of negative posts. And I agree with SRB’s take. Being attacked directly is hard, as it brings up so much anxiety. So I found that I had to make a conscious effort to stop reading almost immediately and delete that blog from my reader. Even when the author would send me a directly link commanding me to read and link all that hate on my blog.

I believe that feedback is invaluable to everyone. Constructive criticism can help us modify and grow. But I’ve also learned a lot of criticism comes from those who are fast to issue opinions and generally crumble when visited with the same behavior. At the university level, it is known that most student evaluations are not reflective of learning (and some of our best instructors have piss-poor evaluations). Hence I’ve learned that to be critical of criticism and meet negativity with silence as it’s generally not worth my time to respond.

36 Amber { 08.19.15 at 1:18 am }

I can never resist if someone’s writing/posting etc. something about me, even if I later regret it.

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author