I’ve had many of my scholarly pieces published, but nothing that has had a big response. After all, they were scholarly and no one could really argue against the topics because of all the research involved. They were informative, well written (if I don’t say so myself), and others are still using it today as a tool for their own research. The topics ranged from childhood obesity, to the porn industry, and everything in between.
However, my first piece published by the local newspaper did get a response. Mind you, it was a couple of years ago, and it was an opinion piece about the MPAA and how the rating system is there for a reason; it was directed specifically towards parents. Looking at it from a professional standard, I’m not satisfied with my piece and there are many things I would have changed. Regardless, it’s out there for the world to see.
Most of the feedback I got was positive. However, on my way to work one day, the shuttle driver confronted me about my piece. I wasn’t accustomed to people actually speaking to me about my work, so I didn’t know how to react. He was appalled at my piece and argued his points against mine, even though he was not a parent himself. His reasoning behind everything was that since I didn’t get my “psychology degree,” all my points were invalid, regardless of how much I studied. Yes, that struck a nerve. I told him that since he was not a parent himself, his points were invalid because the article was not directly addressed to him. Of course, with this man, he was beyond stubborn and would not drop it, even after telling him I did not want to discuss it with him because it was MY OPINION, not his. I told him if he felt so strongly against it, then he should have written an opinion piece about it and seen how many people would have published it. I then got out of the car and walked the remainder of the way to work.
Could I have handled it better? Of course, but if you didn’t read my post about confrontation while it was up, you missed the fact that I’m terrible at confrontation. I always have been, but at least I’m getting better about it. (Thank you, Husbandman!)
That situation happened over two years ago. I still remember it, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t learn anything by it.
Fast-forward two years in the future to June 23, 2014…
My father has always told me, "Everyone's a critic," and I'd like to add, "there are no exceptions." Friends, family, strangers, and even kids can classify into that category.
With that in mind, on my personal Facebook page I decided to do a new experiment, to research and examine other people’s reactions in opposition to my own. The research was meant to inform and enlighten me on how people press their opinions and personal points onto others, especially when they are in great disapproval of someone else’s views. I was not trying to dissuade anyone’s opinions, rather study them. The main reason for this was to get an authentic response that I could adapt into one of my scenarios for a book I’m writing.
I’ve had posts in the past that have pissed a lot of people off; I took notes and moved on. So this time, I knowingly chose a very touchy subject for a lot of people.
Here’s my original post:
“Okay, this just sickens me. Anyone who 'loves' their dog(s) THIS much should be looked at by a shrink. I'm pretty sure it's a real mental sickness... For the last time, dogs are NOT your kids, not even close.”
Followed by this video:
I knew I had some people on my Facebook that would have different views from my own, but I didn’t expect just how angry people would get, especially because everyone that responded knows me in person.
To those people, I address you now:
Thank you for giving me your honest opinions. While you may think it’s cruel for me to have experimented and studied you, I assure you that it was not meant to be. Take it as a compliment that I want to utilize your personality traits, reactions, and beliefs into my work.
There are many things that you all say or do that drive me nuts, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to care for you any less. I’m an adult and I recognized that everyone’s opinion has a value. Even if I don’t agree with you all the time, I’m not going to lose sleep over it or think differently of any of you.
Furthermore, I will have critics with everything I write, so this has just been another learning experience for me. If I lose friends or family because of this or anything else I may write in the future, so be it; they weren't worth my time anyway. I’m a writer. I’m used to not having friends or many family members around. Besides, I'm not writing to please you or anyone else. As long as I have the support of my amazing husband, that's what really matters to me.