Testing…Testing…A Gen-Xer Tries to Figure Out How to Shut That Shit Down

Hi. This isn’t a real post, but a a placeholder to find out whether or not I correctly blocked the comment section. I’ve avoided my WordPress for “reasons”, the biggest of which is that I had no idea how to shut off comments. Because it seems I am an offender to more people than I knew could be offended. Because I saw a video of a girl who’d been internet bullied, posted it, and then written only one of the similar experiences I’d had. Yep. The post I put up that got me so thoroughly lambasted was one I wrote defending an author who was so bullied (we’re talking not about “I hate your book,” but “you’re an ugly….etc, etc.”) that she was ready to quit writing. And she found a new genre, which is awesome, but I’m not sure how much of that was based on her internet crucifiction. I got 1600 hits on that one post, simply for putting STGRB as a searchword. I cut and pasted samples of some of the ugliest, nastiest “reviews” I could find on GoodReads and Amazon, including one for my book.

When I normally post, there are VERY few reads/comments. Like, three all year. This post had over 1600. The blog readers had no interest in my writing, but wanted a punching bag.

Yep, I posted that something over a year ago, and got the internet beat-down. Readers twisted my words into something stupid and ugly. When I foolishly wrote a follow-up in my post, and when I responded in my own defense to the nastiness, I was beaten further. “Don’t engage with trolls” is advice I now take to heart. I couldn’t take the abuse. So, like many women who have been abused,  something in me felt familiar/horrible. The mob stirred up old things. (Trying to avoid the word “tr*****d here.)  I’ve been quiet…and doing my best not to wind up those who would easily be internet-enraged.

My “WordPress updates” have been meek.

I shut my mouth.

Capped my pen, as it were.

Which is the one of the reasons folks go trolling.

To silence others.

Long story short, I took the post down, because there are better things for me to do than hit “delete” to hundreds of hate-mails in my professional (vs. personal) gmail inbox. There were some that were positive and understood my point. But there were so many happy to join an internet beat-down, that I couldn’t deal. I stopped reading them, but they glutted my inbox.

I’ve missed writing on my WordPress site. Since I come from a different generation (X, specifically) and because my brain works differently than some folks, I couldn’t find/follow ( what to some people would be) simple directions as far as how to shut off comments. Tonight, I’m PRETTY sure I did. So I get to write freely on my blog, without fearing the comment box.

And it’s pretty sad to me that I’d been posting for a couple years as an independent author, a single mom, a lady who keeps on trucking despite dealing with a disability, poverty, and trying to keep her head above water. That somehow the wrong “buzzwords” was what made folks click on my page. Seriously doubt anyone read my other posts.

So.

For those of you who –like me– have no idea how to do this social media stuff? Keep writing, anyway. Google “How to shut down the comment section on WordPress,” and then do your thing.

PLEASE try to comment on this post. If you succeed, it means that I need to go back to the WP help page to fix something. If I get no comments, then I’ve figured out a bit more about social networking, how to combat abuse, and how to get my voice back. Go, me.

Kisses,

vka